As an international student new to Australia, Zain Nabi only had limited knowledge of the Australian journalism landscape.
With encouragement from Monash, Zain is thriving as a Digital and Radio Producer at SBS, and now has the coveted Walkey Awards in his sights.
Here is his profile…
Name: Zain Nabi
Course: Master of Journalism
Dept: School of Media, Film and Journalism
Year graduated: 2015
Current position: Digital and Radio Producer at SBS
How did you manage to land your current job?
I applied for a casual position back in 2013 when I had just come to Australia as an international student and started my course at Monash. They first called me in for a test, which was followed by an interview. Once I cleared that stage, they asked me to complete a translation test (the position was for an in-language program), and they recorded the translated script in my voice. A few weeks later, I was hired.
How have your studies at Monash helped you in the industry?
The faculty encouraged me a lot. I was new to the country and didn’t know much about the industry but my professors backed me up, which boosted my confidence. Further down the track, a couple of units (Reporting with sound and image; and Reporting for digital media) perfectly complemented my work as I could implement everything I was learning in the classroom at my workplace, which resulted in me being later appointed as a digital producer.
If you weren’t working in the journalism industry, what else would you be doing?
Probably hunting a job in the journalism industry, or directing movies, which is something I still intend to do.
Were you a planner or a crammer when it came to studying?
I was a mixture of both. I knew what I had to do but I would always do that at the last minute.
Did you complete internships while at Monash? If so, what was one of the key things you learnt from them?
I volunteered for a local sporting club a couple of weeks after starting my course at Monash. It was great, and I think everyone should have such an experience. There’s not much pressure while you are interning because you are not expected to do much. I usually perform at my best when I have a solid grip of what’s happening around me, and the internship gave me the opportunity to understand the industry.
What’s something that surprised you about the journalism industry?
I don’t like the click-bait approach in the news, but it is astonishing to see this practice is very dominant in the industry these days. Many reputable media organisations, which are supposed to be trendsetters, take this approach.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to an aspiring journalist?
Maintain a contacts book. Have details of every person you meet; a friend of a friend might be sitting on the biggest scoop of your life.
Who is someone that you admire in the industry?
I didn’t know much about the industry when I came here, but Philip Chubb inspired me the most in my early days. Other than him, Humair Ishtiaq in Pakistan is someone I always look up to.
What do you hope to achieve in the next 10 years?
Win a couple of Walkley awards, and an Oscar!
Dream holiday destination?
Any place that brings me close to nature. I am not a fan of big buildings.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Asking stupid questions.
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