Hello Everyone! Welcome back to Project 5K’s podcast series. Today, we are joined by Hermione Wilson who is a journalist and assistant editor at Dovetail Communications. Dovetail publishes business-to-business magazines in various specializations including spa, food science, wood design, and biology. Hermione will be sharing her path to becoming a journalist and advice for students who are considering options for post-secondary.
What challenges did you have upon finding a career that you enjoy?
When we were children, there was a certain career that sparked our interest and we couldn’t wait to pursue it. As the years go by, our childhood dream fades as we realize that it’s not what we want anymore or we become intrigued with another career. There are also people who feel lost as they don’t know what they want their future to look like.
For many people like myself, post-secondary is quickly approaching and we have to decide on a path that suits our abilities, interests, and career goals. It is hard to envision a clear destination point especially when we are not exposed to many careers.
Hermione started as an English major at an American college. After a few weeks, she decided to switch into a communications program with a double major in French. After graduating, Hermione was debating if she should pursue further education or look for work immediately.
This is Hermione’s journey to discovering journalism:
1.She volunteered at an organization to support Haiti after the earthquake in 2010.
2.The volunteer coordinator discovered that she knew French and offered her an opportunity to visit Haiti.
3.After her trip to Haiti, she worked as an advertising manager for a small, Christian magazine in her hometown.
4.She eventually took on a writing role at the Christian magazine.
5.She pursued an accelerated post-graduate journalism program at Humber College.
6.She received a position at Dovetail Communications!
There is a lot of pressure for us to plan out our entire life at a young age; however, one opportunity will lead to another and we will eventually end up in the right place.
What advice do you have for students who are unsure of what to pursue in post-secondary?
There are some people who know exactly what they want to become and have outlined specific steps to reach their goal. It can be frustrating if you are unsure of what you want to pursue when your friends seem like they have everything figured out.
Hermione suggests researching about careers that you can apply your strengths to, job shadowing, and speaking with people in different professions. She also suggests starting with a degree in a subject area that you enjoy in highschool. Your opportunities are never limited by the first degree you receive because pursuing further education is always an option.
How did you overcome doubts about whether or not you’ll succeed as an adult?
There are so many successful people out there and you might wonder if you can become like them. Throughout life, there are going be times when you doubt yourself and believe that you can not achieve your goals. Surround yourself with a good group of people who encourage you to see your potential.
During Hermione’s undergraduate degree, she focused on getting through the five years. After Hermione graduated, she was a bit overwhelmed as she was unsure if university had prepared her for the real world. To ease her worries, Hermione said to herself,
“I put in the work, it’s just a matter of finding opportunities.”
It will be hard and competitive to achieve success, but perseverance and a good work ethic will open up opportunities to you.
Being a journalist, does writing become a chore rather than an interest or a passion?
There are certain skills that are required for each career. For example, journalists need to write on a daily basis. Sometimes, doing a task repetitively can become a chore even if you loved it in the beginning. Nevertheless, an advantage Hermione enjoys about writing so often is the improvement she sees in her articles.
“There’s a story that really sparks [my] interest again or [I] speak to an interesting person and I want to convey that in my writing.”
Every job eventually becomes a routine, but there will be certain moments that remind you of why you became intrigued with it in the first place. However, if you completely lose interest, it is never too late to have a career change.
From being a student to working as a journalist, how have your experiences changed you as a person?
Believe it or not, Hermione used to be a shy person and found it difficult to approach people. However, she became confident over time as she had more practice with interviewing people. To succeed in a profession that fascinates you, take as many opportunities as you can to master the required skills.
How can someone become a confident and effective communicator?
Connecting with different people is amazing because you can listen to their stories and learn from their experiences. However, the first step is to approach people. Never let your insecurities outweigh the opportunity to get to know someone. Try to erase the negative thoughts in your mind telling you that you’re not good enough or smart enough to talk to someone. As Hermione says,
“Don’t be afraid to open up to people, be curious, and be willing to admit that you don’t know everything.”
Asking someone a question can flourish into a great conversation; fear shouldn’t be the only thing holding you back from cultivating a bond with people.
There was a video production lab at Humber College that Hermione wanted to attend. However, she thought that it would be too technical for her. Hermione regrets letting that opportunity slip away because learning is the objective of being in an academic setting.
Many different opportunities will be presented to you in life. If it interests you, even a little, take the chance and learn more about it. There will be times when you shy away from something because you don’t want to embarrass yourself in front of people who are more experienced than you. However, everyone needs a starting point to improve their craft.
“Especially when you’re in school, learn new skills. Don’t be afraid to try everything.”
Even though the future may seem foggy right now because you can not see where you’ll end up, having patience and working hard each step along the way will bring opportunities to you if you’re willing to take them.
You will find a path that makes you happy. Good Luck!