JOB BLOG // Alumni Profile: Tess Ikonomou
You can’t be under 26 forever.
When SYNners get too old to volunteer, a lot of them go on to work in the media, taking with them all the skills SYN has instilled in them.
Tess Ikonomou was a regular SYN volunteer from 2014 – 2016 and now works for The World on ABC.
Read more about her here:
What did you study at university?
I studied a Bachelor of Journalism degree with a minor in Human Rights at Monash University.
Did you do any internships? How valuable were these in finding a job?
I completed five internships during my time at uni, and a bunch of other extra-curricular stuff including the student magazine. I can’t stress how important getting industry experience is, the media is far too competitive to not have any. You learn very quickly whether or not this is the job for you. Plus, you build
industry connections, gain a portfolio of published work and realise the workplace you fit into/like the most. Your most likely un-paid internship, can also lead to paid work!
What did you do at SYN?
I volunteered as a reporter and later Assistant Producer for Panorama.
What are you doing now? Where are you working? How did you get your job?
I work at the ABC’s The World program on the News Channel. My role there is the lives producer, which means everything about the live interviews and pre-recs are my responsibility. That includes writing links for the presenter to read out, to calling our foreign correspondents and arranging crosses. I got this job after working on the program for a few months, which started through an internship. I was very lucky to be offered work by my editor.
What’s the best advice you’ve received about finding a job in journalism?
To be persistent and to never give up, no matter the odds. It’s extremely competitive, you’re going to be rejected for something at least once, I already have…but you have to just dust yourself off and stick at it.
You’re working in TV now but you have experience in writing and radio. How important is it to have a well-rounded, multi-platform approach to your work?
It’s everything at the ABC, we’re always thinking about how that story could be transferred to social media or online. Being skilled in creating multi-platform content is a basic minimum. I always encourage people to get experience in all platforms, irrespective of where you’re planning to work.
You’re having coffee with a SYN volunteer who wants to do what you’re doing. What advice would you give them?
If you’re really passionate about being a journalist, go for it. Do as many internships as you can, find good mentors. They’re really helpful for job advice and emotional support! Get as much work published as you can and put yourself out there.
Have a job application you want proofread? Got an idea you want covered here? Are you a SYN alumni who wants to give back? The Job Blog is updated monthly and you can get in touch with the Content Development Coordinator at content @ syn.org.au with any ideas.