Primary job responsibilities:
I'm primarily responsible for reporting and writing articles for C&EN, but I have been branching out to other forms of storytelling through photos, videos, multimedia projects, and even social networking. I also attend ACS national meetings, where I am responsible for putting together the meeting photo spread. It's a lot of fun engaging with other ACS members and finding out what's on their minds.
Typical day on the job:
A typical day involves checking and responding to e-mails, doing internet research, interviewing sources for news and feature articles, grabbing lunch, attending meetings, transcribing interview tapes — oh, and writing!
I typically work 40 hours a week, sometimes more if I'm trying to meet a deadline. I am lucky in that I rarely need to work overtime. The environment can be fast-paced at times, but it is mostly relaxed, and I set my own pace.
I go to the ACS national meetings twice a year. Other than that, I do most of my reporting on the phone, from my office. I do sometimes interview local sources on-site
Tools you can't live without:
I spend a lot of my time on e-mails and phone calls, so I guess a computer, phone, and tape recorder are things I can't do my job without! I also use professional-quality camera, video, and sound recording equipment for multimedia work.
I primarily work in the office, but I try to get out whenever I can because often my best ideas and stories come out of interacting with others.
What you like most about your job:
I like the flexibility of my job to come up with story ideas that interest me. I also like being able to help people with the work that I do. I feel that I can help job seekers with my reporting and writing.
Best productivity trick:
I have a things-to-do list, and I love checking things off.
Best career advice you've received:
Moving forward is one step at a time! Also, diversify your skill set and keep your options open about where you want to work.
Skills or talents that make you a good fit for your job:
I am an extrovert and I love interacting with people. I also love taking photos, which helps me in my job.
Essential habit you wish you'd started earlier:
After every interview, I ask people if there's anything I haven't asked. That often leads to interesting insights that I never thought to find out. Also, the best way to get people to talk is to be a good listener.
Anything else you'd like to mention about your career?
If you're passionate about something, you'll find a way to succeed and make a living doing so.
Favorite ACS resource:
The people at ACS are what makes this such a great organization.