My name is Annalese Thomas.
I am a year 10 student at Maitland Christian School and over the past week I have been given an insight into life as a journalist through work experience with The Maitland Mercury.
Since primary school I have wanted to become a journalist.
I even started a family newspaper.
The front page stories included ‘Sister studying hard for HSC exams’ and ‘The washing piles up’.
Needless to say, it was a hit.
The opportunity to be in a room of people who have achieved the same goals I aspire to was a great experience.
The energy felt everyday was exciting and exactly what I thrive on.
I attended the news conference each morning where the team plans the content they will produce for online and print platforms.
I worked on stories and learnt from the journalists around me.
The highlight of my week was to do a front page story on an incredible pair I knew in primary school, Grace and Nick Ahrens.
They were first responders for a stab wound victim at Pender Place.
I interviewed them alongside Mercury journalist Nick Bielby and watched Lower Hunter photographer Simone De Peak take a photograph of Grace.
To recognise their heroic act and those of the volunteers in the St Johns Ambulance definitely added to the passion I have for this field.
I have also met the most inspirational people.
Conversations I have been included in have improved me as a person and exposed me to the potential good everyone can do for those around them.
I have learnt about how much excitement, spontaneity and importance is involved in working for a local newspaper.
To brainstorm leads, go out on breaking news calls and give publicity to the people in our area is what I want to do with my life.
I am so grateful this week has reaffirmed and added to that.
To brainstorm leads, go out on breaking news calls and give publicity to the people in our area is what I want to do with my life. I am so grateful this week has reaffirmed and added to that.Annalese Thomas
My advice to any young person nervous about going to enter the work place would be to have faith in your ability and take the risk.
I leave this week with a newfound confidence in the dream I have had since I was 9 years old, a vision for the future, and the drive to get there.