Grace Tsoi (BJ 2009) is a reporter for HK Magazine, a highly popular, free English-language magazine that covers both the city’s social and cultural issues, as well as entertainment.
“After graduation, I didn’t join the media industry,” said Tsoi.
“Instead, I took up a job as a business development assistant at a fashion company. After some time, I realised that I still loved writing and reporting a lot; I decided to return to the media.
“First, I applied for an internship at Time Out Hong Kong. During my internship, HK Magazine put up an advertisement for a reporter. So I sent my resume and clippings. I scored the job after two rounds of interviews.”
Tsoi mainly writes news features that cover current affairs in the city, however, she also has the chance to write personal interviews and travel features.
First thing each day, she scours the local papers to update herself on what’s going on in Hong Kong. She also searches internet forums, government documents, Facebook, Twitter, and seeks out news from chatting to colleagues and friends.
“HK Magazine gives me lots of freedom in choosing topics,” said Tsoi. “I have done stories about urban planning, politics, arts and culture. I also have the chance to do personal interviews with interesting people in town. I was even sent to Laos on a press trip to do a travel feature.”
Tsoi credits her time at the JMSC with helping her to attain the job.
“The professors at the JMSC are fantastic teachers,” she said. “They gave a lot of useful comments in the writing courses. I still keep contact with some of my professors and they still give me comments on my published work.”
Tsoi is keen to point out the value of doing internships, an opportunity that all JMSC students have during the course of their studies.
“The internships were very good experiences. I strongly recommend every journalism student to take an internship at a daily newspaper. You will learn a lot, even though it may be quite harsh and challenging.”
Tsoi offers this advice to current students wishing to pursue a career in print: “Keep reading newspapers and familiarise yourself with current events happening in the city and around the world. Keep writing regularly — it can be a blog or anything. Connections are very important too: Start early by doing an internship and it will be a lot easier to get into the industry once you know the people.
“Internships also help a lot because you could build up your portfolio. Of course, the professors from the JMSC are happy to help too.”
Her plan is to stay at HK Magazine for some time yet as she enjoys the work and finds that, by writing about Hong Kong, she is learning a lot about the city.
“I hope that I write stories that bring insight to our readers. I will be really happy if readers find my stories inspiring and a little bit educational,” she said.