Free to be me

#303: What’s the character trait you admire the most about yourself?

My determination and enthusiasm to succeed and be the best possible version of me! This being one of those moments where I’ve shown true gusto…

A couple of weekends ago I was flown to Norway, to celebrate the upcoming Blu-ray and DVD release of How To Train Your Dragon 2 (out on 17th November). Here, we were treated to a helicopter ride over the Fjords – let’s just say I was a little on the terrified side not having been in one before, but I’m soooo pleased I didn’t let my fear stop me. It was an incredible experience and I can’t wait to share my HTTYD2 junket interview (with Simon Otto, the Head of Character Animation) and my various on camera pieces with everyone!

helicopter cloe photo Kjersti Veel Krauss

Image: Kjersti Veel Krauss

Non sequitur

#266: Write a post about anything you’d like, but be sure to include this sentence somewhere in the final paragraph: “He tried to hit me with a forklift!”

Anything I like… I guess I could write about my endeavour to give my CV a complete overhaul, which begun last week. I decided that the reason I’ve not been getting many interview offers following my application submissions, is due to the fact that my CV looks pretty boring at first glance. So I thought “Chloe, it’s time for a makeover – time to really shake it up!”. What’s the first thing I do… Google for CV examples. The only slight flaw in this plan, was the fact that there is sooo much advice out there, inevitably clouding my overall objective. That said, the raw copy is typed up and ready, as this forms the general body of the document and I have had a little play around with the various style options available within a pages document. Let’s just say I’m getting there.

Once I’m happy with my new CV, I’ve got a few really good friends who said that they’d be happy to read through it and give me their thoughts – I’m always looking for feedback and ways in which I can improve, so being given constructive criticism always sits well with me. Whilst this is in progress, I can crack on with perfecting the basis to my cover letter – as without realising it, they’ve become a full A4 page long and nobody wants to be faced with that when having to sift through potentially hundreds of applications! I guess I’m just sick of getting the same old emails that start with “Thank you for your interest for our xxx vacancy at xxx. Unfortunately, we will not be taking your application any further… blah blah blah”. Every time I open one of these emails, it feels like he/she has tried to hit me with a forklift! But I’m determined for that to change and soon. So, watch this space…

Ready for your close-up

#240: Cast the movie of your life.

Apologies for the lateness of this one… as you may have read on Wednesdays post, it was my brothers birthday yesterday and it was a seriously jam packed day, which involved a wedge of Choccywoccydoodah cake (of course!), an IMAX screening, dressing up as Astronauts/Red Arrow Pilots, eating too much and seeing a west end show. I will elaborate on our day very soon!

Hmm… Considering the majority of my life has been spent in education, it would be quite a boring film. So instead of a life movie, it would focus on my journey from Uni to the world of work. It would include my many adventures and opportunities experienced since entering the journalism world: – Heading to Iceland for the release of Ice Age 4 on DVD – Covering the European Premiere of Oz: The Great & Powerful – Being on the red carpet of the National Television Awards 2014, mingling with the stars – Interviewing a robotic Nigel from Rio 2, whilst the characters voice, Jemaine Clement, was in another room – Attending the World press conference of Thor: The Dark World – Attending a launch night of Nerf’s Zombie Strike range and making a short video to promote it.

Hopefully that wouldn’t be too boring!

Origin story

#214: Why did you start your blog? Is that still why you blog, or has your site gone in a different direction than you’d planned?

Since it was over seven months ago now, I’m going to guess why I started my blog… as I’m not 100% sure what the deciding factor was. I know that I wanted to develop my writing skills, as a way to help further my career in journalism/publishing. And since I couldn’t decide on a theme or topic area for my blog, I chose to partake in the 365 Days of Writing Prompts challenge from the team over at WordPress, also making it one of my New Years Resolutions – so I had to stick to it! Initially, I remember thinking that this could help me discover what I wanted to write about in the long term, but as the months have gone by, I’ve realised that I absolutely love the randomness that this challenge brings!

The road less travelled

#183: Pinpoint a moment in your past where you had to make a big decision. Write about that other alternate life that could have unfolded.

I guess the biggest decision I’ve had to make in my life so far, was when I handed in my notice to my paid part-time job in order to pursue my career in journalism/publishing. Since I had achieved my full drivers license (which was the main reason for working as a retail sales assistant) and was having to split my week between the paid retail work and my magazine internship, I decided it was time to really focus on my career. It was quite scary as I hadn’t been promised a job or any sort of paid work at the magazine but I needed them to know that I was serious about working in this industry. This proved to be the right move as a few weeks later, my travel-paid-only internship turned into a full-time position and over a year later, I started getting paid! So even though it took a little while to actually get the job, I’ve learnt a heck of a lot and shown my true dedication to working in this industry, as I’m sure not many people can say that they were a loyal unpaid intern for over a year!

I do believe that if I didn’t hand it my notice when I did, it’s quite possible I could still be working part-time in retail – and believe me when I say it was an absolute headache… and that’s not only because of the bright, artificial lighting! It wasn’t in the best area so the customers weren’t always the nicest (especially when I would have to inform them that I couldn’t give them a money back refund when the labels weren’t on the garments and they didn’t have a receipt!). Although, this definitely did provide me with the best Customer Service skills having to deal with tricky customers – which is probably why I’m also the Customer Services Manager here at the magazine 😀

We can be taught

#179: Tell us a moment or an incident that you treasure — not necessarily because it brought you happiness, but because it taught you something about yourself.

A few weeks ago I had a work experience type of day as a Content Intern, at an Internal Communications Agency company in Milton Keynes, called Headlines. It was an absolute eye opener! Not only was it a huge office with lots of different departments, but everyone seemed to have such fantastic relationships with everyone… and they had a kitchen/lounge area so people didn’t have to eat their lunch at their desks!

I was first asked to write a news story for APM’s website titled ‘Crossrail 2 could open four years ahead of schedule‘. Amazingly, within half an hour it had been read and handed back to me with only THREE minor changes. Since my background in journalism is mostly to do with the kids market, they were really impressed that I’d picked up their house style so quickly.

After I had made these changes and re-submitted my copy, I was asked to write a variety of sections across two double page spreads for Amazons internal magazine, Outside The Box. Using a very brief outline and some investigation into the various global departments, I was able to turn around multiple stories fairly quickly.

Finally, I was asked to research suitable Internal Communications stories that Headlines could rewrite for their own website. I found this extremely interesting, so it ended up being a pretty difficult task to only find five stories!

At the end of the day, I was invited to a conference room and was delighted to hear that they wished they had me for longer than one day as everything I had written, was exactly the way that Headlines staff would have written them.

This was a huge turning point for me as for quite a while people have been telling me what they thought I was capable of and apparently copy writing wasn’t one of them. Well HA! I’m absolutely delighted to have proven them wrong with more than just my word! I knew all along that I could write effectively and this day provided me with a HUGE confidence boost. Since then, I’ve successfully written three double page spreads and taken on more responsibility at the mag 😀

GO ME!