Name: Finn Houlihan
Course: Arts (Global)
Faculty/Division: Arts, Journalism
Year graduated: 2015
Current position: SEO & Social Media Manager at The New Daily
What was it like breaking into the industry? Was it more “who you know” than “what you know”?
In journalism, it’s a combination of both really. I don’t know if I could have initially gotten my foot in the door anywhere without some healthy networking. But if you want to stay in the game, you need to be vigilant in ensuring your skillset remains fresh. I believe that winds up being far more important once you’ve begun to build your CV and your reputation proceeds your contacts.
What is a “day in the life” of your current role?
I’m in the office by 8am, planning and scheduling all our social media for the day. As soon as the breaking news and urgent work is done, I seek out new news stories and moderate our reader engagement. By 10:30, we’re in conference. The rest of the day really depends on what the news climate is like. I might be writing an article, doing some graphic design, editing content or sweeping social media for contacts and topic ideas! My job is mainly about working wherever my skills are required.
What was a key lesson you learnt at Monash that translated into your workplace?
Respect your teachers/superiors, but never be afraid to speak up and engage if you think differently to them. Even if you’re wrong, you’re giving yourself an opportunity to learn something new from someone who’s been in the game longer.
If you could go back and do your degree again, is there anything you’d change? Subject choice? Time management? Internships?
Nope! I worked hard to secure my future in the industry while I was at uni and I’m happy with where it’s taken me so far. My advice is don’t wait for the Professional Placement unit to come around before you start trying to get work in the field – start doing internships as soon as you can.
What skill (or skills) would you recommend aspiring journos acquire before getting into the industry?
Basic understanding of HTML, confidence with Photoshop or similar program(s), the ability to be polite but assertive in interviews.
When you were a child, what was your dream job?
I wanted to be a journalist or a cartoonist since I was seven or eight. Growing up, my uncle was a journo and in my eyes, he was the coolest guy ever. I still have his articles that I clipped out when I was a kid!
What is your dream job now?
I‘m not sure, really. I think I’d like to eventually give being editor or maybe chief of staff a shot. I’m probably not handsome enough to become a weatherman, but a boy can dream.
Who do you look up to most in the industry?
I don’t know if this counts, but Bloomberg Businessweek. They have some of the best contributors I’ve ever read from and their weekly physical edition is an absolute pleasure to pour through. I’ve been subscribed for years and never spotted a single typo or confusing infographic. Their consistency and ability to make complicated topics profoundly understandable is inspiring.
Have you kept in touch with any of your fellow alumni?
Yes. Mostly through the medium of memes.
Do you follow any sports teams?
Not really but if push comes to shove, I’ll back a team with ‘tigers’ in the name. Richmond Tigers, Hanshin Tigers, Detroit Tigers…
What’s your coffee order?