Thursday, October 20, 2011

Gals We Admire: Anita Li

Currently a reporter at The Toronto Star, Anita Li says she always wanted to be a journalist. Find out what Li's work days entail, and what this young and talented career gal enjoys most about her profession.

Name: Anita Li
Profession: Journalist (currently a Reporter at The Toronto Star)
Twitter handle: @neeeda

Describe your typical work day, from start to finish
A journalist’s workday varies on a day-to-day basis. For example, when I am assigned to write an article that has a same-day deadline, I scramble to conduct research and interviews, and write in time to file by late afternoon/early evening. When I’m not given an assignment, I’m often working on feature stories, which are longer, more in-depth pieces. Finally, when I’m scheduled to copy edit, I edit the newspaper for style and accuracy.

When you were a kid, what did you want to grow up to be?
I’ve wanted to be a journalist since I was a kid. There’s never been any other profession for me!

What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love that everyday is different; the work I do is never monotonous, as I may be assigned a hard news story about drownings one day, and then interview a filmmaker the next. Also, it’s extremely interactive. I get to talk to very interesting people from all walks of life, listening to and writing about their stories.

What do you find to be the biggest challenge in your profession?
Although I wouldn’t necessarily call them challenges, there are skills one needs as a journalist in order to succeed, including: meeting deadlines and pitching story ideas with fresh or unique angles.

Do you believe you had a "calling" for your profession?
I’ve always had a passion for journalism, so I don’t think I ever had a "calling." But reading Red China Blues by Jan Wong in high school definitely inspired me to pursue my dream of becoming a foreign correspondent.

What are the three most important pieces of career advice you would give to other Canadian Career Gals?
Hard work and passion really do pay off. Employers will notice.

Be persistent in pursuing career opportunities. Open doors for yourself.

Stay positive.


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