Last month, I interviewed Lynn Ocharoenchai, who visited KIS to give a talk about her work in journalism. Here’s what she had to say.
What are your main topics of interest in writing?
I used to write a lot about culture and travel, but probably only because those were the only things I really knew about. I’ve also written a lot about personal and abstract ideas surrounding my thoughts on life, but never really shared them because I’m just very comfortable to do so. Lately, though, I’ve been writing a lot on the environment as I’ve learned and experienced a whole lot from working at Greenpeace aside from my own interests, and I feel that finally my writing has actually made an impact on my audiences.
How many internships have you done so far and what are they?
I’ve officially completed three internships, all involving editorial: 1) at Coconuts Bangkok, an online news agency where I wrote, edited, and published articles on news, events, lifestyle, culture, etc. 2) at Expat Life in Thailand Magazine, a print publication where I wrote articles on Thai culture and tips for expats, and also did some office work. 3) at Greenpeace, an international NGO for environmental conservation, where I researched, wrote, and translated articles on environmental news, and my own perspectives put into a public context. I also joined several activities and campaigns, and eventually became an activist.
What are your career plans?
I don’t have anything specific in mind right now, and am open to any opportunities that would allow me to explore the world and my own mind, as well as make a positive change at the same time. I think I’m leaning towards working in the environmental field, perhaps as a journalist, writer, reporter, researcher, investigator, or activist. I’ll take any crazy thing that comes along as well.
How do you react to the negative comments you receive from people in your articles?
At first, I get quite disappointed, but then I realize that’s because these comments are unexpected flaws that I didn’t know about my writing. I learn a lot from criticism, and sometimes look for it intentionally from people I know for self-improvement.
What subjects did you take in the IB Diploma?
I was in Environmental Systems and Societies (ESS), Visual Arts, Business and Management, Spanish Ab-initio, English Language and Literature, Mathematics, and Self-study Thai.
Are you currently doing an internship?
I am not doing any internship right now, but still write for Greenpeace and Expat Life in Thailand Magazine when I can.
Do you like to read and write in your free time? What type of books are you currently reading?
I started reading and writing a lot because I didn’t have internet in my apartment and I highly recommend it. Lately, I’ve been reading books on psychology and social sciences like by Malcolm Gladwell, as well as some Buddhism and Stoicism. Something similar I do is listen to TED Radio Hour and other NPR podcasts on the subway, because there is no room to hold a book during rush hour.
Is there anything specific you want to achieve in your life? (Specific country you’d like to work in or specific organization you’d like to write for?)
I think my ultimate goal would be to work for the BBC, TIME, or National Geographic, but of course that can change. I’m really just aiming to do something that will allow me to travel, and do good things for the world at the same as having crazy fun around the globe.
In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of journalism as a career option?
I don’t think I know enough about it yet, but what I know from what I’ve done so far and heard about: journalism is for anyone who wants to have an adventure, learning more about people and the world and sharing that with others. However, a lot of people talk of its instability ( in terms of finance, where you settle, or what your future will be) as an occupation, but I guess that’s what’s so exciting about it. Another thing is there is good and bad journalism, and I personally would not want to work on commercialized and meaningless content for the ‘media’ that many find misleading and superficial.
Stay tuned for the next Alumni update!