International Students Testimonies

Dream job journalist: Ofelia Maghakyan works as an online editor at Berliner Zeitung

It was already clear to Ofelia Maghakyan in her school days that she wanted to become a journalist. After her studies at HMKW Berlin her dream came true: Maghakyan is now working as editor-in-chief (CvD) in the online editorial department of the Berliner Zeitung. Among other things, she is responsible here for the coordination between editorial, production and advertising departments.

The former HMKW student Ofelia Maghakyan

The former HMKW student Ofelia Maghakyan

What comes to mind when you think about your studies at HMKW?

Practice-oriented studies, friendly and open-minded lecturers and professors and a relaxed learning environment.

You have studied B.A. Journalism and Corporate Communications. What is your current job position? When did you figure out your preferred career path? How much was your choice influenced by the compulsory internship?

I always wanted to be a journalist. But in my imagination I always had a microphone in my hand, in front of the camera or behind it. That's why I went to ProSieben in Munich for my mandatory internship.That was always my biggest dream! But because I still had a few semesters to go, I ended up back in Berlin. At some point, quite by chance, I read an e-mail from Prof. Dr. Köhler, which said that the Berliner Zeitung was looking for working students. I applied and was successful. After a year I became an online editor and another year and a half later online editor-in-chief. Today I don't have a microphone in my hand, but I enjoy my work a lot.

Why did you decide to study “Journalism and Corporate Communications”? And what made you choose HMKW Berlin?

After my A-levels it was clear that I wanted to go to Berlin and I wanted to study. Since my desire to become a journalist was beyond doubt, I researched where I could study without just browsing through books. I wanted to work both academically and practically and at the same time make contacts. A course of study without job prospects was out of the question. My research led me to HMKW and already on the next day I sent my application.

Which contents of your studies are part of your current job? How do your studies help you in your work routine?

Especially at the beginning, the basic journalism seminars helped me a lot. So I always knew what was expected of me.

What are your plans for the future?

I hope to develop myself further. It's important to me. Even though I'm happy in my job right now, I don't like stagnation. I think that movement can create new challenges. And who knows in which direction it will go...maybe I can come back as a lecturer to HMKW one day.

 

What do you like most about your current job position? What is your biggest challenge?

In an online editorial office everything has to be done quickly, so we don't wait for an editorial deadline. Once the news has arrived, it has to be prepared and published as quickly as possible and in line with the channel. That's what makes it so exciting. You can spend half the day in a calm and orderly manner and within two minutes you can get really stressful. That is of course the challenge at the same time. A well-founded research despite time pressure, that is the daily demand.

What would you tell fellow students that study at HMKW?

As a journalist, you have to be good at making inquiries anyway. So start practicing early. More learning material, jobs, internships, contacts - always ask if you need help! And if you are interested in something, get involved. Coincidences can sometimes create great opportunities.

Which characteristics should students have that want to study „B.A. Journalism and Corporate Communications“?

I don't want to generalize. To be open and to be able to approach people will certainly make a lot of things easier. But that does not mean that the quiet, introverted observer cannot be an equally good journalist. Perhaps he is even more likely to recognize stories that are still slumbering in the shadows, write great reports and conduct in-depth interviews. Extroverted characters make contacts faster, build up a reliable network. Both can be an advantage. I think it's important to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses and to be able to use them accordingly.

Thank you very much for the interview and all the best for your professional and private future.