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Kristin Alumni - Finn Blackwell

Finn Blackwell

Finn Blackwell - Journalist

Finn Blackwell from the Class of 2018 cut his broadcasting teeth as a star performer on KTV and in Kristin school productions. After graduating from Kristin, Finn studied at Victoria University in Wellington where he received his Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and Criminology, and a post graduate in Journalism. Since then he has returned to Auckland and is currently working as a journalist with Radio New Zealand.

Tell us about what you’re currently doing? Where do you work and what is it like? Tell us a little about your role.

I’m a reporter with Radio New Zealand, the country’s national broadcaster. I go from place to place talking to people and telling their stories. I work across a number of mediums including web, radio, and sometimes on TV! Being a journalist is great because you’re essentially a professional storyteller and that’s something I’ve always been passionate about.


Is there such a thing as a typical workday for you? What are the parts of your job that you enjoy most?  Conversely, what are some of the most challenging parts of your job or most difficult stories to cover?

In my line of work, there is no such thing as a “typical” work day. Nine times out of ten I’m coming into the office just waiting to get sent somewhere across the city, it’s the nature of breaking news and it means every day is exciting. I think one of the things I enjoy most is getting to talk to so many different people every day, and sharing their stories with the rest of the country! There are difficult stories to tell of course, when someone’s lost a loved one, or they’re in a rough situation, but getting to work with them through that is something I never take for granted.


Tell us a little about your career pathway to become a journalist with Radio NZ? When you left school, was this the path you expected to be on?

I was pretty fortunate that I had this career path already in mind when I left Kristin. In my last year of high school I had already gotten in contact with industry professionals to find out what I needed to do to prepare myself for a career in journalism. When I got to university, the first thing I did was join up with the university magazine, that helped me get some experience in a newsroom under my belt before even finishing my degree! All the while I was making connections with other journalists and outlets, seeing what I thought would work for me. As I started my post-graduate degree all that work paid off and I was able to join Radio New Zealand.


What do you think are some of the secrets to success? Are there any life lessons you’d like to share?

I don’t think there are any secrets, pathways to success are more often than not laid bare, it’s just a matter of being able to see them and follow what you’re passionate about. Obviously there are twists and turns, challenges that come up along the way, but success, I believe, is what you make of it.


How do you feel your time at Kristin has shaped your path beyond school?

Kristin has this great ability to foster connections in its students. That’s been something of incredible value that I’ve taken with me into my career, the ability to foster those connections and develop them further. I think it’s one of the most important things when you’re telling someone's story.


What do you look back on as the highlights of your time at Kristin?

Definitely doing the school productions. They were such awesome opportunities and I was able to make some life-long friends through them.


If you could give a message to students looking to pursue a similar path, what would it be?

I’d probably give them the same advice I got, join the university newspaper, make connections with people in the industry, keep your finger on the pulse when it comes to current events, and be on the lookout for a good story.


Is there anything else you’d like to include, or messages you’d like to send to current students, staff, parents or the wider Kristin community?

Enjoy your time here. Whether you’re a student, teacher, parent or part of the Kristin community at large, it’s a very special place. 


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