'We covered all types of journalism – from sport to financial – over all types of media...'
© Restricted/Sam Walls
Former Reporter, Newshub
CEO and Co-Founder, Payper
CEO and Co-Founder, Offcut
Co-Founder, Trump Forest
Adrien had always wanted to go into journalism, an interest he admits came from his love for the character Tintin. After completing his undergraduate degree at Victoria University and a round-the-world OE, Adrien finally decided to make it happen and chose to pursue his passion at UC.
‘I knew the Graduate Diploma in Journalism* at Canterbury was where I wanted to go before I even started my undergrad, because I’d heard it had the best reputation.’
Indeed, Adrien was so eager to get stuck into studying Journalism that he finished his undergraduate study in just two years! The experience he had was invaluable, and taught him the skills and speed needed for his choice of career.
‘The Graduate Diploma in Journalism* is a real hands-on course, and that’s the way I like to learn. With constant deadlines to hand in more articles, we all learned pretty quickly what is or isn’t news, and how to write it. The diploma is also really diverse; especially considering it’s only a year. We covered all types of journalism – from sport to financial – over all types of media: print, television, and radio. Our tutor says that’s what makes it attractive to employers.’
Adrien certainly found his experience useful for his career with 3 News. Having started as the Chief of Staff’s assistant, Adrien would get up just before four o’clock every morning to go to work as a reporter on Firstline – 3News' morning news show – and then the 3News at 12 bulletin.
‘The early starts were never fun but they're surprisingly easy because I genuinely looked forward to every day at work. I was lucky to be working with a great bunch of people and I got a real buzz out of bringing viewers the first news of the day.’
Adrien says he's amazed at how quickly opportunities have presented themselves to him.
‘Within a year I went from being a university student to reporting for the country's winning television news station.’
After his work with 3News, Adrien went on to film a climate change documentary in Bangladesh for the United Nations called Thirty Million, covering the effects of global climate change and sea-level rise to the country and its people.
He has also founded two local businesses: Payper, a public relations firm and consultancy that supports New Zealand businesses with more affordable, results-based story networking; and Offcut, a company that uses waste materials to give new life to disused fabrics by turning them into caps and lifestyle leather products.
With two other UC graduates – Dan Price and Jeff Willis – Adrien has also co-founded Trump Forest, a crowdsourced project looking to combat climate change by planting trees.
‘We launched the crowdsourced forest to offset Donald Trump’s climate ignorance and hit more than 1,000,000 trees planted around the world in under a year,’ he says.
Adrien says the skills he learnt in Journalism have been invaluable in the business world.
‘A great business needs to be able to convey a great story. That’s something that comes naturally to a journalist and I’m so grateful to have learnt strong story-telling skills before getting into the startup world.’
For those wanting to pursue a career in journalism, or even in any career that seems daunting, Adrien has some sound advice.
‘Work hard, pick your ideal job and ask for an internship, then don’t stop working hard until you get a job there. Once you get the job, work even harder and say “yes” to everything.’