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#WhatDrivesYou: Fortune Magazine's Takara Small on Making It In Media

April 23, 2015

Takara Small is the epitome of the modern-day journalist – in addition to her day job as a contributing editor for Fortune Magazine, she keeps herself busy hosting and producing a weekly YouTube show and leads a live discussion about entrepreneurship in Canada every month via Google Hangout. Previously a columnist for Metro News Canada, her work has also appeared Fashion Magazine, Toronto Star, AOL Canada, Toronto Life magazine, Huffington Post Canada, CBCnews.ca and more.

We recently had a chance to chat with her about her career to date and what it’s taken for her to make it as a young journalist – her words of wisdom are worth the read for anyone considering a career in media!  

What inspired you to become a journalist?

I've always wanted to be a journalist ever since I was a little girl (I know, I know such a cliché, right?). I always read a lot - newspapers, books, blogs pretty much whatever I could get my hands on - and I realized that a lot of the people who were making a difference in my community were journalists.

What’s most challenging about your role? What’s most rewarding?

I've just started a new job (previously I worked for Metro News Canada and now work as a Contributing Editor for Fortune Magazine), and it's all reward. I will say the best part about my job is being able to work with amazing writers (some of whom I've followed online for awhile) and the news organization's editorial team.

Any tips for young up-and-comers breaking into the industry?

I think it's always best to create new opportunities whenever possible by equipping yourself with as many skills as you can. I write/edit, shoot video and code (albeit I still have so much to learn).

I also advise up-and-comers to say 'yes' to (almost) everything. You never know who you might meet, stories you might find or places you'll go when you push yourself to try something new, which I always remind myself of when I feel the pull of Netflix at the end of the week.

What is one thing you wish someone had told you when you first started your career?

Journalism can be difficult (long hours, tight deadlines) so I think it’s important to surround yourself with people who support you personally and challenge you professionally. I have a great group of mentors and experienced journalists who have given me invaluable advice over the years whenever I encounter difficult situations.

What's your motto to live by?

You only have one life, so try your best to live it to the fullest.

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