jakespring.com

FOREIGN POLICY, MORE WWD AND REUTERS

I haven’t updated in a while but that’s only because I’ve been busier than ever freelancing. I finished up the IUP intensive Chinese language program at the end of May and have been trying my hand as a full-time freelancer for the summer. It’s been quite the adjustment from the very rigid schedule of the program, but I think I’m starting to get the hang of it. While it’s touch and go financially, I’ve been able to make it work with that latest freelance check always seeming to show up just when I’m down to my last $20.

For those interested in my latest writings, you can find links to my story in Foreign Policy here and stories in Women’s Wear Daily here.

One of the great things about it is I’ve been able to test out my newly honed Chinese ability. I’m kind of shocked that I can now look up maybe a couple new words in advance, jot down some rough questions in English and then launch into interviews fully in Chinese with very few issues. Sure, I get the person not from Beijing or Shanghai with a heavy regional accent, that can still be hard to understand. And technical terms I often need to stop them and clarify what they mean. But on the whole, I understand the vast majority and with the aid of a tape recorder can go back and translate the exact quotes I need.

This experience has bolstered my confidence for my next move. I start at Reuters in September as part of their graduate trainee program. After a couple weeks of training in Singapore, I’ll spend nine months rotating between the various desks at Reuters, which each specialize in a subject area like politics & general, commodities & energy, Companies, Finance & Markets, Economics and video. I’m hoping to use my Chinese to both maintain my skills after investing so much time in them but also in hopes of coming up with some original stories and more nuanced reporting.

Until Reuters starts paying my bills though, I need to keep the stories coming in Women’s Wear Daily and will be reading my share of SEC documents for my freelance research gig for footnoted.com. I’ve also picked up a few bar reviews for the local expat mag City Weekend. Here’s the first and second one I did for them.

 


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