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How a Macleay Journalism Grad Became an Executive at Twenty-One

Macleay Journalism graduate Yahn Monaghan is going from strength to strength. 

When Sex and the City super-fan Yahn Monaghan graduated from an all-boys Catholic school, he decided to follow in Carrie Bradshaw's footsteps and become a writer. After attending Macleay's Open Day, doors opened for Yahn to college and career achievements. Since graduating with a Bachelor of Journalism in March, Yahn has appeared on Pedestrian TV and landed a role as Content Media Executive with the Australian Associated Press.

 

 

Yarns with Yahn – Pedestrian TV.

 

Yahn attributes his early success to charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent - qualities cultivated by the staff and students at Macleay. "The things I was victimised for in high school were what I was praised for in college," he says. "Because I was loud; because I stood out; because I was myself and unique: I was rewarded... [Macleay] turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me."

During Yahn's studies, placements at GQ Magazine and Hip Media were secured by the Journalism Academic Coordinator as part of Macleay's integrated internship program. An out-and-proud Asian-Australian, Yahn was concerned he might face discrimination in class or the workplace. "I walked in with a guard up," he says. "In the end, I threw it away because it was dragging me down. Everyone I met was so down to earth."

 

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Yahn with his mother at graduation.

 

Qualities Yahn perceived to be 'different' were cultivated as strengths by Macleay lecturers. For a photojournalism assessment in his final trimester,  Yahn was encouraged to explore the nightlife of which he is a part. "I investigated the many different types of pride that the gay community can have," he recalls. "The LGBTQIA community has always used the club as a place to shock, break boundaries, applaud others and just let go."

Yahn's curiosity and cheek are evident in his series of club kid portraits. Each image evokes a different aspect of queer pride, from self-esteem and fearlessness through to opulence and happiness. "To just be ourselves in an environment [is when] we feel most at ease," Yahn says. "This is also having pride, exactly like that of being in the club with our friends."

 

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Portraits from Yahn's photojournalism series 'Pride.'

 

These life lessons have taken Yahn far in his burgeoning career and become part of an extensive portfolio produced at Macleay. "What I've learned in the industry is what people truly value: it's about how you treat others," he explains. "It's centred around putting as much pride into your work as you possibly can and then taking it one step further."

Yahn’s internship with Hip Media turned into his first gig as Online Editorial Assistant for Drinks World. Since then, Yahn has landed his second role as Content Media Executive with the Australian Associated Press. "I love that I'm in the thick of hard-hitting and breaking news," he says. "I love that I talk to real journalists every day and that we have an amazing coffee machine!"

 

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A multi-skilled writer and creative, Yahn already has his sights set on the next goal. His dream is to become a game show host or news anchor. At Macleay, Yahn's interview and presenting skills were honed by the guest lecture series, which enabled him to interview the producer of Q&A in front of an audience. Subsequently, he was selected to appear on the show and posed a question to panelists.

"I don't think there's enough LGBTQIA+ people in the media at the moment... Or enough 'Gaysians' in the media," explains Yahn. "If I became a face in the media, I'd be a gay Asian face in the media – which would give other people like me something to strive for and someone to look up to."

 

Journalism at Macleay College

Students become working journalists from the first day they step into Macleay. They work on real stories in a real newsroom across all media platforms.

Journalism students are taught by industry experts that are up to date with the latest trends and are well connected in the industry.

Curious to know more about the Journalism programs at Macleay? Check out the student run Journalism website here. 

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