Meet the German-American reporter whose career started with the sound of orange juice and has some difficulties to define “home.”
For me, journalism started with orange juice. Or at least the sound of orange juice.
When I was in elementary school, I used to record a radio show on a little tape recorder with my next-door neighbour. We would play our favourite songs, host game shows and act out the voices of different guests that were phoning in (very journalistically sound). One of our biggest achievements was on our breakfast show, when we managed to get a crystal-clear recording the sound of juice being poured into a glass. A proud moment that would have really gripped our listeners – if we’d had any.
Quite a few years later, a stint blogging for the BBC Russian Service from Nizhny Novgorod, an internship at Franco-German TV channel ARTE and my work at Deutsche Welle reminded me of what I had probably known since then: that I wanted to work in broadcast journalism.
What was your biggest challenge growing up?
My biggest challenge growing up was that my family moved around a lot. My parents are from the US, but I was born in Germany. For a long time I was sure we’d be moving back to the States, until we moved to London. That meant “home” was always a bit difficult for me to define. That can have upsides: My background made me want to study languages and meet new people, which led me to Russia. But the downside is that the answer to the question “where are you from” has become a complicated and well-rehearsed mini-monologue.
How did you work things out?
I realised that it doesn’t really matter where you’re from. As corny as it sounds, “home” is wherever and whoever you’re happy with.
What does happiness mean to you?
Laughing hysterically until you cry, learning a new word in a foreign language or eating something so delicious it actually makes you speechless.
Who do you turn to when life sucks?
What was the first thing you shared – and why?
A family video shows that one of the first things I shared was a piece of chocolate cake birthday cake – it was a toddler’s offer of friendship to one of my brother’s party guests.