AFP#13 | 2015 – 2016
Current place of employment:
The Calvert Journal
Placement during fellowship:
Having done the Alfa Fellowship Program allowed me to quickly gain the kind of experience it would ordinarily have taken a lot longer to gain. The fellowship allowed me to be in the right place at the right time with the work I did for The Independent; I learned a lot from my foreign editor and had a steep but extremely helpful learning curve during a busy news year. I was given a lot of responsibility with my work, which meant I had to learn quickly. The new skills and experience I had during the year made me a strong candidate for the job of editor-in-chief of The Calvert Journal, a job which I’ve been doing for nearly 4 years now.
Without the fellowship I think I would have spent a lot of time trying to find work which would give me the experience of writing and reporting which I did in a concentrated burst during that year. It meant that I was able to get a more senior editorial job that I don’t think I would have been eligible for if I hadn’t had the experience of working in Moscow.
For those looking at the program, if you have a real interest in Russia and Russian affairs, do apply. Russia isn’t the easiest place to relocate to and find work, and the Alfa Fellowship Program helps facilitate a lot of the things that make Russia a difficult country to move to and find work in. You can get as much or as little out of it as you want. If you’re willing to work hard, you can potentially accelerate your career in a serious and significant way, using the fellowship as a springboard to find engaging, foreign-policy related work in Russia, or abroad.
The fellowship gave me a lot and I’m grateful that I could gain interesting and important journalism skills in a country that offers so many varied and wild travel opportunities.