Growing up, Jack Tame knew he wanted to be a journalist. He started working towards his career while his contemporaries were still partying at university.
The early mornings and long shifts soon paid off - Tame found himself reporting on the six o'clock news at the age of 19. Now 27, the talented broadcaster is based in New York City as the One News' US correspondent and also hosts his own Saturday morning show on Newstalk ZB.
We talk to Tame about how he got to the top.
As a teenager, what did you want to be when you 'grew up'?
A journalist! What's more, I'm pretty sure I wanted to be a broadcast journalist. I had a really wide range of interests ... at school I played everything from the trombone to blindside flanker. Performing interested me. Politics interested me. People interested me. I figured broadcast journalism would be a great way to experience lots of different things.
What did you study? Is University or study worthwhile for your field?
I studied for a Bachelor of Broadcast Communications majoring in Broadcast Journalism, at the New Zealand Broadcasting School at CPIT. It was definitely worthwhile ... I made heaps of friends and many of the people I studied with are my colleagues at TVNZ and Newstalk ZB. For me, studying was definitely the best way to get into the industry.
In your field, how would you recommend getting an internship? And how do you turn an internship into a paid job?
You've got to hustle! I was fortunate in that we could apply for internships at the completion of our course. Newstalk ZB has offered heaps of internships over the years, and the best way to get one is definitely through tertiary providers. But initiative and enthusiasm go a long way. If you can hustle some unpaid work experience and are prepared to give up your weekend to lick envelopes and make coffee, you never know what it might lead to.
What does your typical day entail?
I wake up and immediately check the news headlines. I read a few newspapers while I eat my breakfast and because I'm usually based in the US, I do chores and get some exercise before everyone wakes up in New Zealand.
I'll spend a few hours doing emails and planning before filing radio reports for Newstalk ZB, writing for the Herald on Sunday or filming pieces for TVNZ. Often, I have to travel somewhere, either in the US or internationally. I run a really tight calendar system so I can always stay ahead of my deadlines.
Best and worst parts about your job?
I meet amazing people. I travel to amazing places. I see things most people never get to see. I'm very, stupidly lucky. But the hours can be tough: sometimes I'll go three weeks before I have a day completely free of work. And even though it's exciting to be sent away anywhere at a moment's notice, always being on call is hard on your social life! Balance is a challenge.
If you weren't doing this, what would you do?
I've always fancied myself as a chef, or perhaps owning a restaurant. Probably 'cos I like food.
Do you have any regrets in regards to your career?
Nope! Of course, there are stories I've fluffed and some of our radio shows are better than others, but every job has good days and bad days. If anything, I only wish I could work slightly steadier hours. Work isn't the most important thing in life.
Three things you couldn't live without at work?
My phone, my Mophie Pack extra phone battery (I go through at least two complete phone charges a day) and my calendar. I can't do a digital diary, so I carry a big wall calendar with me wherever I am on Earth. It's a big, cheesy "Beautiful New Zealand'' one to remind me of home, with pictures of Milford Sound and the Bay of Islands etc.
Your best advice for young people wanting to break into your field?
Use your initiative. Be enthusiastic and gracious and even if you think you know it all, don't be impatient. Do the crappy shifts; the overnights and Christmas Days. And remember, if you want to be on TV or radio simply 'cos you want to be famous, you're probably doomed to fail in this industry!
Three top tips for success in your industry?
1. Don't make enemies with anyone unless you really have to.
2. Be flexible.