This profile ended up a lot differently than I expected, and the experience taught me a lot in just the last day and a half. I went into the interview with a few ideas of what I would ask and ultimately write about, but the interview ended up going in a completely different direction. I learned things about my subject that I never expected to and, in all honesty, never thought to ask about. I was focused on my subject specifically in terms of his job and why I had chosen him to profile. I never thought to ask about his past, his family, or if he had any other plans or dreams for himself outside of his work life. Fortunately he brought up those things on his own. It was such a rush hearing these things from my subject, partially because it was amazing just to hear somebody else’s story, but also because I thought I’d hit a goldmine of information.
My biggest struggle was the fact that I didn’t quite know what to do with that information. I wasn’t sure how to approach it in the interview, but fortunately my subject loved to talk. Once I got home and tried to organize and write the profile, I realized I didn’t know how to put all of the information together- I felt like I had a bunch of puzzle pieces but didn’t know what picture they made when put together. As I was writing, I also realized there were some holes in my information that I would need to fill in a follow up interview or when I interview my secondary sources.
I certainly wasn’t expecting this profile to take the direction it did, both with the information I received and with my struggling to put it together (I thought as I was interviewing him that this profile would write itself!), but this experience has really opened my eyes as to what being a journalist could be like. Who doesn’t like learning other peoples’ stories and hearing about their lives?