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Why I entered 30 To Watch

Alex Janiaud

Alex Janiaud is a former Investors’ Chronicle journalist and winner of MHP + Mischief’s 30 to Watch in 2019. He recently joined MHP’s capital markets team.

It’s good etiquette not to talk up your own successes in public, so it helps when others do that for you. Winning MHP + Mischief’s 30 to Watch award brings the kind of workplace attention normally reserved for one’s birthday. I’d entered because a former colleague who’d mentored me closely, Harriet Russell, had won the award in 2015. It felt good to make her proud.

It’s also a career lift. Getting your name onto this list gets you noticed by editors. It sparks a flurry of online announcements, and the calibre of your social media following improves. This may bring opportunities later in your journey as a journalist.

The stock of these awards rises exponentially every year because of the trail of stardust that it leaves and the growing roster of quality names associated with it. Many of the industry’s best have gone on to take the reins on desks at national titles via these awards. Former winners including The Sunday Times’s business editor Oliver Shah and the Financial Times’s Peter Campbell return as judges this year. Applying for this prize affords you the rare opportunity to put your work directly in their line of sight. Winning it gives you the chance to meet them.

The application process is simple, and unlike other journalism awards, it is free to enter. If you’ve entered before and weren’t selected, no matter – I won on my second attempt.

There’s perhaps something more important than the award’s career benefits, though. Being selected out of 400 entries as one 30 to Watch brings you a personal lift. Journalism is an exceptionally difficult profession where confidence is a precious commodity. Having something on the mantelpiece to confirm your standing among your peers helps when times get tough.

To enter this year’s 30 To Watch Awards click here.