Working in New York for one of Sweden’s leading newspapers is a job many compete for. Can you tell us about your journey?
Ever since graduation (2008), everything has gone surprisingly smooth. Unlike most of my classmates, who all wanted to become culture journalists, I realized early on that I would need to find a unique niche to make myself more attractive on the job market. First I tried sport journalism, but quickly changed paths and went into reporting on finance. I think many newly-fledged journalists are intimidated by the world of finance and believe it is more complex than it really is. I worked as economy reporter at DN for a year, thereafter I worked as a news reporter at Svenska Dagbladet, and until my move to New York I was the editor at Veckans Affärer. I love being abroad, so I could not have been happier when my boyfriend got a job in New York. So I contacted DN, told them that I will be in New York and if they need anyone to cover for them, I’m there for them. And here I am.

Most foreign correspondents are men, so how do you cope?
Honestly, thus far I have just experienced advantages as a woman. When I started my career as a writer for the economy section, there were very few women. I noticed that (the editorial staff) strived for equality between the sexes, so I, as a woman felt very welcomed. Sometimes Swedish News television invites me to a show to talk about certain subjects, which to some extent is due to the fact that the show needs to present more women.


Can you tell us about one memorable interview situation in New York?
Last year when I covered the 9/11 memorial, I interviewed a policeman who was at the scene that day. Due to the terror attack, he only visited Manhattan one time over the past ten years. Not one day goes by without him thinking about it. While listening to him, I understood how much this still affects him and his family’s everyday life. He is an amazing man.

Describe a typical workday.
Normally, I start work at 8 a.m. and finish off around 7 p.m.. Because I am working from home I plan my days independently. I can take a break in my writing and go to the laundry room, or take a walk outside. I miss the office sometimes; the natural breaks at the coffee machine as well as being able to discuss certain things with my colleagues. I really love my job with its variety and to capture people’s amazing stories. One day I interview a potato salesman, next day I meet up with Reese Witherspoon. You never know what's next.

Five quick ones:
Who’s your dream interview guest: Right now, it is Obama.
On a day off, what do you do? I take a walk, drink coffee, go and listen to a band.
Where do you live in New York? East Village.
What’s the best thing about New York? The city’s infinite possibilities.
Favorite Place in New York? Rockaway Beach and Tompkins Square Park.

Text & photo: Hanna Aqvilin