“I need to take a job with a purpose“

Back home in Lyon, France, Pauline Coulet studies communication. In Amsterdam she wants to explore journalism. What does this mean for the future of the 22-year-old and what does she sees as the greatest challenge for journalism today?

Text: Lea Dillmann | Photo: Private

Walking all day through the desert of Mauritania, camping under a sky full of stars for a week. Learning the Korean language although she has never been to that country before, just because she likes watching Korean love dramas. At first glance, Pauline Coulet may be an introvert, shy girl, that likes to dress colorfully. But if she tells you stories about her life, you know Pauline is also brave and confident. She enjoys facing the unknown. 

Pauline is taking her current challenge here in Amsterdam as an exchange student from Lyon, where she was born and raised with two younger brothers on the outskirts of the city. And where she started to study communication two years ago. She went abroad to try something else and became part of the minor program International Journalism. “If I enjoy it, I will change my major to journalism back home.” For a start, she is quite excited and feels challenged – in a positive way, as she admits. “Me as a journalist I want to use my experience in marketing to create catchy articles which influence people in their own thinking and behavior.” And there should still be a balance, as she says: not only write what is interesting for people but also what they should know.

“Words have power. As a journalist you are able to change people’s lives.“

In fact, Pauline wanted to become a doctor. “I need to take a job with a purpose.” In the end, studying medicine was too personal for her as a diabetic. Hence, she decided on a larger field with more possibilities: communication. “Words have power. As a journalist you are able to change people’s lives, in a positive or negative way.” Pauline does not want to use this power for her own benefit, but rather with caution. She wants to teach people instead of judging them by writing about different topics. “I do not have only one field of interest. Mostly they are all linked together: politics with social issues and this in turn with culture,” expresses Pauline with a compelling look. At the same time, she smiles and seems confident. 

Pauline is aware of how much journalism is changing in times of digitalization and fake news. “A big challenge for today’s journalism is: How to convince the audience to believe you as a journalist?” How this can be achieved, Pauline would like to find out over the next few months. “Even if I stick to my subject advertising and marketing at home, maybe in a few years I decide to become a teacher or a journalist. What I’m sure of: I will not do the same job for years. I want to take on new challenges.“