From 2006 to late 2007, I was working in my first international job posting: as a news reporter at the Prague Post, the Czech Republic’s only English-language newspaper (which has since stopped publishing a print edition). As one of only two reporters in a resources-strapped news department, I had to shoulder major writing and reporting responsibilities, taking on stories that ranged from politics to pop culture, EU issues to local crime. As a newcomer, I had to overcome the challenge of quickly gaining expertise in a new country and culture, as well as often having to work with an interpreter by my side.

Stories that I am particularly proud of include an investigation on why Roma children are institutionalized at rates that are much higher than average; a feature about the fishermen who catch the all-important carp for Czech Christmas dinners; and a story about obsessive modern-day fans of Trabants, the plastic East German cars that have since become nearly extinct.