For my first ever column, I thought it would be best to say hello and tell you a bit about myself.
My name is Simon Hamalienko and I have been working in the industry since 2007, which was when I first started doing freelance work.
I grew up in Keighley and have spent my whole life there, apart from a year living in Leeds and going away to university.
I graduated from the University of Lincoln in 2009, which is a lovely university and a great city to live in (would recommend you visit, especially at Christmas time for the market).
People would describe me as a big football fan, but they are even more likely to say I’m a passionate Fulham supporter. Even to the extent that I was a season ticket holder and travelled down to Craven Cottage nearly every week for a few years.
As many people have guessed and told me when we have met, my last name is quite unusual. This is because my dad’s side of the family is from Ukraine. My name is also spelt ham-alien-ko and that is how I actually learnt to spell it by thinking of related images in my head.
I promise not to talk about football too much in this column in the future but Ukraine play England in a World Cup qualifier on September 10. Even though I was born here, you still feel affection for where your roots come from so am going to sit on the fence and hope both teams can (somehow) qualify for the World Cup in 2014, despite the outcome of this match.
I started here at Asian Sunday in February this year after a spell working for various businesses on marketing and social media.
I was very pleased to come back into a newspaper environment. I missed going out and interviewing interesting people and covering events. You kind of get a great sense of pride when a story all comes together, but on the opposite end you get annoyed when it all seems to go wrong.
It comes with the territory, working for a newspaper can sometimes be satisfying and stressful at the same time. I am not saying anything bad about my profession of choice, even though there are a few things I would change about the industry, as most journalists actually like it. No day is ever really the same.
Ever since I was little, a journalist is all I had ever wanted to be. I don’t know why I wanted to be one but I remember I always liked telling people about things (not gossip but actually news). Throughout school, people use to try and divert me from this path by telling me how many people actually make a career out of journalism. The number was very small back in 2004 and I bet that number has significantly lowered even more since the recession. Even though they meant it to have a negative effect, it actually spurred me on to prove to them and myself that I could.
With many youngsters now back at school, I would like to wish them all the best with their studies over the coming year. I never really liked school that much for variety of different reasons with bullying being one of them. I know bullying affects a lot of children up and down the country. Many children will have had a fantastic summer holidays and been dreading the thought of returning. This is something that should not happen! It is also why this edition we have dedicated a page to the issue of bullying (page 8). This is something no child should have to put up with.
I hope you have enjoyed learning a little bit about me this edition and I look forward to expressing my views on a whole range of topics in the near future. Until next time…