Donna McConnell
Showbusiness Editor, Mail Online

What did you study at university?
BA Hons Media/Print Journalism – University of Westminster
Postgraduate Diploma Newspaper Journalism – City University

How did you secure your position at the Mail Online?
I applied for shifts as a freelance then made myself indispensable

What does a usual day consist of?
I manage the showbiz team of up to eight journalists in London and Los Angeles. Starting at 7am I collate the showbiz newslist gathering stories from daily papers, magazines, Twitter, showbiz blogs, overnight events, and pictures.
I present ideas in three daily news conferences to my editor, following that I commission stories, update and edit copy, respond to breaking news, monitor Twitter, all major US sites and our competitors, field queries from PRs, and deal with legal issues. I finish around 6pm.

What has been the highlight of your role so far?
Getting it! And spending three months in Los Angeles helping to set up the LA office.

Who would you like to meet?
My husband Idris Elba – failing that Michelle Obama

Who inspires you?
My late grandmother, she was a stylish, self-educated, hardworking woman and people who write well like Philip French, the film critic at The Observer and music, too many artists to mention

What is your mantra?
Never take no for an answer

What three tips to give those wanting to pursue a career in journalism?
· Learn your craft – get proper training

· Write – even when you don’t have a position, there’s no excuse, get a blog

· Read a lot – newspapers, magazines, blogs, and learn to adapt your writing to different publications