The secret of my success: Fiona McIntosh

Australian-born Fiona McIntosh, 32, the new editor of Elle magazine, has been a journalist for 17 years, working in newspapers as well as glossy magazines.

MY FIRST break was getting a cadetship on a local paper called the Melbourne Herald. I wanted to come to London, so I came over when I was 22, and worked as a correspondent for Australian papers. Then I got a job on the the Daily Mirror as a feature writer.

I ended up as editor of the woman's page on the Mirror, as well as deputy features editor. I loved doing the women's pages, and luckily a position came up for editor on Company magazine. I pestered the MD, he interviewed me and I got the job. That was a really big break.

I did the Company job for three years. It's a fantastic, cheeky magazine which I really enjoyed doing and luckily it was successful in that period too. I was then approached to edit Elle. I realise now how much newspapers look to magazines for inspiration and ideas. They recognise us as being relevant, especially as they are chasing the female market at the moment.

It's funny being an editor and looking at the young people coming through. The ones that I particularly want to help and encourage are those who work hard, want to learn and get excited about the job. It's great watching the rising stars, because one day you're probably going to be working for them.

I get a lot of ribbing from my old newspaper friends, for being too absolutely fabulous for words now. Everyone says you've got to have this focused career path, but if something comes up that is completely irresistible you've got to go for it.

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