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Storytelling workshop: thoughts after the interview

I know this amazing woman for about ten years, and of course I have in my mind my image of her. But during the interview I wanted to see her from the other side. I know her as a mother of a 4-year daughter and almost a mother of a second baby, caring wife who likes cooking but not always has enough of time for this. I know her as a fighter who never allows others to suppress her opinion. I know her always full of ideas, sometimes crazy ones from the first sight but very soon perfectly realized with the help of her team. I remember her big blue eyes when for the first time I met her, her long hair and the energy which was impossible not to notice. These all stayed with her through all these years. And she gained so many more. I wanted answering my questions this woman open herself from the side which I never saw before. I wanted to draw a profile which could be a beautiful example for any Ukrainian (and not only Ukrainian) woman on how to reach your goals and change the world around you.

I’ve made a list of questions and was ready for my interview when I understood I was nervous and didn’t know how to begin, which question I wanted to ask first. I will tell you what helped me. Some of you for sure will understand what I mean saying that in such moments I was holding in my head the words I’ve read in our learning materials: “Be confident! You are a strong, brave woman. As a reporter, you have a right and a responsibility to gain information from all types of sources. Believe in yourself and the purpose of your interview and you can’t lose!” Finally our interview went so easy. We understood each other, and of course much more questions appeared during our talk. Inna, my friend and my interviewee, the head of “Smoke Free Crimea” Coalition, opened herself, sharing with me her past, her present, her future, her thoughts and her beliefs.

After successful interview which gave me answers on all my questions and even more, I faced another challenge. I didn’t know how to begin. Interview is an interview, but I needed to write a profile. From one side I wanted to draw a portrait of a beautiful woman and show her steps to become a successful leader, from the other side I wanted accurately convey her thoughts and ideas.

I want to admit an important role in this process of my Mentors, Sally Hedman and Heidi Hoffman. I am the lucky one to have these amazing ladies as my Mentors, who non-stop supported me and inspired to improve the text. I want to say a big thank you to them!

I’ve learnt some important things about an interview:
1) Avoid questions which imply one word answers, better ask “how”, “why”, “at which moment”
2) Use solution based examples
3) Listen carefully and catch details in the answers which you can develop with the following questions
4) Drawing profile use “visual effects”, details which help readers to draw the portrait in their minds.

Finally today I posted my first assignment. And everyone is welcome to leave the comments and share your opinion.


Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Hello, Iryna!

Dear Iryna,

I haven't read your assignment quite yet but want to thank you for this honest and very helpful follow-up.

Believing in oneself does indeed make all the difference.

Here's to you and to your triad!

- Sarah

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby

Iryna's picture

Hello, Sarah!

Thank you for your beautiful words, Sarah! I promise to continue doing my best!


Greengirl's picture

Well Written

Dear Iryna,

This is a well pieced together 'Reflection' on your Module 1 assignment.

Well done,

Iryna's picture

Enjoying the process

Thank you, Greengirl, for your words! This first module brought lots of unexpected challenges to me, but anyway I enjoyed the process.

Warmest greetings,

sallyhedman's picture

Beautiful Reflection…

What a wonderful surprise to read this reflection and what you learned. You surely gained some confidence and wrote from your heart. You're on your way to uncovering the amazing writer and interviewer you already are. Congratulations.

Iryna's picture

it's just the beginning

Thank you, Sally, your support always gives me forces to grow. I understand I am only in the beginning of a long trip, but I enjoy the process and full of energy to continue and get good results.
Warmest wishes,


bien pour moi; quelle bonne

bien pour moi; quelle bonne chance de lire cette artice! bon courage

neema weza

Iryna's picture


Neema, thank you for support!

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