I started working at ATVN as a freshman. I was a writer, shooter and editor and worked my way up to reporting and anchoring. By my senior year, I was an Executive Producer, and when I was ready to leave USC, I was practically living in that newsroom. While I volunteered in the newsroom, I also interned at various media operations including FOX 10 in Phoenix, Arizona; Tribune Broadcasting in Washington, DC; VH-1 Behind the Music; Torrance Citicable in Torrance, California; and ABC 7 in Los Angeles. When I was ready to graduate, I felt very prepared and confident about my first job, which I landed at WILX-TV in Lansing, Michigan, about a month after I graduated. It was a great experience.Survey
What are the top three skills journalism students should learn in college?:
(1) Time Management - There is not a lot of time in the day, and sometimes people aren't always available for interviews when you need them. Learning how to manage your time in order to complete thorough research, conduct interviews and write and edit your scripts is crucial. Deadlines will never go away, so it's important to know what you can accomplish in the time available.
(2) Communication - Producers and reporters should be on the same page about the story of the day before the reporter goes into the field. If something changes during the day that prevents a reporter from completing an assignment on time, communicating with the producer and news director about possible alternatives can save the day (and vice-versa).
(3) Ethics - In the fast-paced, ratings-driven broadcast world, it's highly likely someone may ask you to perform a task that is unethical or beyond your comfort level. Remember your journalistic values. Speak up for yourself. If something doesn't seem right, feel confident enough to say no.
What were your duties at ATVN? :
Executive producer, reporter, anchor, producer
How did ATVN prepare you for your career?:
I learned how to write, edit, shoot and work on a deadline at ATVN. These are essential skills for any TV news job. Although I have my own photographer now, I'm glad I was a one-man-band at ATVN. I learned how to budget my time so I would have enough time to shoot, edit and complete my interviews. Also, because I know how to shoot, I can collaborate with my photographer and share ideas about how the story should look.
What is your advice to aspiring journalists?:
Try everything! When you're looking for a job, go with your gut, and make sure you enjoy what you are doing and where you are working. When you have a job, remember to communicate with and respect everyone in the newsroom. It's also extremely important to develop sources and keep in contact with those people. Once you've established a relationship with someone, keep his/her business card and call him/her frequently to touch base. It took me several months to learn how to keep in contact with people, but as a result, I've gotten the scoop on a few stories.
What should graduates keep in mind when negotiating their first job?:
Everyone's experience is different. Have mentors to help guide you, but go with what feels comfortable to you. You don't have to say yes to the first job that comes your way.