Eleni is thrilled to be making the move to the east coast. After four years in sunny California, she cannot wait to experience the beauty of Connecticut and finally live through all four seasons once again.
Eleni, who grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, graduated from USC in May 2012 with a B.A. in Broadcast and Digital Journalism. She also minored in business and sports media studies. While
at ATVN, she worked as the Sports Director and Sports Multimedia Director, in addition to serving as a sports anchor. She also worked as a news producer and reporter. Her highlights at ATVN include traveling to six states to cover USC football and basketball games, as well as delivering live reports from the Meg Whitman Watch Party during the 2010 California gubernatorial election.
Outside of school, she served as a video intern for the Los Angeles Sparks and worked in the Special Projects department at CBS 2 Chicago. She was also one of two recipients of the 2012 Chick Hearn Memorial Scholarship for excellence in sports broadcasting.
In her spare time, Eleni loves to dance, travel, and cheer on her hometown Bulls, Bears, and Cubs. She is definitely a Chicago girl and loves snow, lakefront jogs, and deep dish pizza. She plans on moving back to the Windy City in the future.Survey
What are the top three skills journalism students should learn in college?:
-Writing: Regardless of your specific journalism concentration, you need to be able to write for print, broadcast, and online platforms.
-How to work quickly and under pressure: I can’t even count the number of times my stories fell through, forcing me to come up with a new idea and execute it in the 11th hour.
-Resilience: People often won’t want to talk to you. It’s up to you to push to get your questions answered and your stories completed. While it’s good to try to schedule interviews far in advanced, I would sometimes just show up at places hoping to land an interview. Often, it worked out in my favor. (It can be harder for people to turn you down in person than it is over the phone.)
What were your duties at ATVN? :
sports director, sports multimedia director, sports anchor, news reporter, news producer, multimedia journalist, assistant director, graphics artist, playback operator, assignment editor
How did ATVN prepare you for your career?:
ATVN really throws you out into the real world on the first day. While on assignment, you’ll often find yourself amongst reporters from the Los Angeles Times or ESPN, and it’s up to you to compete with them and push to have your questions heard. You have to learn how to troubleshoot on your own. On just my second day as a sports department volunteer, I was sent to interview the women’s basketball coach. I probably should have been nervous but didn’t have any time to think about it. Thanks to ATVN, I learned how to develop questions on the spot and was comfortable interviewing anyone at any time. I also learned the importance of always being prepared and doing research. The more you watch the news, the easier your assignments will be and the better equipped you’ll be to conduct interviews.
What is your advice to aspiring journalists?:
Push yourself to do difficult stories. Don’t just settle for what comes easy or what is familiar. My classmates used to always joke about how I did so many stories on Skid Row. In my opinion, doing those stories were some of the best decisions I ever made. I had the opportunity to meet people I never would have otherwise known and hear stories I never would have otherwise heard. Being a journalist gives you such an amazing opportunity to expose yourself to different environments and learn about new things. It’s your job to be the storyteller, but it’s much more rewarding to tell a story that actually means something to you.
What should graduates keep in mind when negotiating their first job?:
I must admit that I’m not the best at negotiating and didn’t really have to do much negotiating with my first job, with exception to my start date. In general, remember that it’s only your first job, so you want to have reasonable expectations. Try to do some research so you know the average starting salary for people in your market and profession. Don’t be afraid to explore markets and cities you aren’t very familiar with. You never know which places may actually suit you. And besides, you’ll have plenty of time to live in your dream city when you’re a bit older. Allow yourself to enjoy every single experience.
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