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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Don't Lose Yourself in the Process

I could spend this entire blog post explaining every thing I've learned this semester and trust me it's a lot. For example, more than anything I've learned how to work with others in a way I've never experienced before and I've held leadership positions before. I've learned to be more creative and how to tell stories in more dynamic ways. I've definitely learned to prepare for Plan B almost more than you plan for the original story. I've learned to know what to do when you have breaking news and how to act quickly in the process. The list honestly goes on and on, but most importantly, the one thing that I think has helped me not only this semester but will continue to help me in the future is how to put yourself into everything that you do. 

We hear it all the time - "Just be yourself! Build your personal brand. How do you stand out from the competition?" It's something as a junior that I've really focused on as I try to figure out the answer. We're constantly developing our personal brand, but the most important way to grow your brand is to make everything that you do represent who you are. One of the biggest things I've learned this semester is how easy it is to get caught up in a story and forget about the rest of the broadcast, but then also at the same time how great it can be when a story you feel passionately about turns out better than you imagined. I'm a sports fanatic and that's the part of the broadcast industry that I want to pursue a career in so when I pitched a story about March Madness at the Staples Center and we had it in our show, I was extremely proud. I was hesitant to even pitch the idea because often we don't have our reporters do sports packages, but I really wanted to tell this story. I even reached out via Twitter to a ESPN reporter I follow to see if we could set up a Skype interview and though he was too busy the fact that he even responded to me confirmed that this was a story worth covering. I don't know why I ever doubted the story, but it just goes to show how easily we can lose sight of who we are and what we want to do. There's a way to put your unique stamp on everything you do. It's just a matter of figuring out the best way to do so while also producing a quality 30-minute broadcast. 

Outside of making your newscasts purely and uniquely you, I think there's also something to be said about how to carry yourself in a leadership position. One of the biggest takeaways from this class is how to work with others - not only your producing team, but also all the MJs that you work with on a weekly basis. This is another opportunity for you to develop your personal brand because so much of who you are is how you treat others. In a previous blog post, I talked about how grateful I was for producers before me who took the time to help me learn and grow at an early age which inspired me to do more at ATVN to cultivate skills. Our day-of-air when we are producing is extremely stressful and frustrating and many more adjectives that I can say on the Internet so it is so easy to take all that frustration out on somebody else; however, it is also our job as leaders to encourage and support those that work for us and with us so that we can all together produce an amazing 30-minute newscast. I'm not usually the type of person to snap at people, but there have been times this semester as a producer where I've definitely wanted to take all this frustration out on someone who may have not done what they were supposed to. Yet again, this is how easy it is to lose your self in the process of producing your show.

This all may sound clich√© and maybe it is because I can see my senior year approaching at a rapid pace so I've been thinking about the future more and more, but this semester truly has taught me so much especially about the type of reporter, anchor, producer and overall person that I want to be. The best part of A-T-V-N is the real life experience that we get because I've learned first hand how to work at a professional organization so I truly appreciate the head start on figuring out who I want to be and where I want to take all these skills that I've learned going forward. 

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