CAREER TALK: Working in Television
Yo, yo, yo! Wasss up? Wasss good, beautiful people!
This is the first post dedicated to a new series on my blog, Career Talk. My hopes are that these writings will answer questions and provide insight on how to navigate the crazy business of television for any aspiring Media Mavens out there!
I'm often asked questions, mostly from young women, on how I got my start working in television, what I studied or what courses I took in college, how to prepare for an interview, what questions to ask in the interview. And more! These are all questions I also had at some point. Thankfully, I was able to connect with people willing to share their experiences. Good or bad. That's how we learn, folks!
First things first, evaluate WHY you've chosen this career path. Why does it interest you?
I am a firm believer that having the right and purest of intentions in anything you do will ultimately assist in attracting success. For me, in the beginning, the adrenaline rush I experienced from being in front of a camera resembled the indescribable feeling dancing and performing gave me. I've always felt more alive on stage. Dancing is my first love. At my core, I am a performer. No crowd, large or small, frightens me. I, thankfully, have the gift of writing. Speaking excites me. Talking to people excites me. Though, in real life I am a complete introvert (love my personal space and time) Providing a platform for others to shine humbles me. Really... check the core aspects a position like Hosting, Reporting or Anchoring requires. Do your interests and strengths align?
I'd like to interject the fact there are a MULTITUDEEEEEEE of other roles you can pursue in this industry that don't include stepping foot in front of a camera or holding a microphone. I'll make a separate post about some of those possibilities if you want... just lemme know! In reality, people behind the scenes hold the real key to this machine in my humble opinion.
Second, pursue the necessary college degree and classes. Pass them! (Broadcast Journalism, Mass Communication, etc.)
The official listing may vary at your different institutions. Get involved in your campus television programs/stations. There is where you can get your feet wet and really explore without the fear of failing. At the University of Arkansas, where I attended college, I was involved with UATV, University of Arkansas Television. I was an Anchor, Producer, MMJ, Sports Anchor. Everything! Be eager to learn and willing to try things that may not immediately interest you because you never know where you may excel.
The above is a traditional response, but I also personally think real experience comes from just that... experience! No amount of teaching can compare to what you're willing to do on your own for yourself. Invest in you. Practice. Make a YouTube. Start interviewing and just sharing people's stories. Learn how to operate a camera, record yourself. It's not rocket science.
I promise. Pick up some editing skills. College isn't the end all be all these days. And a degree alone doesn't always necessarily guarantee an open door, just saying.
Third, but absolutely not least, INTERNSHIPS. The real world experience and exposure provided through interning is invaluable.
Your dreams will either be confirmed or questioned. I held several internships in undergrad. Originally I thought I wanted to pursue Sports and become a Sports Anchor/Reporter for ESPN or FOX Sports. The gag is I don't know jack squat about stats, plays, any of that lol! The game energy and dedication surrounding sports is what I believe attracted me more than anything. And, it isn't in the box of traditional news. It's a form of entertainment. I'll make a separate post detailing more of my own personal journey soon... stay tuned. My first internship also led to my first official Reporting job. There's proof in the pudding. Get out there, ya'll!
Again, I covered a lot here but not at all everything. Next post I'll go into a bit of my own path. It's also important to know upfront this career has NO blueprint! No exact path as with many other fields or industries. That proved to be a struggle for me in the early stages of my career so don't get discouraged if that's the stage you're battling right now. It gets better.
Until next time,