When I took my tour of Bryant, and pretty much every day since then, I’ve heard over and over “Network, network, network!” I’ve always thought it was, in general, a really good idea, however, I also always thought the people with the huge success stories from networking were rare.
Then this summer, I landed my internship at WPIX-TV with some inadvertent networking. (I seemingly stalked a former intern who now is a successful journalist for Newsday amongst other things and he was helpful enough to get me in contact with the right people). My story of how I came about applying for WPIX-TV set me apart and makes for a great conversation starter with anyone who asks, “So, how did you wind up landing this internship?”
In my mind, the power of networking was born.
Last summer, I interned with the Long Island Herald and while I was there I met a lot of different editors and reporters for the various community papers. I got to report and really get my hand in and understand community journalism. Not only did I leave with a portfolio of published bylines, but I also left with an increased network. A network which would land me another opportunity this summer…
While I still write occasionally for the Herald, another editor there moved on to Patch.com and reached out to me recently.
He remembered me from my time with the Herald and saw via my LinkedIn profile that I recently started as a News Intern at WPIX. That’s where he got the idea to ask if I would be willing to do some freelance for Patch. Paid writing? Count me in, right?
Not only will I get to write for Patch, but I will have the chance to put together some packages as video pieces for the website as well. For an aspiring TV reporter – a dream come true.
Last week, I got my first assignment: a story about the re-opening of a local burger joint, Long Island Cheeseburgers. Using the experience from working for the Herald last summer, I contacted the owner and wrote the story – and I got paid for it!
The story was published on the web on Monday and I learned it was the most popular viewed article that day – talk about awesome. Check it out here. It’s going to be pretty awesome when I get my first paycheck for writing an article – something I enjoy.
This summer, I’ve spent a lot of time with a reporter here – she’s been taking me out on the field with her and letting me sit in on her tracking, editing and production. The experience has not only solidified for me that this is what I want to do for my career but also given me the chance to learn outside the classroom – an infinitely better opportunity.
Just yesterday we practiced tracking and she gave me a lot of helpful advice on pitch, inflection and energy. In 5 minutes time I went from good to great, based on a few pointers from her and some practicing.
I’ve been able to practice standups, and now that I’ve got my very own tape, I should be taping some of those on camera and getting them to look over and even use as a reel for my next job interview (ya know, when I have an interview for a full-time job … eek!)
Former Theresa probably would have doubted that one day the people I’m meeting and spending a lot of time with here at WPIX might reach out to me or think of me if a job surfaces somewhere, but lately, all I think about is the connections I’m making and the advice I’m getting from people who could remember me in a few years.
In the industry that is media, it’s all about who you know, so for the next 2 months of my time here that’s the new motive to live by. Friday ends me first rotation at the news desk, so I might not be able to go out with Monica as much anymore :( – although I’m certainly not going to hesitate to ask if the opportunity arises – but I am going to have the chance to meet other reporters/anchors/producers here… and network, network, network!