Tuesday, April 19, 2011

On the other side of the pen.

Today, I am multitasking.
[Except I read that your brain cannot actually multitask, it just doesn't function that way. Really you are just doing multiple things with less attention to detail than you would be if you were only doing one thing.]
So, maybe multitasking is not the word I'm looking for. I think it's more along the lines of killing birds with stones, but that's kind of morbid.
So, whatever.
I'm an interviewee today!
I think that makes me a "professional" by default, which may not be much to you people, but I'm pretty pumped about it.

So this is one of those college Journalism course requirements where your professor compels you to go forth and find some poor lack in your respective field of study to interview in hopes that you might glean a better understanding of what you are getting yourself into.
Here goes nothing... [I hope I don't crush your spirit, Jess!]
.1. Educational background: I studied at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. I majored in Journalism [Broadcast track] and Spanish, with a concentration in Hispanic Studies. I graduated in May 2010 [ugh..] with a Bachelor's of Science in Communication.
.2. Number of years at current job: I currently work with Thompson & Company, as a Public Relations intern. I have been here since the end of January sooo...roughly 3 months.
.3. What other media jobs have you previously held? Before moving back to Memphis in August 2010, I worked at WBIR Channel 10, the NBC affiliate station in Knoxville. I interned there for a semester, and was then hired on as an Associate Producer, a position I held for about 6 months. 
.4. How did you get interested in this media job? I was interested in the TV station gig because I was following the broadcast track in my major, and I had always felt I would be a great reporter. Interning, however, led me to take more of an affinity for the writing side of television. I came into the PR position kind of randomly when searching for another internship somewhat close to my field of study. I pursued the PR option because of the evolving social media presence in this field. Blogging and tweeting are actually useful in PR, and I am so on board. 
.5. What do you like most/least about the job? As far as the TV job goes, I enjoyed the fast pace of the job and the surge of adrenaline that comes with breaking news. But I quickly discovered that the sheer time commitment necessary in that kind of job was in and of itself a lifestyle choice, and I wasn't really feeling that. With the PR job, I am enjoying the exposure to social media and the research into how it affects business in our society. I'm also enjoying the fact that I still get to write. It's a little less fast-paced than a newsroom, but I think that's ok. I'm also fortunate to be interning for a very forward-minded company, that encourages you to continue developing your mind and exploring new knowledge. For example, each employee is slated for "learning time" which includes going to seminars, reading pertinent books or articles, or researching relevant information online, which we can then share with the entire company. We also have a tree house with an air chair. I know, right?
.6. Advice you would offer young people interested in the profession: I hardly feel qualified to give advice, ha. But, a fresh perspective can be useful in this industry. I would say that, first, in Journalism, there are a million different ways you can go. You can really do with this study what you want, whether it be broadcast or blogging or writing or even technical work. I think the main point is to figure out what you enjoy doing. As far as the study itself- it is constantly evolving to the standards of our society. This means that everything is instant. Thank you, Twitter. You have to stay up on what is going on to keep up in this industry, and you have to come up with newer, more creative, more unique ways of being heard. This can be kind of tiresome, but you learn a lot.
.7. What are your long-term professional goals and ambitions? Personally, I would like to write for a magazine some day. The thing with that is that I will most likely need to move somewhere else to do so. But I really want to be able to write in an outlet where I can include my intelligence and opinion in what I say. I could also see myself flourishing in a Chelsea Lately-type scenario. [How awesome would that be!?] I plan on writing a book or two as well. That I will probably get started on pretty soon. It will probably take a while...
.8. What is your work schedule like? In my current position, I am rocking the 8 to 5. Well, really, I'm rocking the 8:30[ish] to 5:30[ish]-another perk of a forward-minded employer. At the TV station, however, [it's my longest point of reference, so I keep throwing it back in there] the hours are pretty crazy. I was working the 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift, but I learned that just because you are supposed to get off work at 11 doesn't necessarily mean you will. That's when you get the whole, "the news doesn't sleep" mumbo jumbo...
.9. Personal information you might find interesting? I dunno how interesting it really is, ha. But I guess it is kind of pertinent. I am in what would be considered a serious relationship, in that I felt that my relationship was a critical factor in my life and therefore felt the need to consider it when making big job decisions. I left my TV station gig in Knoxville for a slew of reasons, ranging from my not feeling the schedule to the distance from my family to the fact that I had already spent 4 years away from my significant other, and in so doing, put our relationship development on hold [I mean how much can you really expect to get out of a relationship over the phone?]. I knew I would pretty much be starting from scratch moving back, but when I thought about my personal happiness, I knew that being with him was very important to me and that I was not one of those married-to-the-job types. I don't regret my decision at all. It has taken me some time to get back on my feet career-wise [hello waiting tables], but our relationship has grown wonderfully in the process. As with anything, it is a give and take, and you really just have to figure out what is important to you and what makes you happy.
.10. What made you choose this career? Umm... Whammy at the end here. I don't really know. I was undecided my Freshman year of college. In fact, I almost went for the Psychology degree. But I have always always always loved to write, and I guess I figured Journalism was the best outlet for that. I think I made the right choice. I have learned a lot and I think that I will be able to be successful in this career. I do, however, think that internships should be done starting earlier in your college career, so that you have time to change your mind before your Senior year. And I might still go to grad school for that Psych degree. I just find psychology fascinating. I think it would be awesome to be able to morph a methodology for PR using psychological studies. But that's a long term goal, ha.

Phew. Sorry I got a little long-winded there.
But that was fun!
Thanks for asking, Jess.  Feel free to cut out all my randomness for your class :)

Yay for feeling kind of professional.

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