Breaking news — I’m employed!! I’ve been a little MIA these past few weeks because I’ve been getting down to business and making those important decisions about my future post graduation; such as considering where I’m going next within my career. I’m so happy to say that I finally accepted and started my first big-girl job out of college! I’m the newest MMJ (Multi-Media Journalist)/Reporter for the news station I interned for last summer, KFDX Channel 3 News (otherwise known as Texoma’s Homepage).
It’s my first week on the job, day two to be exact, and I already feel so welcome and at-home here. I’m working side-by-side the reporters, producers, and photogs I shadowed last summer that taught me so much about the industry (you can read all about my internship at the station here), but with an all new perspective. My first day consisted of shadowing a reporter as she went about producing a VO/SOT and PKG for the 5 and 6 p.m. show. Her story was covering a local firework facility, Russell’s Fireworks, and how families can ensure a fun and safe holiday this 4th of July by talking to a local fire marshal and getting the best safety tips! I feel like I learned so much from her on Monday — she taught me how to use the computer programs I’ll need to produce my own stories soon as well as camera equipment and how to do basic things at the station like clock in and out.
Today I shadowed a photographer and reporter and learned even more about filming — what to look for and what not to miss. I also learned more about the editing software such as shortcut buttons and tools to make footage look prettier. Today was pretty exciting too because I finally got my logins for these computer programs I’ll be using on the daily, set up all my professional social medias that’ll be posting to future stories of mine (follow me on Facebook and Twitter @awashburntv), annnd I got my own desk! I can’t wait to start decorating. I’m thinking by the end of the week I’ll be done shadowing reporters and photogs and I’ll be ready to start reporting on my own, I’m feeling very confident already!
“You don’t have to force something that’s meant for you.”
I know that when I graduated a couple months ago I was stressing so hard about not having a job lined up for me right out of the gate — that’s how it’s supposed to be, right? It seems like life is supposed to be linear when we look at it from afar — graduate high school, go to college, graduate college, join the workforce, and so on. I had it in my head that I needed to leave Wichita Falls, a town that brought me up as a college student and served as family-fun weekend trips as a child. That I needed to jump out of my comfort zone, pick up my life, and move it to a new city to work because that’s what my peers were doing. I applied to stations all over Texas and I heard back from a fraction of them.
Though I got some great offers, something just didn’t feel right about picking up and moving so unnecessarily. The station I applied at last was KFDX 3 and Texoma’s Homepage and truth be told, I soon found myself hoping for an offer from them with each passing day. With it’s small city feel, Wichita Falls has become home and I realized that I wasn’t ready to leave this place. I’ve made so many great relationships and contacts within this town and I know it almost like the back of my hand now; I couldn’t see why I would leave a place like this when employers look for reporters who know the town and the faces of the town they work in like that. Starting over just didn’t make sense if I didn’t have to.
While it may feel like the end of the world because job offers haven’t come as you might have expected after graduation, everything is supposed to happen in it’s due time. I’m here to say that there is no right or wrong way to start your career and life is anything but linear. With all these contracts, terms, and conditions, moving and housing fees, you really are signing years of your hard-work, time, money, and focus when you accept your first job. It’s okay to take the time and collect your thoughts on these important decisions and do what’s best for you. It’s okay to be picky about where you’re planting your life and who you have around to help water your garden.
I was offered a position at KFDX on June 14th, one month after I graduated. I grew up watching KFDX 3 local news every single morning as I got ready for school (shoutout to my parents for keeping their kids informed lol) and now I get to report the news for surrounding communities of other little boys and girls out there with the same dream of delivering the news one day. I never imagined I would actually be in this position, isn’t it funny how life works out? This goes without saying, but anything is possible if you set your mind to it and it doesn’t matter when you start, so long as you do. Here’s to the next two years, reporting for the communities I know and love so well and hope to make proud.
“Make sure your choices reflect your dreams, not your fears.”