My Education: BS in Communications, Syracuse University
My Prior Experience: I worked for 10 years as a television news and web producer before getting out of TV news and starting to work for the state of Massachusetts.
My Company: I work for a public university in Boston, Massachusetts.
Job/Career Overview: I was hired to help a public university launch a newly redesigned web site.
Right now I am working on creating videos about the student experience on campus. This involves identifying students of different ages and backgrounds who take advantage of the campus experience and are relatively well-spoken. I then have to coordinate times with the person we are interviewing, video production staff and our staff still photographer (we have to have still images in addition to video and text.) I come up with the questions, interview the students, and then select which parts of the interview I want to use, in what order. I then have to figure out which images (video and stills) I want to incorporate into the interview. I also need to keep track of the time of the story. Attention spans aren't long, so we want to keep these videos to about 90 seconds if possible.
The other part of my job right now is writing articles for our web site. Sometimes I am assigned a topic and sometimes I come up with one myself. I have to do research on the topic and, if the story is about a particular person, I have to come up with questions and interview that person. When I have written the article and edited it myself, I have to give it to an editor to look at to double check my spelling and grammar. Spell check and reading the story out loud are not foolproof and because this is going on the Internet for thousands of eyes to see, we want to make sure everything is correct.
I rate this career 8 out of 10.
The best part of the job is that I get to tell stories. That was my favorite part of working in television, only now I get to tell stories during normal working hours (no weekends, overnights, and holidays). I like getting to know new people and learning new things.
The worst part of the job is that I don't feel as tapped into what's going on in the world as I was working in television. At a TV station, we have applications where you're connected to the Associated Press and other wire services, so breaking news information crosses as it happens. Now, when I want to know what's going on in the world, I have to seek it out myself.
I would advise anyone in a communications field to minor, if not major, in another field, such as business, marketing, or online applications. Television stations and newspapers continue to cut jobs. If I didn't have a background in writing for the web, I probably would not have my current job.