Having the opportunity to visit and shadow at ABC 7, one of the top news stations in Washington, D.C., was a surreal experience. This was possible thanks to a connection I had previously made during a networking event I attended last year at the University of Maryland.
A Connection That Led To This Opportunity
When I began my semester at The Washington Center, I decided to strengthen my previous connections in order to boost my developing news career.
I made the effort to contact the news director from ABC 7 through email to ask if I could come in for a studio tour or shadow day at the news station since I would be in the area for the semester. Much to my delight, he responded enthusiastically and worked with me to set up a day for me to come in and shadow the station. This was my chance to make more connections and see the inside of top TV station so I did not waste my moment. I asked if I could shadow a field crew (a reporter and a photog out doing a story) as part of my shadow day. More specifically, I asked if I could tag along to the Kavanaugh testimony hearings. Unfortunately, I was not able to assist on this endeavor due to liability reasons, but it never hurts to ask! (That is how I got access to this opportunity in the first place, simply by asking.)
My Day at ABC 7
My day at the station started with me sitting in on a news meeting. I diligently took notes to make sure I understood the station’s process of identifying what kinds of stories they thought were newsworthy and why. Then, I was sent over to the assignment desk to learn what that job entailed and learn more about ABC 7. They taught me about some of the gear the station uses and shared some background information about ABC 7, like how many reporters and photogs they have and how each contributes to the newscasts. Later in the day, I had the chance to shadow the control room and the studio during the broadcast. This gave me the opportunity to meet anchors and reporters, as well as learn more about the technical aspects that go into making the show.
My day concluded with the news director connecting me with a reporter at the station who has continued helping me with insights on getting a job and providing me with critiques of my work. Not only did I get a new connection, but I also used that connection to further build upon my blossoming news career.
Networking and meeting new people is much more than just getting a phone number or an email address. It’s about keeping that first conversation going and using each connection as a learning experience to make room for ongoing personal growth. This entire story is a perfect example of how one connection can lead to great opportunities.