What is your story?
I always believed I could accomplish anything I put my mind to. Many people say it, but I truly believed it, and I still do. Sometimes that mantra got me in tricky situations like deciding I could run a marathon that I didn’t fully train for. But I finished those 26.2 miles, even if I was in the last heat of people to cross the finish line.
When I was a teenager I chose to dive into one of the most competitive fields out there, broadcast journalism. It was a large, dark uncharted sea that I chose to jump into despite many of my closest mentors advising otherwise. My first internship was in New York City at WCBS-TV. At just 19, I learned to maneuver Manhattan and find my place in a top newsroom without much guidance.
I went on to intern in other newsrooms but I truly discovered who I was when I signed up for the 4K for Cancer: Run Across America. Yes, I ran 4,000 miles across the country for young adults with cancer. I flew to San Francisco, California and ran back to Baltimore, Maryland with 25 other beautiful souls raising money for cancer patient care. Coming home from that trip I knew that I wanted to make a difference in the world and it solidified my choice to be a journalist.
With much experience from my internships under my belt, I sent out about a hundred applications for reporter openings throughout the country. It was a shot in the dark and I was willing to go anywhere in America to make it happen. I got my first break at WJET-TV in Erie, Pennsylvania, a place that now holds a special place in my heart.
After completing my two-year contract, I was hired as the weekend anchor at WEHT-TV in Evansville, Indiana. A place I had never visited before and to be honest couldn’t point out on a map until I moved there. It was a huge learning experience for me. There were many times I found myself motivating myself saying “if you can run across America, you can move halfway across the country for a job”, sometimes it helped, other times it didn’t. Living without my family and friends for two years was not easy but I can tell you it was worth it.
Because of that experience, I now have my dream job. Just typing that brings me joy. I am a multi-media journalist at WGRZ-TV in Buffalo, NY. A position I always aspired to have. Reporting in my hometown is a very special experience. It gives me the chance to make a difference in the community that means so much to me.
In what capacity do you LEAD UP in your community?
As a journalist, I give a voice to the voiceless. I share stories that others may not know and in turn, it can make a huge difference in my community.
In business and/or in life, share a struggle you overcame that other women can relate to?
When I chose to load up a moving truck and move to Evansville, IN to become the weekend anchor at WEHT-TV, I didn’t know what was going to be on the other end of that 13 hour drive. Moving to a place I had never been before, without knowing a soul was the most trying situation I’ve ever been in.
For anyone who may be debating whether or not to take a major leap to advance your career, I say do it. If you don’t take the opportunity, you may always wonder what would’ve happened if you did. Who knows, it may help you land your dream job.
Did you have a Mentor, Coach or Sponsor along the way that was essential to your growth and success? If so, who was it and why?
Oh absolutely. I would not be here today if it weren’t for the strong female role models and mentors I had.
While I was an intern at WCBS-TV in NYC, there was an incredible reporter and woman Alex Denis. She took me under her wing while I was there and taught me everything she knew.
But I owe all of my success to Jill Perkins. An outstanding reporter at WKBW-TV in Buffalo. While I was an intern she groomed me to become a strong investigative journalist, even helping me make contacts to get my first reporting position. To this day I thank her for all of her endless support.
Because of this, every time I speak at a college or school, I will hand out my business card and tell the group anyone can contact me at any time for any guidance, you always need to pay it forward.
What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do at (your company)?
Having the ability to make a difference in the place I call home.
If you could give one piece of advice for women who are entering the workforce or launching their own business what would that be?
Never give up. It sounds cliché but it is the truth.
If I had given up after the first 60 rejection letters I got after graduating college I would not be where I am today.
There is always a door, you just have to find it.