Those Two Coveted Words: “You’re Hired!”

I have had the privilege of being at the CMA (College Media Association) conference with some of the upcoming best and brightest in the industry. I have been surrounded by people who possess talent, drive, and will bring so many great things to the media in the near future. Yet, I found myself sitting in a session with standing room only that was about finding a job and was titled “You’re Hired!”. Dianne Cherry of MSNBC lead the session and has plenty of experience dealing with newly hired staff and like everyone else in the industry, remembers the trials of actually finding a job.

The job market is tough, and the first note I have written down is that a degree does absolutely not equal a job. She stressed that internships are of the utmost importance, but it is not just about having those internships. In order to get where you want to go in the media, and other industries as well, you have to be a standout intern. I have heard many reassuring success stories this weekend, but all of them had the element of hard work involved.

Hard work is valuable, but hard work paired with efficiency is proved to be a winning combination. Dianne Cherry recommended before anything else to set goals for the internship and encouraged to constantly ask for feedback. Also, many interns undervalue themselves and their voices. Often stations and shows will look to their interns to be the voice of what the younger generation wants to see on the air, so constantly generating ideas is a must. Enthusiasm is another essential not only as an intern, but in the industry as well.

Those who say that it is all about who you know are not lying in the slightest. Networking opens more doors for job opportunities than it could be thought at first. Being a memorable intern and also nurturing relationships that were formed at the place of employment will prove crucial when it comes to applying and needing a reference.

The first step before all of that is showing interest and getting involved, which is precisely the initiative that students in attendance at the CMA’s 2013 conference held in New York City have shown. Getting a job is tough, and getting your dream job is even harder, but if there is one thing these sessions have shown me it is that those who have worked to obtain those jobs and achieve those goals have both the elements of success and happiness in their careers.