Taylor Shold: Tell us a little about yourself, who you are and what you do?
Celina Pompeani: My name is Celina Pompeani and I am a Pittsburgher! I was born & raised here and have lived in Pittsburgh my entire life. I am the morning traffic anchor at KDKA-TV (CBS Pittsburgh), and host of PensTV & In-Arena Host at the Pittsburgh Penguins. I always knew I wanted to get into broadcasting, mostly because of watching my Dad (Bob Pompeani) on KDKA growing up. He has been at KDKA for over 35 years now-he is the Sports Director/Anchor. I couldn’t imagine getting into any other career path.
Taylor: SMG is all about networking, how has it helped your career?
Celina: Networking is HUGE! During my college years at Point Park University, I made sure that I connected and reached out to as many people in the business as I could! I interned at WTOV-9 in Steubenville, Ohio, only for about a week or two during my junior year at Point Park, before they hired me! I was the weekend anchor/general assignment reporter there. It was challenging while balancing a full schedule of classes, but I knew it would be worth it. I also interned at KDKA-TV and made sure to keep in touch with everyone there after my internship ended, including the news director and GM. I made sure to send them an e-mail every once in a while just to say hello, up until they called me in August about the morning traffic position at KDKA. Sending a little note here and there goes a long way!
Taylor: You have a dream job working with the Pittsburgh Penguins, what went into landing a great gig like that?
Celina: Working for the Pittsburgh Penguins has been amazing! I actually auditioned to be the in-arena host during my time in Steubenville, and they didn’t end up hiring me. I was bummed at the time, but it was for the best since I would have had an impossible schedule at the time. My boss at the Penguins ended up calling me six months later, and hired me as the host of PensTV (online) and in-arena host at every home game. It’s hard landing a gig with a pro sports team since there are only so many positions and teams. I would put your networking skills to good use and just start reaching out to your dream teams! I always used to do this with news stations while I was still in college. I would find the news director’s e-mail on the station’s website and e-mail them my resume reel so that they could have my information just in case there was an opening in the future. It never hurts to do this.
Taylor: Standing out in this industry is key. You have a great social media presence and online portfolio website, how has this contributed to your success?
Celina: Thank you! Being active on social media is also huge. My news director at KDKA told me one of the big reasons they looked into hiring me for the traffic position was because of my social media following. I think it’s so important to also have a website that displays your work. It’s such an easy way for employers to find and contact you.
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Taylor: If people want to get improve their on-air style or delivery, what can they do to get better?
Celina: Practice, practice and more practice!! My dad always records his shows, and I actually do too. I go back and watch myself everyday and take notes on what I could do better the next day. Another great tip is so study someone that you look up to in the industry. I try to take notes on their delivery and body language. You never want to copy anyone, it’s very important to develop your own style and be YOU, but at the same time, I think it’s good to incorporate things you like about broadcasters that you look up to.
Taylor: Finally, what is your best piece of practical advice for someone looking to have a career on-air?
Celina: My best piece of advice is to never give up. Work as hard as you can throughout college and take on as many internships as you possibly can. I would practice reading news scripts even during my high school years! My dad loves this quote, “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.” I truly believe that.
You can follow Celina on Twitter @CelinaPompeani
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