Taylor Shold: Tell us a little about yourself, who are you and what do you do?
Meghan Caffrey: I’m currently a sports reporter with a cable company based out of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania called Service Electric. Growing up, I was a dancer and a complete “ham” as my family loves to say. And I loved talking to people, a lot. When all of the other little kids were playing normal games, I would pretend I had my own talk show, and force my little brother to be whatever special guest of the day I chose for him to be. (He was a trooper to put up with all of that, to say the least.)
My love of sports grew from the sidelines. I would sit next to my dad watching my siblings’ games and fire questions away at him the entire game. I remember watching Giants games with him on Sundays and seeing the sideline reporters on TV, and I automatically knew that that was what I wanted to do.
Taylor: How has networking helped your career?
Meghan: Networking has been extremely important for my career. It took me a year and a half after I graduated college to land my first on air-gig, and throughout that time I was constantly networking. With professional platforms like LinkedIn, it is so easy in today’s world to reach out to people and try to connect. The worst thing that can happen is someone doesn’t respond to your email. I would dedicate at least 3 hours a day to sending out networking emails. I can tell you honestly that it was rare people would respond, but when they did I hopped right onto that opportunity. I think the best way to network with someone is try to meet with them face-to-face. Of course, this always isn’t an option if you live across the country, but I would tell people I was in town (when I really wasn’t) and would drive 4+ hours to grab lunch and chat.
Taylor: How did you land your first on-air position?
Meghan: As I mentioned, I was a networking queen throughout my job search. In a lot of conversations with media professionals, when I asked them about how they got their first job the answer I got was always something similar. “I don’t want this to sound like it’s a cop-out, but I was just in the right place at the right time.” Ironically, my answer to this question is..well, I don’t want this to sound like a cop-out, but I was in the right place at the right time. I sent an email to check in with a reporter I had met with and had a great conversation with about her journey and experience in the industry. It happened to be perfect timing, because one of their reporters had just left and they were looking to fill her position. She gave me the email of someone at the company, and after a few interviews and plenty of nerves on my part, I was officially able to call myself a sports reporter.
RELATED: SMG Hangout – Megan Robinson (VIDEO)
Taylor: In your opinion, what makes a great on-air person?
Meghan: My favorite reporters absolutely radiate on TV. And I think that is the most important thing for on-air reporters-to make sure your personality comes across on TV. And what’s the best way to make sure who you are off-camera is who you are on-camera? Reps. Reps, reps, reps. Everyone has always told me the more reps you get, the better you will get, and now with my job I can 100% vouch for that. I am in front of the camera every day, and I am more confident and comfortable in front of the camera now than when I started. And I think a direct product of that is my personality is starting to come across more and more.
Taylor: This business is all about getting noticed, what makes a great demo reel?
Meghan: As someone who is still fresh in this business, I can honestly say this is something I still am working on. I have blonde hair and blue eyes..pretty basic, right?. So how can I separate myself from the other blue eyed blondes that hiring managers are sifting through. I believe this all goes back to making sure your personality comes across on camera. If you are true and genuine to yourself, people take note of that.
Taylor: Finally, what’s the best advice you can give someone looking to make a career in front of the camera?
Meghan: Don’t give up. This business is extremely hard, and you’re not going to land your dream job right away. But trust the wait, and trust the process. It’s a constant grind that you will dedicate countless hours to, with little pay, but I truly believe it makes you appreciate the success all the more.
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