Finding your first on-air gig can sometimes feel like a monumental task. Mia Atkins is new to the TV world but landed an on-air gig right after finishing school. I wanted to learn her secret and share it with our readers here at SMG. If you’re a student or new grad looking to land a job, here’s Mia’s story, hopefully it will be of some help to you on your journey.
Taylor Shold: Tell us a little about yourself, who are you and what do you do?
Mia Atkins: I host an hour long morning lifestyle show in Colorado Springs everyday. Basically, I get to wake up in the morning and pet puppies, eat food, listen to live bands, and meet amazing people. I’m living the dream. I majored in broadcast journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at ASU, but I was never in it to report on hard news. I believe there are so many amazing people, amazing places, and amazing companies in the world that don’t get their story told. That’s why I decided to go into Lifestyle reporting. To tell those stories!
Taylor: SMG is all about networking, how has it helped your career?
Mia: Networking is definitely important for a career in broadcasting. If you don’t have someone who really likes you and believes in your potential, your chances aren’t too good. As I was nearing my college graduation, I started looking for jobs in Colorado Springs. I didn’t know anyone or have any connections, so I was worried about my chances. I sent emails to news directors, producers, and anyone I thought could possibly give me a chance at all of the stations in town. I got a couple responses, but the one that really made a difference was a producer at my current station. He wasn’t in charge of hiring, but just wanted to see if I’d like some feedback. I immediately responded, and built that connection with him. He told me he thought I had great potential, and I received a job offer from the news director later on.
Taylor: You landed an on-air job right out of school! What is your secret?
Mia: Do not give up. It can be discouraging to not hear back right away after a job interview. It took over a month for me to hear back about mine, but I didn’t lose hope. I continued to reach out and ask where he was in the process and if I was still being considered.
Taylor: When people are applying to on-air jobs, what can they do to stand out?
Mia: Have a lot of experience, and not just in broadcasting. It is important to be well rounded as a broadcaster, but also as a person. Throughout college I made sure to take advantage of every opportunity. I worked for a lifestyle show, I worked as a reporter, I studied abroad in Spain, and I participated in a lot of other activities outside of broadcasting. Take advantage of every opportunity to grow as a person, because it will help you grow as a broadcaster as well.
Taylor: Social media plays a huge role in the industry today, what should people do online to really boost their exposure?
Mia: Social media is SO important in this industry. Honestly, I think the best way to increase your exposure ties back to networking. If you can become involved with other people in the industry on social media, it will make a big difference. Their followers will see you, then those peoples followers will see you, and so on. Also, just post about what you’re doing. If you’re covering a big story, post about it. If you go somewhere cool, post about it. Keep an active social media presence and people will see it.
Taylor: Finally, what is your best advice for people who are looking for a career on-camera?
Mia: Just be yourself! A lot of people resort to changing their persona to try and fit the mold of a job. Don’t be someone you are not. The right job will come around if you are patient and true to yourself.
You can find Mia on Twitter @MiaAtkinsTV
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