Series: How I Got Here: Part 2
I was a precocious nine-year-old when I straight-faced insisted to my grandma that I was going to be a Broadway star one day. I should note that I can’t dance and my singing skills are much more karaoke than they are American Idol-worthy.
When I was in seventh grade, I told grandma, in my most hubristic fashion, that I was going to be Katie Couric when I grew up. No, I didn’t necessarily mean a news anchor, I really meant I was going to be Katie Couric.
In college, I determined without much research or thought that I should choose journalism as my major. I told my patriotic grandma that I wanted to be a war correspondent and report from the trenches during the critical days of Operation Iraqi Freedom. I was destined to be the youngest female war correspondent the world has ever seen.
Near the end of my senior year, I took an internship at a local weekly newspaper and quickly learned two things about the industry: journalists work really, really hard and “cub reporters,” as the newbies in the industry are called, are paid really, really low. It wasn’t as glamorous as Katie made it look.
Journalists have slogans and lingo for everything— Journo-jargon, as I call it. Journalists are habitually snarky, and one day I discovered on a journo-turned-blogger-because-print-is-dead-blog, a slogan that flashed the bulb and finally gave me some concrete direction as to what I wanted to be when I grew up.
It read, “Marketing: Where Journalists Go to Make Money.”
So, my journey to the trenches was cut off by shiny ball syndrome. Once I saw “marketing,” I dug in full speed ahead.
It’s funny, ask a newsroom of journalists if they have a journalism degree, and most of them will say, “No.” Ask a bunch of marketers if they have a marketing/business degree, and they’ll say, “Yes.” I have it a little backwards.
I’m lucky to be in an industry where on-the-job training never ends. Every day is different and there’s always something to learn. Just like I had to learn I couldn’t actually be Katie Couric, I learn a little more each day how to be less a journalist, and more a copywriter.
This industry suits me. It’s always evolving, right along with my career path.