Panel allows students to connect with RTVF alumni

With so much going on in a college student’s life, it may seem difficult to think about what type of career they would want once they get their degree, and for those seeking employment in radio, television and film, this is just as challenging.

The RTVF department held a panel discussion on Nov. 14 in L-111 Forum, moderated by RTVF professor Lauren Wagner, to help students seeking a degree in that field hear just what it would be like once they start to pursue a career.

“Life After RTVF” featured the voices of eight different reporters, editors, stage managers and production coordinators, who all worked their way up to having a career in radio, television, or film, even if that’s not what they knew they wanted to do originally.

The panel discussed hardship, persistence and putting yourself out there. Cosumnes River College sports information officer Rick Steward looked out to the crowd of over 20 students and emphasized the importance of the schooling before the career.

“Pay attention, be a part of a team and take the right classes,” Steward said.

The panel told stories about the jobs before the big career, a topic of the night introduced by Tasha Gibert, a production assistant for Fox40 News, which prompted a lively discussion.

“You have to take the crap jobs first,” Gibert said, causing the rest of the panel to nod their heads in agreement, as if they were all recalling their own stories of beginnings.

Gibert recalled the moments of being “three feet deep in mud” as she tried to get the right angles with plastic bags covering her and her camera in the pouring rain.

Michelle Nadra, a promotions tech for Entercom Radio, described going to the office of the broadcast job she wanted every week for four months before she finally got it.

Steward spoke honestly about leaving a job after 30 years to pursue something new in reporting and feeling as though he were starting all over again.

A major discussion during the two-hour-long event was about not having to know it all and being okay with learning new things.

“Don’t try to do it all yourself,” said Paul Ganley, shooter and editor for Entercom Radio. “It’s better to have good people and rely on them and trust them to do their job.”

The second hour of the event was a very active Q&A session between the audience and the panel where the speakers were eager and happy to answer the student’s questions.

“Even if it’s not something you want to do, try it anyway,” Gibert said in response to a student being conflicted about their end goal in their field.