Degree from Michigan: Political Science and Government, Political Economy
Current location: Las Vegas, NV
Year graduated: 2014
Student orgs involved in at Michigan: Beta Theta Pi, LSA Student Government, WOLV-TV, Public Service Internship Program (PSIP), Michigan in Washington Program, College Republicans, Michigan Federation of College Republicans, Michigan Review, St. Mary’s Student Parish
Other jobs held or graduate programs attended since graduation: Master of Science in Journalism from Columbia University
AC: I am a multimedia reporter based in Las Vegas. I create content and report on all types of different stories happening in my region, from crime to politics to entertainment. The multimedia part is the greatest part of the job to me because people can find my stories on the radio, online, and on our Fox affiliate stations all over the country. I have to pitch three stories a day, and depending on which one my editors and producers like, I have to complete it by a certain deadline. This includes conducting interviews with sources, writing articles and scripts, shooting my own video, and editing it together. I am a one-man band through and through.
KC: What led you to your job at Fox News? When did you decide that you wanted to pursue this career?
AC: I was hired at Fox right out of college in the fall of 2014. Fox was the only network to call me back and offer me an interview, and it has been so beneficial since. I still remember getting offered my first job as a Production Assistant in New York. It was exhilarating. Having always wanted to be a reporter in my career, going back to when I was a teenager, this was my proverbial foot in the door. I have always been passionate about history and current affairs, and I can think of no other job to satisfy those areas of interest than being a news reporter.
KC: How do you feel your education and extracurricular activities at the University of Michigan have influenced your career path?
AC: I was very involved at U-M in extracurriculars. I was a member of a fraternity, served as a representative on student government, and was a producer/reporter for WOLV-TV. All these experiences made me better at dealing with other people. It was great for my communication skills. U-M doesn't have a journalism program, so I decided to major in Political Science/Economics and Spanish. A journalist has to know a little bit about a lot of things, and getting a great liberal arts education was the answer for pursuing my career in journalism.
KC: What is your favorite aspect of your job, and what aspect do you find the most challenging?
AC: My favorite part of my job right now is having the chance to be able to tell stories—some are sad and serious, but others can be fun and entertaining. I like the variety of it; no two days are similar, and I get to travel to where the story is. There are a lot of upsides. For me, it has been challenging to learn the technical aspects of the job. Since we shoot our own video on our own cameras and have our own editing software, there has definitely been a learning curve.
KC: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
AC: In five years, I hope to see myself on air somewhere in some capacity delivering the news and telling stories for a wider audience.
KC: What advice would you give to current Michigan students hoping to follow in a similar career path (especially considering that Michigan doesn't have a journalism program)?
AC: I would tell them that there are a lot of different routes you can take to become a reporter. There is no set, fixed path like there is for other professions. You have to be willing to move around a lot to where there are opportunities. You really have to put yourself out there with getting stories, tracking down sources, and yelling out questions at press conferences. It is far from glamorous, but totally worth it. I would also tell them to be curious; try to learn as much as you can about as many different subjects. It'll make you a more well-rounded reporter.
KC: What advice would you give to current Michigan students about entering the workforce in general?
AC: I'd tell them that they need to have clear directives and a concise focus on what they want. I know for some graduates it takes longer to find out what they are passionate about, but the earlier you find out, the less stress you'll incur. Start in that second semester of your senior year and start sending resumes out. Also, it's easier to reach out to contacts and references and get their advice on what they have to say. I think it's important to secure that first job, no matter what. Not many people love their first job out of college and that's okay, but it's a great starting point to work your way up to the career you'll love in the future.