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Houston Channel 13 anchors talk careers, offer advice

Students gain insight into news environment, getting jobs

Staff Reporter

Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012

Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 01:11

Channel 13’s Katie McCall and Elissa Rivas visited the campus Tuesday evening to speak to students about their careers and to give professional advice to students’ questions.

The reporters/anchors spent two hours in the Mass Communications building in front of a student audience in a two part program in which they recounted their journey into television and then held a question and answer session with the audience.

Students were pleased with the program and felt it was very beneficial, whether they were a mass communications major or not. They also praised the hard work of SHSU’s Priority One for putting together an event they deemed very successful.

“I thought the program was very helpful,” Casey Hall, a senior Mass Communications and Public Relations double major said. “Hearing them [McCall and Rivas] speak really shed some light for students on how the industry works and how we should go about getting into it. I am really grateful to Priority One for giving this opportunity to students and I think they did a great job of hosting this event.”
McCall and Rivas detailed their start into television, and gave several helpful hints to students, including gaining experience while in college, internships, skills needed before starting a television job, what market they should begin in, tips for after getting a television job, and many others.

The women then gave students an opportunity to ask questions. The issues brought up by SHSU students consisted of where to look for a job after graduation, specific terms used in television they were not clear on, how to deal with being a non-Caucasian ethnicity in the television world, and McCall’s and Rivas’ future plans for their career.

One of the biggest points made by Rivas and McCall in both sessions was to encourage students to not give up on their dreams because of how daunting working on television can be. McCall specifically made the point of telling students that they should not give up, no matter the obstacle.

“I want to encourage anyone with a dream whether it’s reporting or something else to not let anyone discourage you from carrying out that dream,” McCall said. “I was told to not go into the business because it was so selective, but I kept the mindset that they have to give the job to someone, so why not me. Chase your dreams, even if you are rejected. Even when failing, don’t give up, and don’t ever let anyone else change your mind.”

Rivas also encouraged students to not give up if something goes wrong on the job. She said that when she had a bad day, she always cured her discouragement by forcing herself to go back to work the next day and starting over.

Rivas took the time to comment specifically on how appreciative she was for the opportunity to speak and made the point of letting students know how much coming to SHSU meant to her.

“The students here asked wonderful questions,” Rivas said. “I can tell they are really focused in class on how to apply what they are learning to the real world. As I’m telling these stories and answering their questions, I look at the people in front of me and am reminded of exactly why I got into the business.”

McCall and Rivas anchor the weekend morning news for channel 13 and cover stories as news reporters.

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