Name: Katie Quinn
Job Title and Description: Video Journalist/On-Camera Reporter for NowThis News
College/Major: Miami University of Ohio/ Mass Communications
Twitter Handle: @qkatie
What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day?
Katie Quinn: NowThis News is a startup, so each day is different. However, our team works towards one goal every day: creating a news channel for our generation. We’re building a video news network for [a] generation that browses on their phones and finds or shares news through social media.
I’m a video journalist (VJ) for NowThis News, which means I’m on camera, introducing videos you need to see, conducting interviews with people like Andy Cohen and the founders of Governors Ball or taking viewers behind the scenes at SXSW.
I’m always on the lookout for a great story to cover: I’ll make calls, research and write a script with the help of our producers and writers on staff.
After the story is lined up, we record! We either shoot in our studio or in the field if the story calls for it. That video is then edited, published and sent straight to our users via our mobile app and to our followers on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr etc.
What is the best part of your job?
KQ: It’s exiting to be part of a company that is shaking up the traditional media industry. This is a true startup so we have to be innovative in what stories we cover and how. It’s a constant challenge, but the work never gets dull.
What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it?
KQ: Post-college, I was accepted into the NBC Page Program. I heard about the program and how competitive it was, so after I applied, I asked my professors if they could connect me with any alumni who had done the program. They did and I made as many calls as I could, hoping that one of them would pass my resume along to the right hands. Eventually, I got a phone call for an interview.
You moved to New York from Ohio for your internship. Did you have any difficulties moving to the Big Apple? If so, how did you overcome them?
KQ: I was intimidated by the move from small town [in] Ohio to the Big Apple. Luckily, a friend of a friend was also moving to NYC for a summer internship, so we looked for an apartment together. We used Craigslist and shared the tiniest apartment ever on the Upper East Side. It worked out…but after that summer sublet, I had a better sense of the city (and what I could afford) and ended up moving to a different place.
What is one thing you wish you knew about your industry when you first started out that you know now?
KQ: Being self-contained (i.e. not having to rely on others to make something happen), is key to having projects come to fruition. You are much more likely to get the green light on a project when the only resource involved is you! It’s important to equip yourself with all the skills you think you’ll need for your passions and goals.
Who is one person who changed your professional life for the better?
KQ: There’s an executive producer at NBC News whose name is Tim Peek. He hired me as an Associate Producer for his team within NBC News that did video content for the web. He gave me the opportunity to learn how to tell stories effectively and equipped me with the encouragement to pursue my interests in the field with those newfound skills.
What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?
KQ: “You’ve got to put out your hand in order for others to shake it.” Put yourself out there!
What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?
KQ: In the past—and this is something I still struggle with, actually—I didn’t want to take time off or much vacation time because I was worried I’d miss something. In fact, going away and being in a new place can provide not only inspiration, but perspective that can be a major boon to you once you’re back in the daily grind.
What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?
KQ: Listen to your gut. Keep pushing toward your goals, as far-reaching as they may seem. It’ll feel like you’re inching there as slow as a snail, until one day you blink and you’ve come further than you even realized.