How She Got There: Katie Linendoll, TV Personality & Consumer Tech Expert

Name: Katie Linendoll 
Job Title and Description: TV Personality and Consumer Tech Expert
College Name/Major: Rochester Institute of Technology, Information Technology New Media
Website: katielinendoll.com
Twitter Handle: @katielinendoll
Instagram Handle: @katielinendoll
Facebook: facebook.com/Katie.Linendoll 

What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day? 

KL: I work as a TV personality, journalist, consumer technology expert (for national TV networks like TODAY Show and Weather Channel), and as a global technology consultant and speaker. I also created my own video and digital production company so that I would have the freedom to cover the stories that I feel most passionately about. With my team, I shoot, produce and edit my own tech news stories in some of the most exotic and extreme locations in the world. I am on the road about 250+ days per year chasing down the most innovative and exciting technology breakthroughs, so there is never a typical day. I’m always up for an adventure and don’t believe in a nine to five schedule. The stories that I cover tend to naturally lead to the next story, so I always stay flexible and open-minded. 

What is the best part of your job? 

KL: The variety! I like to use the self-coined phrase, “Around the World in Katie Days” to describe my adventurous lifestyle. I’m always on the hunt for the next big tech or exciting science story. A recent example of back-to-back trips within the past couple of weeks included: traveling to Alaska to learn about photographing the Northern Lights with Canon for a TV segment that we were filming on The Weather Channel; traveling to Cape Canaveral in Florida to see a rocket launch with 5,800 lbs of research and science equipment; and finally, returning to my alma mater, the Rochester Institute of Technology, to participate this time not as a student, but as a member of the President’s Roundtable (which is totally weird because I pulled up to campus and still felt like I was heading to class)! 

What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it? 

KL: My first entry-level job in media was as a production assistant at ESPN. At RIT I had heard about the Campus TV program, SportsZone, a TV program created regionally for ESPN2.  I auditioned and got the job as an on-air reporter. This experience helped me learn how to not only work on camera but also behind the scenes filming and editing TV shows. This experience ultimately led to an interview at ESPN’s main headquarters in Bristol, CT. The interview was quite unique! Rather than asking about the usual resume bullets, like my grades or work experience, it was a full-on sports test! They asked me about Martina Navratilova and NASCAR Drivers and lots of other sports trivia. Luckily, I knew my stuff and got the job at ESPN, where I learned all about what happens behind the scenes in media.

What words of wisdom do you find most valuable? 

KL: My first boss, Mark Fragale, at RIT SportsZone always said, “Don’t tell me. Show me!”  He taught me the important lesson that people tend to be very visual and sometimes ideas that may look or sound good in our heads are an entirely different thing when expressed on a screen or through dialogue. 

What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it? 

KL: I’ve learned to be very clear in my verbiage. When I am expecting something from a colleague or even during a business meeting, I stay on point and communicate exactly what I am thinking. For example, I try to be very clear saying things like, “This is how I would like this done and by this time,” or “Can we clarify the goals of this meeting?”  I found that being very clear out of the gate saves a lot of time and frustration on the backend. 

What has been the most surreal moment of your career thus far? 

KL: Covering NASA NEEMO (NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations) at Aquarius (an underwater reef base) in Islamorada, Florida Keys was pretty epic. I got to see how select astronauts from NASA, ESA and CSA train underwater simulating microgravity for six to 18 days. I filmed the entire story from start to finish underwater. The experience of heading out to dive with the Navy teams and then the interviewing the incredibly accomplished NASA individuals felt incredibly rewarding.

What do you look for when considering hiring someone?

KL: The roles on my team are not set in stone. Everyone must be willing to take on the range of tasks, just as I am. I help carry gear, work crazy long hours and am always game to travel at the very last minute.

What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations? 

KL: Life is not always going to be getting from point A to B. I always knew that I wanted to work on air; however, I also knew that experience being behind the scenes would be key. Some of the early jobs that I had were not ideal, but they helped me hone the skills that would be critical in becoming a professional journalist.

What's the one thing that's stood out to you the most in a resume?

KL: I like it when I come across a resume that shows how the person is well-rounded with a lot of interesting extracurricular activities and interests.

Amanda is a senior at Carthage College double majoring in Communications and Public Relations. She is originally from Chicago, Illinois, which she can confirm is indeed a windy city. When she's not at cross country or track & field practice, she can be found obsessing over pizza, watching dachshund videos on Facebook, or enjoying the Lake Michigan view on campus. She is also the Editor in Chief for her college's Her Campus chapter, and a Her Campus Editorial Intern.

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