Have you ever met a woman who’s a student trustee, senior class president and a reporter for NBC News? Well, now you have––introducing Ciara Lucas! This girl works non-stop to make her dreams come true, which is clearly reflected by her academic record and work as an accomplished broadcast journalist. She’s the daily motivation we need so that we can make a mark on our community just by doing what we love. This collegiette really does it all, and we can’t wait to see her working at 30 Rockefeller Center one day.
Name: Ciara Lucas
College: Ithaca College
Major: Journalism, Minors: French, Sociology
Graduation Year: 2017
Her Campus: What do you consider your greatest achievement to date?
Ciara Lucas: There have been many moments where I’ve just completely surprised myself and gone above and beyond what I even thought I’d be capable of achieving. One of those moments was at the end of my freshman year at Ithaca College when I was elected on to Ithaca College’s Board of Trustees as the Student Trustee. IC’s governing board only has one student representative every two years, and only once in the school’s history has a freshman been selected for the position. When I got that call the week before going on summer vacation, I was in absolute shock; it was the proudest moment for me to have been selected for this leadership position. My experience on my college’s Board of Trustees largely shaped my college experience and gave me both a business and collegiate perspective of higher education. Earning the position of Student Trustee was the stepping stone to me realizing that I don’t have any limitations on what I can and can’t do.
HC: What was the hardest part of pursuing news reporting?
CL: For me, the absolute hardest part about pursuing news reporting is learning to cope with constant tragedy while remaining level-headed and calm enough to get through the job. There have been moments during my internship experiences where I’ve covered tragedies ranging from mass shootings, terrorist attacks or sudden deaths and I have to report before being able to cope with it emotionally. You can’t help but feel the weight of every sad story that receives coverage. But as I continue to pursue news I’ve developed the strength it takes to temporarily put emotions aside and do the job, which requires me to be objective, fair, accurate and balanced.
HC: Why has your involvement with news reporting at Ithaca College been so instrumental in your life?
CL: I cannot imagine receiving the amount of experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom, if I weren’t studying journalism at Ithaca College. At IC I’m not just studying journalism, I’m also practicing it, which makes me feel undoubtedly prepared for when I graduate and enter the industry. Ithaca College’s student media organizations are what jumpstarted my ventures into news reporting. Whether it’s been TV, radio or print, I’ve had experience with multiple media platforms in order to become as versatile as possible. For the evening news broadcast Newswatch, I started getting involved my first semester in college as an assistant producer, and eventually worked my way up in positions as a reporter, anchor, and most recently the news director. Outside of the classroom, Ithaca College has provided me with many immersive experiences including being a part of two different NBC News teams to cover the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery marches, and this upcoming presidential election. I’ve been able to translate what I’ve learned at school to my work with one of the largest broadcast networks in the country.
HC: Who in your life most inspires you?
CL: As cliché as I know it will sound, I am without a doubt most inspired by my mom. I have developed into the young woman I am today because of her strength, resilience and the small but mighty person that she is. My mom, Michele, is incredibly talented in so many ways and I think that has contributed to me feeling confident to try new things and be as fearless as possible. She’s gone from working in the corporate world, to being an author, a consultant and now she currently works in higher education. No matter what my mom is doing she is putting forth her passions and working towards positively affecting others, which is something I strive to do too.
HC: What advice do you have for other ambitious collegiettes with a goal/dream?
CL: First things first, play to your strengths. When you find something you’re good at and genuinely enjoy doing, roll with it! I didn’t always know I wanted to be a broadcast journalist, but I knew that I had a passion for writing and telling stories. I finally found a career path that played to my strengths and passions, and it makes me look forward to the future. Secondly, speak things into existence. My mom taught me this when I was a little girl and I abide by it every single day of my life. When I want to accomplish something I say it will happen, not “I hope,” or “I’ll try.” If you work hard, apply yourself and stay focused, your goals and objectives will result from your actions. Even if you end up failing, which of course is bound to happen at some point, know that you put your best effort forward and that there will be plenty of future successes if you put the work in.
HC: What are your top goals and priorities post-graduation?
CL: I’m honestly just ready to jump feet first into this profession and see where it takes me. I’m working towards having at least a few prospective job offers, or perhaps be already settled on a decision by the time graduation happens in May. When it comes to the job search I’m being pretty open-minded about any opportunities that come my way. I could be on the other side of the country this time next year, who knows, but I’m excited to find out.
HC: What is your favorite inspirational quote?
CL: I have quite a few favorite inspirational quotes and mantras that I read almost daily. One of my favorites comes from one of my role models, Maya Angelou. She said, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
HC: How would you describe yourself in five words?
CL: Ambitious, Curious, Energetic, Compassionate, Kind