Lupe Garcia: Future News Reporter

Senior, Lupe Garcia, has beaten all odds and has made her mark in Los Angeles’ competitive Journalism field during her time as a Cal State LA student. With several internships completed in Radio and Television, she’s ready to graduate and take the news industry by storm!

 

What sparked your interest in the Television, Film, and Media Studies program here at Cal State LA?

I think I’ve always liked it.  Growing up – when I was younger, I wanted to be an actress, so that kind of already sparked my interest in television.   When I was growing up, my dad would always watch the newscast; every time he would come home for dinner, he would tell me what he learned by listening to KNX or by watching the evening newscast, and I think that’s what sparked my interest in journalism and wanting to be a journalist.  I want to be able to tell people something that they can get back to their homes and tell others.

Why did you choose Cal State LA?

I chose this school because one: it was local, and that’s what I looked for in any university I applied to.  Something that would keep me close to my family because I’m really family oriented, so I definitely wanted to attend a university that kept me close to home.  But at the time, I wasn’t really thinking about doing television and film because it’s so competitive – I was thinking of doing psychology.  So when I started here, I switched over to television. 

What are some things that you’re involved with on campus?

Currently, I’m a co-host on a show on Golden Eagle Radio.  Prior to that, I used to be a Cal State Los Angeles student orientation leader and ambassador, so I would go around and recruit students in our region to apply here at Cal State LA.

 

Can you tell us about the work you’ve been involved with off-campus in the field as a journalist?

Where do I start?!  I think it started early on when I barely started as a freshman at this school.  I still didn’t know what I wanted to pursue, but I was doing some projects out and about with Orange County News in Santa Ana community college, so I guess that’s where I started.  And then I took a big break from that because I couldn’t find any internships, and no one would open the door for me.  So it literally didn’t happen until the beginning of this year when I started interning for Power 106 as a blogger for Mando Fresko. 

From that internship, I met someone else that allowed me to go on air on his show, and this was Spanish, so it was a nice transition; I got to do a Spanish entertainment newscast every Monday on Radio Centro 93.9.  I then got a call from Univision, I applied about a year ago, and I went through their interview process and landed an internship with them this past summer on their news production team.  I did a lot of projects with them - they’re always so busy!  I would contribute to their 6:00 and 11:00 PM newscast, and at events that Univision would host, I would help with the planning on their production team.  Right now, I’m starting an internship at E! News, so I’m hoping it will be as good as my other ones because I have really positive memories from each and every one of my internships.

What was your favorite thing about working for Univision?

I don’t think it’s actually something that I did, I just think that I grew so fond of the environment and the people, and everyone acted like family.  What I liked about them is that they didn’t treat me as an intern, they treated me as one of their co-workers, and they would include me in everything. They usually get interns from USC, UCLA… you know these big, prestigious universities, so I had a lot of expectations to meet. 

 

How did you land the gig at NBC?

I applied early on during the summer just because I didn’t know what would happen with Univision.  Then I got an e-mail from E! News saying they were interested in having me as an intern.  It took a while with the interview process, but I landed that, and they just gave me the call.

 

What do you ultimately want to do?

I’ve done so much, and I’ve been on air, I’ve done production work and I’ve done everything, so I know I like the environment and I want to work within it.  About what I want to do… I’m still confused.  I would love to be a field reporter and go out and cover stories and engage with the community and the people, but I also love production so much.  So as I do more internships, the more I grow confused of what I exactly want to do. But I think early on, it’s always been a dream of mine to become a reporter and I think that’s what I want to stick to.  Whether I want to do it in Spanish or English is what I’m debating. 

Do you have a network in mind that you hope to work for? 

CNN! I would love to work for them.  At Univision, I love the network, and I love what it stands for, but since I grew up in the U.S., culturally, it makes me feel like I’m not all there.  I feel like since I grew up here, I’m really mixed with both the American culture and Hispanic culture.  I feel like, with CNN, if I have any views about certain issues I’ll be able to express them because CNN is known for covering left wing and right wing issues, and they cover everything. I feel like I would fit in there most because if I would be in any other network, they might take me as biased.  At CNN, I feel like I’d be able to cover anything I want.

How has Cal State LA helped you pursue all your goals so far? 

The thing with Cal State LA is that students have the advantage of having really great professors that are willing to help you and they look forward to helping you with that reel, that resume, those mock interviews, and it’s not just our TVF professors.  I feel like the school has the career center, and people working to go out of their way to help you. 

When I started interviewing early on, I would go get my resumes fixed and they would always help me, and help make my resumes look good as it possibly could so I could stand out.  I think that’s the reason why Cal State LA has helped me get to where I am today.  I feel like I can always go to my professors for career advice.  One of my professors told me to toughen up because I was too nice.  He told me to be tough because this industry is going to eat me alive, and he was right.  And it’s not because everyone’s mean, but it’s just because you want to grow as a person and as a journalist, and people are going to critique your work.  If you’re really sensitive, you’re going to take those critiques negatively, and that’s when they’re going to get to you and discourage you from pursuing this field. With all of the advice he gave me, he really made me tough, and when people critique my work, I use it as a positive message and I know it’s only to improve my craft. 

 

 

Do you have any piece of advice for students or young women who are pursuing Broadcast Journalism at Cal State LA?

I feel like you shouldn’t limit yourself, and don’t get discouraged by what people say.  Growing up when I told people that I wanted to do something within the entertainment industry, they would tell me, ‘oh no, it’s never gonna happen because you’re a Latina, and you’re coming from really humble beginnings, it’s not gonna happen.’  I was told that you have to be tall, light-skinned, with blonde hair.  So I would get that so many times, and even coming to this campus and telling people that I was going to switch over to Television and Film, people would tell me that it’s so competitive.  In the industry, people would tell you that it’s so competitive to be where you want to be, but I think one thing is that you should know what you’re capable of and if you know what you can do, you know what you stand for, you can build your craft, and you should go for it.  I feel like you shouldn’t be intimidated by what anyone says, just go for it.  The worst thing that could happen is you don’t get there, but at least you gave it a shot.