Here's What Advice I Learned from a Videographer at 'The Washington Post'

It was post-March For Our Lives madness. I was walking around the streets of D.C. when a building struck me by surprise. In front of me was a sight to behold. I stumbled upon The Washington Post office. Of course, I darted my way in not thinking of the realities or consequences. I found myself standing at the security desk with a clearly designated limited access area I could not get into. No tours, no brochures, just a physical embodiment of journalistic dreams.

 Courtesy: CNN

I turned around and made my way out. Once outside, I saw a young man light up a cigarette in front of this building and realized here is my chance. I blindly walked up to this man and proceeded to ask if he worked for The Washington Post. To my delight, he said yes. I asked him if I could ask him a few questions about his career, how he got where he is, and why he believes he got there.

I soon learned that his name is Malcolm Cook, and he was currently a videographer at The Washington Post. Not only that but before The Post, Cook worked for National Geographic too. At this point, I am envious of the career success he has at only 25. He tells me he is a D.C. native, and I learned he had a start with film from the beginning.

Cook was self-taught. He did not attend a school for film and says he owes it all to online. He credits online saying it is the best way to get started. And the best way to get yourself out there by constantly checking into opportunities in the career.

He started making videos at the age of twenty with his friends, thinking nothing of it at first but soon turning it into a hobby. This hobby became a career path for him before he knew it. He now owns his own film company while simultaneously writing for The Washington Post.

His first tip for success: never stop working. Not the drown yourself in your work and ruin your relationship grind, but the always putting content out there grind. He was always filming whether it was for him, a job or a project. Cook was always creating content and so should you.

He emphasized the work you have to put in and out of the field. He shared, “There’s no such thing as luck, you make your own luck.” He even provided a clear-cut example saying to always prep for an interview. A person who preps 45 minutes for an interview will get it over someone who preps for five minutes.”  Work, time and effort are all keys to success.

Lastly, Cook told me what it’s like to work in Washington. He describes every person as being on a mission, putting in the time and effort and knowing what they want in their life. Yes, intimidating, but Cook left me with one last bit of hope, promising, “If there’s something you don’t know, there’s always going to be someone who is willing to teach you.” So yes DC, you are intimidating, and tackling a big company at such a young age is a challenge, but we’re ready to take it on. Are you?