WECT Reporter Lauren Rautenkranz

Name: Lauren RautenkranzAge: 23Major: Graduated in 2014 with telecommunications-news major and minors in geography and communications studiesHometown: Lake Worth, FL

Her Campus: Where are you working now, and how did you get that position?Lauren Rautenkranz: “I'm now working at WECT News in Wilmington, North Carolina as a meteorologist and reporter. I got the job by applying through the Raycom Careers website, sitting on the phone for several interviews and was offered a contract! Apply, apply, apply and just never give up until you find what you're looking for.”

HC: What is your favorite part of your job?LR: “Connecting with people all over on a day to day basis and feeling like I make a difference in someone's day is my favorite part of the job — whether it be as simple as making them smile by cracking a joke on air or as serious as getting the word out during severe weather to help save lives.”

HC: And the biggest challenge?LR: “You are constantly criticized being in the public spotlight. Your hair, your outfit, the way you walk and talk. The list never ends. Basically, you have to have a tough skin and remember that you can't please everyone!”

HC: What were you involved in during your time at UF?LR: “I lived in Weimer Hall during my four years at UF, and I wouldn't have changed that for the world. I came to college to help jumpstart my career, make friends and make sure I wanted to go into this industry for the right reasons! I was heavily involved in the local National Broadcasting Society chapter and ran as president during my senior year. I anchored Monday through Friday for my last semester on the first ever WUFT News at 6 newscasts, volunteered in radio, worked at WRUF Weather any chance I could and even reported for GatorVision at one point. There is so much to do at UF, so take advantage of your time there and the opportunities at your fingertips.”

HC: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?LR: “In 10 years, I hope to be settled in a market where I can call home for years to come. I'll be married this August, so I just hope for happiness and success in both mine and my hubby-to-be's careers! As far as where that'll be, who knows, but that's what makes this journey so much fun!”

HC: What is your dream job?LR: “My dream job may sound typical, but I've always wanted to be on the Today show. I grew up watching it, always felt connected to the anchors and love the cross-talk and fun segments talent gets to do. The audience reach is limitless and I feel like you can touch a lot of lives. Watch out, Al Roker! The Weather Channel would be a close second for me. Oh, and a life goal would be to host the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!”

HC: What are your hobbies?LR: “I love the beach, which is why I'm so lucky to call Wilmington the home of my first job out of college! Running, biking and outdoorsy things are always fun, too.”

HC: Who is your role model?LR: “I've always looked up to Katie Couric my entire life. I've read her book, watched her for years on television and admire her work. In recent years, I've been lucky enough to have mentors that I look up to as well. One of those is Kait Parker, who now works at The Weather Channel — amazing person and she knows her stuff!”

HC: What advice would you give to students graduating this year?LR: “Students who are about to graduate need to know that everything happens for a reason! You may be searching high and low for a job or maybe you have no idea what your next step in life will be. Don't worry! Take things at your own pace. Follow your own path and be true to yourself. Stay positive!”

HC: Looking back, what is your favorite memory of being at UF?LR: “Football games and other sporting events were always the greatest. I love to see the entire UF family come together despite all of our different majors and interests. One of my biggest highlights was hosting the UF Homecoming Parade for WUFT. There are too many good times to count. It's so great to be a Florida Gator and even more so once you're an alum! I'm proud to bleed orange and blue.”