Since graduating this past May with a degree in Media Arts Production, Kathleen Fitzgerald has been working as a Production Assistant at the Needham Channel. In her position, she has worked on a little bit of everything in regards to the production process from writing scripts and programming to even producing her own segments. The above clip is an example of just one of the many segments that Kathleen has worked on. “Taking over for the news producers was a crazy experience,” says Kathleen, who upon just 2 weeks after being hired was asked to take over for the Needham Channel’s only News Producer. She explained that the job included tasks such as performing interviews, pitching ideas, and editing segments. Kathleen knew right from the time she left Emerson that she wanted to look for work as a PA. With her experience from the Emerson Channel, volunteering in her home town, and working in the control room for EIV News at 6, Kathleen was set up to excel. That combined with her experience in the fast-paced, demanding work environment at Conan allowed Kathleen to form an open communicative relationship with her current supervisor as well as honed her abilities to meet tight deadlines and manage her time effectively while working for the Needham Channel. All of which set the foundations for her future career success.
Kathleen has had both challenges and successes in her post-grad experience. Working with a small company, she found there to be positive and negative aspects of working in such an intimate work environment. Kathleen explains that being on such a small team can be intimidating, and may make you feel as if you’re expected to know everything right off the bat, but that’s not the case. As long as you become comfortable asking questions, and allow yourself to learn and grow from those around you, working in such a close-knit team can actually be an incredibly rewarding experience. In fact, she suggests looking into smaller companies right after graduation. “They allow you to try out a little bit of everything, making you more qualified to take on larger roles in the future,” says Kathleen (she even cited Oprah and Robin Roberts as a few great role models for starting small and working your way up). So what advice does Kathleen have for any graduating seniors? Go in with an open mind, you have all the time in the world to apply for those bigger name companies, and try applying for positions you may not have originally thought of; the worst they can do is say no!