PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Journeying into the world of journalism, I have been able to get my foot in the door through the best experience an aspiring storyteller could get.

From compiling my packages for my final project, to saying my “see you laters” to some of the kindest individuals the industry could produce. The hands-on experience I received at WAVY TV-10 was undeniably more than one could have ever hoped for. The number of transferable skills they have equipped me with to build upon will be a major asset in the workforce.

The last two weeks have left me with notable takeaways. I was able to shadow every department, getting a feel for all the moving pieces that allow the station to stay the best at informing. One of the key realizations that came out of department hopping was the importance of looking out for one another. Many don’t realize the amount of work and preparation that goes into producing a successful newscast, let alone hourly. When you take shortcuts in your daily tasks, not only are you shorting yourself, but possibly even the person who could be working alongside you. Working in an environment where everyone’s opinion is valued and respected, people look out for one another to ensure that even the smallest of mistakes are corrected.

Viewing from the control room while shadowing Bob Bennett in News.

Thinking back on some valuable moments, script construction comes to mind. Apart from being a strong writer, dissecting what is newsworthy is vital. Picking out the fives W’s and an H; who, what, where, when, why and how. As one should always, recognizing your weaknesses is equally as important as broadcasting your strengths. Due to my lack of experience, I have been able to really hone in on the skills that could use improvement and continue to build upon the things I’m proficient in. With a year left before I graduate, I will continue to work towards bettering myself, with the goal of obtaining my first job. Continuing to take opportunities to perfect my craft will be crucial to set my resume apart from the rest. Alongside of that, I will remain consistent in communicating with the WAVY staff and confiding in them for all my questions and concerns. Being in the news station gives me an indescribable sense of security in my decision to pursue my lifelong dream of being on air.

Craig Loper, James Kattato, & Brian Parsons

With that being said, I could not end this letter of gratitude without rightfully applauding three exceedingly insightful individuals. From day one, Craig Loper assisted me in acclimating into the fast-paced world of sports. From story searching to putting lower-thirds in, never was there not a thrill in the time crunch right before going live. Working with Brian Parsons gave me knowledge from a producer standpoint, but also as someone who has been through the fickleness of the industry. The newest addition to the crew was James Kattato. Hearing first hand from a recent graduate what it takes to be successful in this career path was significant. He was able to give me tips on what a stellar resume reel looks like, so on and so forth.

Standup from MEAC Media Day

Their variation of years spent reporting news allowed for me to pick apart the most efficient ways to work. The individual distinctions of their script writing alone allowed for me to see how reporting on news has changed, but also how having your own personality is valued. Though all of them differed in text formation, they were still able to get the buzz worthy story across. I’m forever grateful to work with each and every one of them and excited to follow them on their journey as they aid in guiding me! Lauren Sutton, 10 On Your Side.