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Last Thursday, UCM was proud to welcome back a 2006 graduate of Broadcast News and Film after he was awarded an Emmy for his work as the executive producer for WAVE 3 News Sunrise based in Louisville, Ken. UCM alumnus, David McDonald, spoke for students and teachers alike in Elliot Union about his journey from graduation to winning the Emmy. The speech was organized as an informal question and answer session, providing a rare opportunity for students in attendance to ask questions that could help them in pursuing careers in broadcasting or journalism. McDonald began the session by relaying his own story of success, beginning with his time as an associate producer for KCTV 5 in Kansas City, Mo. He detailed his experience as a producer for WSMV in Nashville, and ended with his work in Kentucky, where he produced for both WTVQ in Lexington and WAVE 3 in Louisville. He also brought his Emmy award to show to interested students. “I named her Judy,”he said. Students in attendance asked a variety of questions, ranging from topics like networking and politics within the industry, to the best ways to build a resume and how to gain experience that will be taken seriously by potential employers. “ It’s all about who you know,” McDonald said. “So make as many contacts as you want… (to) connect with people from out of town — know someone who knows someone who knows someone.” According to McDonald, soft-skills like interpersonal communication are essential for work in broadcasting, due to the collaborative nature of the business. “You must have a great relationship with everyone,” he said. “Be easy to work with and know that everyone’s working for the same thing.” Throughout the session, McDonald also emphasized the importance of understanding theory classes. “Don’t just float through class,” he said. “Go to the teachers for outside help.” McDonald also advised students to get as much experience under their belts as possible, involving themselves in activities such as an organization related to their major, editing or radio. “There are no excuses for not having enough time,” he said. “I was taking 21 credit hours, working a full-time job and doing an internship at the same time.” In addition to the necessary time-fillers like work, school and internships, McDonald said that it’s best to fill time with journalistic activities until one can essentially do anything asked of him or her. “You want to sell yourself,” he said. “You must have something to show if you want to get a job. It doesn’t even have to be from a class — just do stuff.” When asked for time-management advice, McDonald said to look into paid internships. “Know everything possible,” he said. “Run the camera, write, edit, produce. You must have experience and be willing to go out of your way to get it. Show you want the job.”

Photo by Taz Hall - David McDonald, UCM alum and network producer, offers students insight during a visit to campus.

Photo by Taz Hall – David McDonald, UCM alum and network producer, offers students insight during a visit to campus.

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