University of Oregon alumnus Beth Maiman Skyped in with our chapter last week to discuss how she founded the AWSM chapter, her experiences working as a sports reporter and her journey in becoming an Emmy Award winner. Here are our five takeaways from her visit last week:
1. Be confident! You may think you’re not ready for a position, but others can see that you are.
2. Branch out as a reporter and get comfortable covering multiple sports. Beth explained how she did not know much about hockey when she first began covering it. She said she reached out to other reporters for help and built relationships with the players.
“Grabbing onto as many experiences as you can and meeting as many people as you can is key.”
3. You’re not married to anything. Beth explained how tough it can be to get your first job or internship, but it’s important to understand that, no matter what you do, be the best at it. Your first job won’t be the rest of your life.
“No matter what job you can get, you can gain some skill from it. Work your butt off to be an expert in anything.”
4. Don’t rush into anything. One of Beth’s rules was to make sure you give yourself enough time to search for a job, and when you get one, ask yourself, “is this really where I want to be?”
5. Lastly, Beth encouraged us all to take chances and pursue anything and everything you want.
“The time is now!”
On Wednesday, November 7, UO AWSM hosted AJ McCord, a sports reporter and anchor at KOIN 6 in Portland. Growing up in San Diego, McCord was raised in a house full of women who explained the game of football to the men. Women talking sports was a norm for McCord and it was one of the main reasons why she wanted to pursue it as a career. We had the opportunity to sit down with McCord to discuss her life leading up to KOIN 6. Here are five takeaways:
- Preparation is key! Arrive to your reporting assignment with your homework already done. AJ stressed the importance of being prepared, especially when you cover multiple teams in one night.
- The first 20 seconds of your highlight reel are the most important: “Put your best, most engaging stuff first because news directors are likely looking at hundreds of them.”
- Be open to change: “You’ll feel the fear of failure often in this job. It’s easy to get discouraged, but be open to your dream changing. Realizing what you want to do now can change. Sometimes you might feel like you’ll never get what you want to go, but maybe you don’t want to get there.”
- Find a stress reliever. AJ has fallen in love with the outdoors and has been able to appreciate the PNW on her days off. This allows her to step away from the constant work and pressure this industry brings.
- Do not apply to a job through their website. AJ explained how imperative it is to find a direct email to apply through because you want to make it as easy as possible for them to higher you.
University of Oregon alumna Sue Favor Skyped in with our chapter last week to discuss her passion for women’s hoops, the website she created and the steps she took to differentiate herself in the sports industry.
Five takeaways from Sue:
1 – Get to know the community you are covering. As a journalist, records and top scorers are important, but understanding and implementing the human angle makes your story relatable to the residents reading your work.
2 – Be prepared when conducting interviews. If you only use one or two sources, you will only capture a small portion of the story you’re covering.
3 – When you cover a game, make it a priority to create relationships with the sports information director.
4 – Don’t get mad – “Keep your cool and don’t say anything even though you know you’re right.”
5 – On the topic of overcoming (in the moment) sexism and just rough-around-the-edges individuals: “It always pays to stay professional. Kill them with a smile and be assertive.”