I began my journey at CBS over six years ago. It was my junior year in college, and I’d gotten the gig of a lifetime! I was a summer intern at CBS Newsóa journalism majors dream.†† This small-city girl from Kansas, was getting her big break.† I’d always imagined myself living in New York with a fancy job in television and this was my ticket.†Once inside the door I knew that I never wanted to work anywhere else.†
My summer was amazing, I learned so much, and met so many great people. CBS was home, and my mission was clear: move to New York and land a dream job after graduation by any means necessary. †
A year later I packed my two-door civic and drove to New York City (without a job).† Two weeks after I arrived, I received a call from my CBS mentor Bernie Seabrooks, who said that †”Sunday Morning” (my favorite show) needed a Page and he’d sent my resume to their office.† I was called in for an interview the following day, it went well, and the director of the program asked when I could start. I blurted out “today”. He said “Great, welcome to CBS News”. I could hardly breath. I mean who gets hired on the spot? Talk about being in the right place at the right time. The rest as they say is history.
Three months later I was hired by Patricia Shevlin at Weekend News. That was my home for nearly three years. Working weekends, I missed the parties, barbecues, and all the nightlife the city had to offer (for the most part), but it was so worth it. After the 2008 election, CBS developed a division called “The Digital Unit”, a small group of Associate Producers who traveled the country and world, producing, shooting, editing, and gathering elements for broadcasts. I was the first minority woman and it was truly an amazing time in my life. I covered wildfires, coal mine explosions, plane crashes, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords. I met some of the most amazing people around the country, and had the privilege of representing CBS in the field.
I loved the excitement of the job, but early on I realized that traveling wasn’t my thing. The stress of packing up all of my gear and getting to the airport on time caused minor panic attacks. I knew that something had to give.
Then the day that would forever change my life happened. I was working in Arizona covering a wildfire for the Network, burnt out on both ends, when I received a company-wide email from Leslie Moonves announcing a pilot program, The Emerging Creative Leadership Experience. I quickly read it, thought it seemed like an awesome opportunity, and got back to work. The next day CBS correspondent Bill Whitaker sent the email back to me and said, “You would be perfect for this, go for it!” And so, with support from the LA Bureau and colleagues in New York I began the journey to CBS Entertainment.
Little did I know that the next six months would be the most intense, nerve racking, exciting roller coaster ride I’d ever been on. There were four rounds in the selection process!!! I had good days and bad days. I didn’t know if I’d ever make it. What if other candidates beat me out, was I smart enough, would they like me.??? It was tough. Imagine not knowing for a month whether or not you’d even made it to the next round! The waiting was pure agony. I was a wreck (more like a hot mess) but my corner held me down. I had people emailing, praying, and checking daily to see if I’d gotten the job. Then, it happened –
It was Monday, Halloween to be exact. My phone rang and Susan Kayl in HR was on the other end. After that I totally blacked out. I remember screaming and thanking her over, and over, AND over again. I couldn’t believe it. I had to call my parents and fiance right after I caught my breath!
I was selected to be a Creative Associate in the Emerging Creative Leadership Experience. How did this happen? Who new that 22-year old kid from Kansas would one day be a future executive at the number one network in the world? OMG! Its been over two months and I still pinch myself.
Just like my first job at CBS News, its often times about being in the right place at the right time, and sometimes you don’t ask questions and just say thank you. So, thank you to all of my family, friends, and colleagues who saw the potential in me. Thank you CBS for all of the lessons you’ve taught me. Sean and Michelle (fellow associates), congratulations. I’m so happy we’re in this together and I’m so excited for the next two years of our lives