College of Architecture + The Arts

Florida International University
College of Architecture + The Arts

Modesto A. Maidique Campus
Paul L. Cejas School of Architecture Building
11200 SW 8th Street Miami, Florida 33199


My First Job as a Producer, Entertainment Host, AND Reporter

Name: Iliana Menendez
Hometown: Miami
Degree/major: Communications, Broadcast Journalism

Where are you working? Title?
I’m currently working two jobs. I’m a producer/entertainment host for a nationally syndicated morning show, the Daily Flash, Mondays – Fridays. My second job is right after, for the City of Coral Gables as an on-camera reporter.

How did you get your job? 
I love talking to and meeting new people, so I coincidentally met a sound editor at a show, who was the one that recommended me to the executive producer of the morning show. I interned with them for about 5 months and then was offered the position of producer. Later on, the executive producer offered me my own segment once per week. For my second job, I actually found out that the Coral Gables was hiring reporters through one of my sorority sisters who reached out to me.

What was your greatest fear going into your first job and how did you face it or overcome it?
My worst fear was definitely knowing I had no experience at all. On-field experience is a requirement in this profession. Without it, you’re not going to get very far.

What surprised you the most about your first job?
How much I loved it – I didn’t think I would enjoy every aspect of the field until I was actually in it. I went in thinking it was going to be stressful and tedious, so I was shocked to find out it wasn’t. I genuinely enjoy waking up every day to do something I love so much. Obviously, there are stressful moments, but nothing I absolutely hate.

What advice do you have for those beginning the job search process?
Don’t give up and always NETWORK! You never know who can help you! Make sure you get those internships done! That’s where you will meet people and possibly get hired later on.

What does a day on the job look like?
So, I wake up at around 5:30am to do my hair, my makeup and eat something quick. By 7:30am, we are prepping the Daily Flash studio for the show. By 10:30am, the show is finished. I usually meet with the executive producer right after to discuss the rundown for the next day.

Then, at around 11:30am, I arrive at the City of Coral Gables police station which is where the CG Television office and studio is located. As a city reporter, my job involves researching and producing my own stories, scheduling interviews, editing my own videos, recording my own voice overs and always being available to cover any event. I’m usually there until 5pm Monday-Friday, unless there’s an event going on during the weekend. Once I’m home, I search up story ideas and trending news for the stories I have to produce for the morning show the next day.

How does your job connect back to your coursework?
It’s what I studied and what I aspired to be.

How has your transition from school to work? How do you balance your time?
My transition wasn’t the best at first. I was unemployed for almost 6 months and was starting to lose hope. Once doors started to open, everything was smooth. I realized that balancing my life was the most important thing after I started working. I made myself a weekly schedule of everything I wanted to accomplish and I basically just stuck to it.

What’s been the coolest thing about your job so far?
I think it’s definitely the overall vibe. Everyone loves what they do; working with people like that is just easy and fun! I also think the whole TV production aspect is amazing! I’ve learned so much about everything that goes into making any show or movie.

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