Name: Michelle Marchante
Hometown: Miami, FL
Degree/Major: Broadcast Media, subtrack: Broadcast Journalism
Where are you working? Title? I’m a Real Time/Breaking News Reporter at the Miami Herald.
How did you get your job?
Networking! I had made a connection in the industry while working at PantherNOW, FIU’s student-run newspaper, and they told me about the job opening. I applied, and I’m glad I did!
What was your greatest fear going into your first job and how did you face it or overcome it?
I was nervous and excited. Even though I had experience in finding stories, it’s was a whole different level once you’re working at the Miami Herald. I was worried the first few weeks, but thankfully, my editors and co-workers were there to help me.
What surprised you the most about your first job?
I knew social media was helpful for reporters in the digital age but I didn’t realize how useful it could be when working on a story.
What advice do you have for those beginning the job search process?
First, start getting experience in your field as soon as you can, even at the school level. Find a club, organization or job on campus that can help give you experience. One of the best decisions I made at FIU was joining PantherNOW my freshman year. Not only did it teach me what it’s like to be a journalist, but I also made great friends while I was there.
Secondly, get an internship. Your internship coordinator is a great resource so meet them as soon as possible! My coordinator, Professor Lilliam Martinez-Bustos, helped me secure a summer internship with Inspicio – arts publishing platform.
Next, take your classes seriously. Not only can you make a portfolio with your assignments, but your professors are also potential references. I was lucky to have learned from professors such as Dianne Fernandez, Neil Reisner, Dan Evans, Kate MacMillin, Bustos, and Student Media advisors; Robert Jaross and Alfred Soto.
What does a day on the job look like?
My job is to report breaking/trending stories and write enterprise pieces that will interest or help our readers. So, every day is different. I’d be in the office working on multiple pieces a day, and sometimes, I’d be out in the field finding sources and doing interviews. I love it!
How does your job connect back to your coursework?
Every day at work, I use the skills I learned in class, PantherNOW and The Roar (FIU’s student-run radio station). I graduated having a diverse background in writing, video, and audio. I believe these skills gave me the foundation I needed to begin my career.
How has your transition from school to work been? How do you balance your time?
Super easy! I actually have more free time than I did before! I had two jobs while I was attending FIU and it turned into three my last semester. I was working part-time as a news writer at WSVN Channel 7, was Editor-in-Chief of PantherNOW, and a bookseller at the FIU Barnes & Noble at MMC. I feel like all the work experience made the transition much easier.
What’s been the coolest thing about your job so far?
Can I say everything? Every story is different and I love that. I’m a big Miami Herald fan and it was one of my dream media outlets. Now, I’m lucky to be working there, along with the reporters and editors behind the articles I always read.