Name: Vanessa Morales
Degree/Major: Major: Broadcast Media- TV Production Minor: English
Where are you working? Chyron Operator at WSVN 7 News
How has FIU helped you get to where you are today in your career?
Being an involved student, FIU provided me with a plethora of opportunities to express myself creatively beyond the classroom and always encouraged me to work hard towards my ultimate goal. Whether it was through the classroom, my sorority, my on-campus job, or other extra-curricular involvements, FIU’s unique mission to serving students truly set me on the right path that brought me to where I am today.
What path did you take to attain your current career?
I was always a very involved student. Aside from being a full-time student, I worked part-time on campus for FIU Online as a Course Developer until I was promoted to Multimedia Assistant two years later. Shortly after, I received a Production Assistant internship at the CW South Florida. Aside from working, I was apart of Greek life where I made plenty of connections with students throughout campus. On the side, I continued building my resume as a content creator for The Odyssey Online and a staff writer for FIU’s HerCampus publication. I also had the opportunity to partake in a journalism study abroad program in Seville, Spain where I was tasked with creating a website showcasing everything the city has to offer. Beyond my studies and involvements, I always made sure I was up to par with my creative skills by teaching myself the Adobe Creative Suite editing programs.
What’s been the coolest thing about your job so far?
One of the coolest things about my job is being able to take part in a live newscast and physically being able to see my work on television. It’s a rewarding feeling knowing I am responsible for providing one of the most important elements to a live newscast.
What does a typical day for you look like?
A typical day at work for me is fast-paced, deadline-driven, and unpredictable. It is why I love working in television and what enticed me about the industry in the first place. Most days, I work inside the control room alongside the technical directors and producers in order to air all live graphic elements through our Vizrt Chyron system. This also includes typing up last-minute banners and full screens whenever there is breaking news. Other days, I work with the art department and graphic designers to ensure all proper graphics are made and properly ingested into our news system for air. I also create special graphics requested by producers to be aired as well. Some days I do all three!
How does your job connect back to your coursework?
My coursework allowed me to familiarize myself with the different roles necessary to execute a successful newscast at a television station, and how important it is to work as a team efficiently and proactively.
Were there any classes or professors that influenced where you are today?
Professor Lilliam Martínez-Bustos and Moses Shumow were such great leaders within my classes. I had the opportunity to study abroad in Spain with Professor Bustos and two years later, I had the pleasure of having Bustos and Shumow co-teach my senior capstone course. They truly went above and beyond to ensure our class was ready for the competitive nature of the television industry and always did their best to provide us with the tools and confidence necessary to succeed. I owe this job opportunity at Channel 7 to Professor Bustos because she is the one who sent me the information for the Media Career Fair where I was selected for an interview and offered the job two weeks upon graduating.
What advice do you have for students interested in a career in TV Production?
My biggest advice to fellow TV students is to never settle or limit yourself to the knowledge you learn inside the classroom. Always continue to seek learning opportunities outside of the classroom whether it’s learning how to use editing softwares, internships, and on-campus involvements. Never stop working on your portfolio. The best way to learn and improve is by doing. Build relationships with your professors and others in the field because they are always eager to help you out.