I was completely terrified to start over. I've always been the type of person to pick a direction and stick to it no matter what, so to acknowledge and accept that my heart was calling me to a different path was pretty daunting. My parents gave me the courage and support I needed to go back to school and follow my passions. I have them to thank for everything I am and everything I've accomplished in my life.
So I gave up my Miss Minnesota title a month later and enrolled in an online class at St. Cloud State to get started on a degree in Mass Communications. I started as a full-time student that September and dove headfirst into a brand new, exciting world.
I had NO idea what I was doing at first, but I had a burning desire to immerse myself and learn everything I possibly could. I auditioned to be an anchor for UTVS News and was given a spot as an evening news anchor. I also reported, produced and worked tech positions for UTVS News. I periodically reported in Spanish for UTVS News en Español. I anchored and helped with production for a sports show called Husky Mag, and I worked as a video editor and scoreboard operator for Husky Productions, which airs live hockey broadcasts at St. Cloud State. Each of these shows received a slew of state, regional and national awards this year. I'm proud to say I was part of the team. I also feel blessed to have received the Award of Excellence in the Talent category for the 2013 NATAS Upper Midwest Emmy Student Production Awards. In addition, I worked as a producer for the newscast that received first place from the 2013 College Broadcasters, Inc. National Student Production Awards.
The learning curve I've experienced has been incredible. I have my professors and peers to thank for teaching me so much so quickly. I'm so thankful to my fellow "UTVSers" for coaching me into this business and for being just plain awesome. I can't wait to see each one of them experience tremendous success in the broadcast industry!
I'm also thankful to the professionals I met during my year as Miss Minnesota and my internships at KSTP 5 Eyewitness News and KARE 11 News. They have served as wonderful mentors, and I look forward to staying in touch with them as I move forward in my career.
This week, I graduate Summa Cum Laude from St. Cloud State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications (TV Broadcast Journalism emphasis). I complete my last final on Tuesday and head straight to Topeka, Kansas the next day. I am officially signed on as the new morning anchor and reporter for Kansas First News, and I can't wait to get started!
I'm proud of the work I've done in the past year and a half, and I can't wait to learn and grow more as I continue my journey. Take a look at a small sample of my work!