We Want Your Job – Digital Desk Editor

Welcome to We Want Your Job, where we explore the unique careers of women around the world. Today, we’re talking to Nicole Hernandez, 22, who works for a television news station in Indiana. Photography by Nicole Hernandez Photo.

Name + Age: Nicole Hernandez, 22
Job Title: WTHR Digital Desk Editor
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
What did you go to school for? Do you think it’s necessary to go to school to get the job you have?
I went to Franklin College and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Journalism with a Visual Communications and Public Relations minor. I do think it’s necessary because there’s a lot of prior knowledge involved in order to be able to do my job well.

How did you get started at your current job?
I interviewed for my job at the recommendation of one of my college professors. Her husband works at the news station where I work now and I wouldn’t have known about the job if I hadn’t had that connection.

Did you have a mentor in school or when you began this job?
Yes, the professor I just mentioned above! She was a great mentor to me during school and I did an internship-type position with her. She helped coach and prepare me for the job I have now.
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What’s your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part about my job is having the ability to report news and tell people about important things happening in our community. I feel that the work I’m doing is important and is making a difference.
What’s your least favorite part of your job?
The hours that I work (3pm – midnight) and the fact that on the weekends I work by myself at the news desk. It’s a lot for one person to handle on their own.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were starting this career?

I wish I knew how many roles I’d be filling. I originally thought I would only be handling the web portion of things but I also have to monitor weather, traffic and police dispatch. It’s a lot, plus the police scanners and traffic maps are completely new to me. Those are things I did not learn how to do in school or at my internships.
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What’s one thing that surprised you in your path to where you are now?
I didn’t think this was where I was going to end up. Going into journalism, I always had my eye set on being a photojournalist because then I could work behind the camera but after having an internship and really being able to experience what it’s like working in that position, I quickly changed my mind. It’s not what I expected or would have hoped for.

What did you think you wanted to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be a photographer and own my own photography business growing up. My parents persuaded me to pursue a different path going into college because they wanted me to choose something that they thought would help me make a stable living. My interest in photography is actually what led me to journalism and visual communications because photography was still somewhat involved, and writing was another thing that I was comfortable with.
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What’s your best advice for someone who wants a job like yours?

As much as you may want to specialize in one area, you need to learn to be multi-skilled. In this industry, you have to be able to do multiple different jobs. Even if you want to be a reporter, you need to know how to work a camera and film your own shots. The more skills you can master, the better your chances are.

What’s your best advice for someone who has no idea what they want to do?
Find something you love doing and make a career out of it. My one goal has always been to do something that I would truly enjoy doing no matter what.
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Do you believe people in your type of position are paid fairly for their work?
It depends on what your title is. If you’re a reporter or on-air personality then you get paid pretty well compared to everyone else. I personally don’t feel that people in my position are paid fairly for the amount of work that we do. However, in my case, being a student and landing a job with the pay I get is pretty great – I probably wouldn’t have been able to beat it anywhere else. It also helps that I’m employed at one of the top news stations in the area.
Do you think you will ever want to change careers in the future? 

Yes. Although I love journalism, I’ve known going into it that it’s probably not something I’m going to be doing long-term. My goal is to establish and grow my photography business enough to where that can be my full time job. I just enjoy it so much more. Who knows, I may even turn it into a traveling photography business (and of course incorporate being an Instagram content creator in there somehow too!).

 

Thanks so much, Nicole!

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