Nicole Darrah graduated William Paterson in 2016, majoring in Broadcast Journalism. She currently works as a Ticker Writer and Breaking News Producer at Fox News and has interned at large media companies such as VH1 and ABC. Darrah tells reader her experience as an intern and advice on keeping your dream alive in the entertainment industry.
How do you believe your time at William Paterson prepared you for your post graduate life?
Looking back as a communication student at WPUNJ, I realize I learned a lot that prepared me for post-grad life. The professors were knowledgeable and the classes were information and relevant to my daily news life.
What clubs or activities were you involved in at William Paterson and how do you believe they have helped you so far?
As a student I wrote briefly for the Pioneer Times and worked in the WPTV studios as part of my classwork. By far, my time in broadcast news classes were the most beneficial as I now write news professionally each day.
You currently work at Fox News, how was the process of getting this job? What advice do you have for undergrads who are in the process of applying for jobs?
Fox is great when it comes to hiring young, talented people – most of the people I work with are millennials. The job application process was simple enough: I applied online to production assistant positions, heard back from a recruiter who gave me a list of jobs I was eligible to interview for (that weren’t PA positions) and then interviewed from there.
Advice for undergrads: Apply everywhere, even if you’re not sure it’s something you want to do. I didn’t necessarily want to be a production assistant, as I’m more interested in the editorial side rather than production aspect of news – but as you can see, I was presented with the opportunity to write after Fox reached out to me and we discussed what I wanted to do. You never know what can happen after submitting an application, so I highly suggest applying every place possible.
Where have you interned and how have those internships helped you in your career?
During college I interned with VH1 at Viacom, as well as 7 On Your Side at WABC-TV. My time at VH1 was helpful because I learned a lot about the use of social media in a professional environment and I’ve definitely used that experience as a stepping stone in this digital age. But it was my time spent at Channel 7 that really opened my eyes to the industry: I worked in a newsroom, sat in on daily news meetings and ultimately worked hands-on both in and out of the field. These internships allowed me to briefly step out into the “real world” while still working as a student.
What is your ultimate goal career wise? What is your dream job and how will you go about reaching that dream job?
Before and during college, I always thought my dream was to work on-air as a correspondent or local reporter. But now working in the industry for the past 8 or so months, I believe I’ve lost sight (for lack of a better term) of that goal and now see paths leading in other directions, which I don’t see as a bad thing. I was recently offered a job as a breaking news producer with FoxNews.com – not on-air, nor with “television news,” per se. I think I still have the goal of working on-air as a journalist but where my career may take me, no one knows.
What advice do you have for graduating seniors about post graduate life and the “real world”?
Like I said before, if you’re graduating college – apply EVERYWHERE. It’s so important to get your name and your resume out there and to let a variety of companies know that you’re available. The “real world” isn’t glamorous (but once you get a job, it does come with a nice paycheck!), and you shouldn’t fantasize it to be. My most important piece of advice would be to not give up hope if you’re facing obstacles and find walls are blocking your path to finding a job. It took me 4 months from graduation to joining Fox News, while some of my friends were offered jobs before even graduating – but next week I’ll be working as a news producer in one of the largest media organizations in the world, so I’d say working hard and remaining hopeful worked out for me in the end!