Alumni Profile: Kate Santichen, Producer at Bloomberg News Thursday, September 1, 2011
Meet Kate Santichen
Major and degrees earned: B.A. in broadcasting
Graduation year: 2007
Job title/current employer: Producer at Bloomberg News
Hometown: Johnstown, Pa.
Now living in: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Why did you choose to attend Point Park?
Point Park offers small classes and hands-on experience, plus all the benefits of being in an urban setting like Pittsburgh. The city offers limitless ideas for stories for your class assignments. There are so many opportunities to practice writing, shooting, editing, being on camera, etc., and you can really build a solid portfolio of work. It's so valuable to be able to participate with the newspaper or TV station from your first day as a freshman. I was also impressed that so many of the professors work in their fields. It's a thrill to open the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and see your teacher's name in a byline.
How did Point Park help you prepare for your career in broadcasting?
The classes in my major were amazing. In one class, we learned and rotated through all the different jobs required for a TV show. In another, we learned to set up lights and cameras for an interview. Along the way, I learned all the jargon, which really gave me an advantage when I began interning. While some interns were still figuring out what timecode is or how to log a tape, I was out on shoots with the anchors or shadowing a producer in an edit room.
What was the most beneficial experience at Point Park?
I found lifelong mentors in some of my Point Park instructors. The small class sizes made it easy to get to know the faculty. There were several teachers who I would chat with often about school, career plans or just life. I still remain close with a couple of them. I recently made the decision to switch jobs, and I checked in with one of my former teachers for advice every step of the way. It's been invaluable to have someone like that in my life to turn to with questions even though I'm out of college.
What is your favorite memory at Point Park?
While I was at Point Park, we produced a series of one-hour specials that aired on a local TV station. My favorite memory was working in the control room on an election special. Late Pittsburgh mayor Bob O'Connor was a guest in our studio the day after the election. My friends and I felt so proud and very professional that we accomplished that without a hitch. I remember that electric feeling after it was over and the pride on our instructor's face that we pulled it off.
What advice do you have for today's students?
Internships are so important. I got my first job at a TV network in New York because I was an intern there first. It's not enough to show up; you need to be willing to work. Don't sit at a desk in the corner wasting time on Facebook or texting your friends. Put the cell phone away! Introduce yourself to your co-workers, offer to help, make a to-do list of what you want to accomplish, ask people what their jobs involve and if you can shadow them. If it's a slow day around the office, tidy the supply closet or straighten the newspapers. Make sure people see your face and your work.
If you're too young to intern or you're still in high school, call a place and ask if you can shadow for a day. I've found that people are generally very encouraging and accommodating of students eager to learn. It's also a great way to see if you like a particular industry. I shadowed at local TV station while I was in high school, and I was completely hooked by the end of that day.
Learn more about Kate
In the video below, Kate discusses her previous job as an associate producer at The Early Show and how the hands-on classes at Point Park helped prepare her for her career.