Still Cheryl, Just More Specialized
I can not conceptualize being overly-specialized in my career path. Both broadcast media and film encompass many specialties and require specific skills to even be considered. An application for a job usually reads as such. Some applications basically require you to have skills “A, B, C, D, E and by the way, F and G would be nice too (Gershon 76)” but others seem they want applicants to boast the whole alphabet of skills. I consider myself lucky to have the experience I had in high school, but others may not feel it is even worth mentioning. When I went to the Career Center, Kacie Lawrence told me to get rid of high school on my resume but I explained that my high school experience reads like the application I described above. I worry my resume reads as immature or irrelevant at worst because college student resumes should not have most high school experience listed. This is could be a reason to reject me. I am breaking the genre of a college student’s essay and recruiters can “spot the violation (Gershon 62).”
At face value, my high school does not look great but when I explain what we did in tv production, I often get a look of pleasant surprise. I interviewed last spring for my current internship with Athletics Communications and after I described all the equipment and software I used, Steve Levy (my internship coordinator) hired me on the spot. He then took me to meet the rest of the people in the office and gleefully explained to impressed colleagues that I have years of experience in equipment they already use themselves. Most people do not have this. My high school spent thousands of dollars to equip our newsroom to function as a professional newsroom. I have the privilege of saying that I worked with professional equipment for 7+ years.
That experience helps me when I apply for broadcast journalism jobs but I turn into a generic candidate for film jobs. Some skills are transferrable but the genre is still different. Learning the basics of camera work and editing software can help bring fundamentals of what to look for but even small variations in equipment and software make a difference.
Everyone has these skills for film. When I attend the filmmaker’s club on campus, I realize I have the same experience with cameras and software I do. I want to develop a way to show instead of tell. Thousands of applicants can say they have these skills but how many truly show it? Demo reels are sometimes available upon request but those do not show the full scope of
what one is capable of. I want to show employers I can put together an effective film instead of implying I can with certain skill, especially if i want to be a producer. I am trying to decide the best way to fulfill this want. I will most likely put together a YouTube channel so I can demonstrate the content as well as analytics for the programming. But, there are millions of YouTube channels. This is the predicament I see trying to separate oneself from other film applicants. Everyone has everything. I can say my content will be different because I bring a different perspective but that does not mean it will be good. I can make something good but that does not mean it will sell. Film feels like the “uneven field” Gershon describes. Everything can be right but can still be rejected “for reasons the job applicant could never anticipate (86).”
This conflict goes back to my previous story, “Don’t Be Cheryl.” I can stand out against other applicants in broadcast news and have a successful career in that field. With film, I do not have that luxury. I become a number. I have found sources that informed me of new skills and different opportunities but nothing specifically about the industry. The most important thing is to keep learning and working. Gershon claims “companies [are] no longer willing to train people for a job (77),” so I am ready to train myself.