My informational interview situation was a unique one. I didn’t seek out my “subject” or set up the interview. I currently intern at WIVB-TV (channel 4) and our News Director, Joe, asked me to sit with him and talk about myself, my future, my plans, and my goals.

Finding the right time to have this meeting was the most difficult part. It was in casual conversation when Joe asked to meet with me, so we didn’t pick a time right then and there. I was a little nervous about it, so I was kind of putting it off. When I finally built up the courage to ask when he wanted to meet, he responded casually again. Joe said to just stop in sometime when his office door was open. Even though it might seem like the process would be super easy, this made me even more nervous. Now I had to take the initiative to go in myself, it wasn’t a set time where I had to show up.

The day I finally went in to Joe’s office was one of the best days I’ve had at my internship so far. At first I was understandably nervous.  I was sitting and talking with a man who has a great deal of power, influence, and insight. Just as you suspected, the meeting was actually quite casual. Joe asked me about myself, my family, and my life to start. It made me seem like he really cared about getting to know me, and that was really and awesome feeling.

We then transitioned into my career goals and where I see myself in the future. This question is a hard one for a senior in their last semester to answer. Even though I get asked it quite often, it still spurs some sort of anxiety and stress. I tried to answer with as much poise and confidence as I could. This was an important moment for me. I was telling someone about my goals who could really help me achieve them. It would be a dream to work at a station like WIVB. So I chose my words carefully, but I was still very honest. I let Joe know that I definitely see myself being a news reporter in a major city or on a national news network. I also told him that I’m interested in anchoring somewhere down the line.

Joe gave me great, realistic advice about my career goals. He told me that it’s important to stay focused on what I want, but that he thinks I have great potential. To start in the news business, you have to start in very small markets and work your way up. It’s all about experience. Joe said that with my internship experience and my skill I could probably start a little bigger than average and make it back to a market like Buffalo within two years. This was the best compliment I’ve received from someone in the business and it really made me excited. It also helped me with where to target my job search and how to continue going about that process. I felt more driven and confident than ever, and that was a boost I definitely needed.

Overall, Joe gave me some really great advice but also let me know that he thinks I’m really confident, talented and smart. It was really awesome to know that the head honcho at my internship notices the work I’m doing and is appreciative. I really love working at WIVB and really look up to and respect Joe. Having an informational interview with him really gave me the tools I need in order to not only start out in the business, but succeed in it so that some day I could maybe come back and work for him.