Monday, May 01, 2006

Reflecting on Presentations

We gave our senior presentations last week, and I have just now began to BLOG about them. Wow, ya think "senioritis" has set in? Overall, I thought everyone did an awesome job. I was especially impressed with the professionalism of both Justin's and Luke's presentations. At first, it seemed very difficult to live up to the previous nine seniors, but I think I fared decently well. I'm taking a bit of a unique road upon graduation, and I think it's a little difficult to explain everything in a 15-minute limit. My Dad and Stepmom also came up for my presentation, which was definitely sweet. Since I was a freshman I have been watching these presentations, and I definitely relished the opportunity to get up there. Not that I wasn't glad before, but last Tuesday night I was especially glad that I had done my internship. Everyone else had soooo much cool stuff to share, and I don't know what I would have done without my Redskins' packages. Showing them, it felt like I was really able to compete with everyone else's material. If I could change one thing about my presentation, I would change the lack of emphasis that I placed on my eventual print journalism career. Writing for a newspaper is a serious goal of mine, but I don't feel that I properly conveyed that in my presentation. I mentioned something about writing for the Holcad, but I did not mention how I planned on becoming a sports writer in Washington, DC or Pittsburgh. All for now...

JMM

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

It has finally happened...

The job search has finally come to a close. This morning, as of 10:58 a.m., I'm a proud employee of George Mason University. I interviewed on Tuesday for a groundsman position, and as I thought, did a fairly decent job in the interview. I was told that I'd be notified of my possible hire by the end of the week. However, I got the call this morning that I was offered the position as a full-time groundsman. Obviously my goal throughout college was not to work as a groundsman, but this serves as a pathway to both furthering my education and working in the field of television.
I'll work 6 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and I'll be covered with a full benefit package. Secondly, I will "moonlight" at WJLA as a Production Assistant. The sweet thing is that it will enable me to work in television, while I'm bringing in a decent income. Lastly, I plan on using the summer to work and establish myself in the area; but come fall, I'll enroll in graduate classes at GMU. Yes, Wolenski, GRADUATE CLASSES. It's a bit of a change, but if I'm there, living and making money, then why not get another degree. I figured my name was too short anyway. Kidding!
Anyway, it feels incredible to have everything figured out. I finally know what I'll be doing for the next couple years and how I'll be able to pay bills. All along I said Washington, DC was a goal of mine, and finally I'm going to be there. Oh ya, I start two days after graduation. Monday, 6 a.m., be there. All for now...

JMM

Thursday, April 06, 2006

This week in retrospect...

Finally, it's been a week where I've made some headway in the job search. As I've previously posted, I'm definitely moving to the Washington, DC area after I graduate. The TV stations in the area seem very closed, at least until you are established and able to start immediately. I sent out resumes and cover letters to all of the stations in the area, alarming them of my situation and asking them to consider me for future hire. I figured it was a good idea to not necessarily ask for a job, but to establish a repoire with some stations that I might not be so familiar with. Secondly, on Monday I had a phone interview with Archstone-Smith Apartments. The position that I applied for was a full-time groundskeeper. The interview went extremely well, and they told me I was someone they would definitely employ. However, as seems to be the growing trend, my graduation date was too far off for them to offer me anything. The said to contact them in a few weeks to find out what is open at that time. Then, today I fielded a call from George Mason University. I had applied at GMU for a full-time Grounds Crew position. This position is strikingly similiar to the one I hold here at Westminster. The pay is decent, and the job includes benefits, but the best part is that it would enable me to get my Master's Degree for free. I have an interview at their Fairfax, VA campus on Tuesday. GMU offers two solid graduate programs; Professional Writing and Editing, as well as Video-Based Production. Both would serve me well, and I feel that I have been sufficiently prepared for both. I'll have more news next week as to what was contained in the interview. All for now...

JMM

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

What's going on...

Only a few more weeks to the semester, and finally, my future plans are starting to become a little more clear. I'm dealing with a couple options. To present them in an organized fashion, I will just numerically list the possiblities as I view them. First and foremost, I have decided, obviously that I'm moving to Washington, DC. I think this was already blogged about.

1) Eventually work at WJLA.
-This entails either a Production Assistant position, or more importantly, a position as a Community Reporter (quintessential one-man-band). This is my eventual goal, but it might not be a direct path back to it. The path could possibly involve...

2) Grounds Crew at George Mason University.
-I've applied for a full-time position working on the GMU Grounds Crew. This job pays fairly decent and would certainly be fun. Also, the great thing about it would be that I would be able to get my masters degree for either free, or extremely cheap.

3) Another landscaping or blue-collar position.
-I already have a place, bills to pay, and rent due. WJLA is the obvious goal, but I can't get a job there until one opens up. Therefore, in the meantime I'm going to need something to pay the bills. This is where #3 comes into play.

Hopefully I'll have an answer on GMU by the end of the week, but trust me, that would be an awesome path to take on my way back to WJLA.

All for now...

JMM

Get Off the Sidelines!

Last month the NFL held its annual spring meetings in Orlando, FL. Many of the usual topics were discussed: the new CBA, who'll replace Tagliabue, revenue sharing, as well as some minor rule changes. However, nearly overlooked was the piece of NFL legislation that probihits local television station photographers from shooting footage on NFL sidelines. What a bunch of s%@!.
I've read a couple articles concerning this new rule, most recently a column by Bob Smizik in today's Post-Gazette. Smizik features fellow journalists John Steigerwald (KDKA) and Shawn McClintock (FSN), as part of some excellent commentary on the issue. McClintock brought up an excellent point, "What are producers, anchors, and reporters supposed to do for footage Monday-Saturday?" Sure, most TV stations pull the [soon-to-be required] satellite highlights on Sunday; only because of time constraints. But I know when I was at WJLA, the stuff that was shot on Sunday was SOOOO important for the follow-up stories. We would do a lot of :45-:55 features during the week, and those cover shots were essential to cover the sound bytes.
How in the world is the NFL going to supply the cover shots and everything else that local TV stations usual have? Answer: They're not. That's probably the reason that the Radio-Television News Directors Association, a group of roughly 3200, has already sent a collective protest letter to Commissioner Tagliabue.
NFL Spokesman, Greg Aiello, has adamently stated that "This won't affect the fans."
Well, Greg, on Sunday this may not affect the fans. It's fairly simple to pick out the highlights of a game; however, what is the fan to expect in the days to come? I guess they should just continue watching the same plays from Sunday over and over? Ya, that'll be great television.
Local television stations drive the National Football League. Without the local TV stations' obsession with professional football, the NFL wouldn't be half of what it is today. The sooner Paul Tagliabue and the rest of the NFL's brass realizes that, the better off we'll all be. All for now...

JMM

Senior Presentation (More)

One more week...one week closer to graduation. In Capstone we talked a lot about our presentations, which are slated (I believe) for April 24th. I have the honor of closing out the event, as I drew 10 out of a possible 10. Still, this should be extremely fun. I've been looking forward to this moment ever since I watched Bobby Fisher and Sarah Washington present during my freshman year. I watched them and realized, "Hey, I can do that." Now it's finally my turn, although I do plan on letting someone else do a portion of the talking. I don't want to give anything away, but I will feature someone else's package; a feature that Mike Wolenski did on me just a few weeks ago. I also want to feature my resume tape, while also talking about how I've made it here, what I've done, and what my future plans entail. The next step is to figure out what those future plans are. Just kidding! All for now...

JMM

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Plans for Presentation

One of the things remaining for this semester is a presentation to BC-312. I would like to show my resume tape, both to get feedback and share what I've learned from the professional aspect of making a resume tape. I have another class during this time period, but hopefully I would be able to get out of it to show my tape. I am very proud of my tape. It will always be updated, but I really like the montage at the beginning. As is tradition, there is about a 35 second montage at the beginning, including 5 different clips of standups that I've done. I will play the tape for the class, then field questions that they may have. I have been through a lot with my job search, and have applied for variety of different jobs. I have not landed a job, but I still believe I have a pretty good amount of knowledge and experience when it comes to the search. I've done a ton this semester as far as figuring out what I want to do my life, and I never relized how important this final semester is. I haven't be able to do as much day-to-day stuff as I would have liked, but a lot of my time has been spent searching for the jobs on the computer. All for now...

JMM

Where my head's at....

It's been a little while since I've posted, so I figure I'll get y'all update on where my head's at. In the few days we had between our baseball spring training trip and the start of classes, I went down to Washington, DC and WJLA to finalize the job search. I talked with two people on the hiring side for both WJLA and NewsChannel 8 (WJLA's sister station - same building). One possiblity is a Production Assistant, the common starting point for college grad's pursuing a career as a producer. This would be an OK start, but my basic plan would be to work my way in as a producer in the sports department. I would be hanging around all the time, so sooner or later something would hit. Secondly, I'm looking at a position called a Community Reporter, which I have BLOGGED previously about. This is a quintessential "One-Man-Band." Each reporter is assigned their own area of Northern Virginia, and are essentially a beat reporter for that area. It's not a freelance gig, but it's actually a full-time position at WJLA. I like my chances on this one because it encompasses everything I've done at Westminster - shooting, editing, writing, and serving as the talent for a package. The only snag with these two positions is that neither are currently available. Both hiring managers told me that there is a tremendous amount of turnover in these positions, and to not be discouraged. However, the bills need paid. My thought process at this point is to just "GO FOR IT" in Washington. I'll most likely start out bricklaying or landscaping, and just sit and wait until one of these positions come open. At that point, I'll most likely have to assume a second job just to keeping the income coming. I've reached this decision based on the fact that I really did, and still do, love the atmosphere at WJLA. I love the people there, as well as what and where it is. I want to start my career there, so I now need to execute the proper plan to get there. All for now...

JMM

Thursday, March 09, 2006

What I did this week in broadcasting...

I've been rather defunct when it comes to posting on, so I figure I will try and recapitulate my previous two weeks in a single post. Two weeks ago I shot/edited a package with Steve Brink, previewing the softball team. It felt good to get going with the shooting/editing again, as it seems like this may be something I'll be doing in the near future. I've been speaking with some people at WJLA about the idea of being a "Community Reporter." CR's basically one-man-band everything. They shoot, edit and serve as the talent. It is on-air, but it is on-air in a lower-level, entry type capacity. I certainly think this is something I'm qualified for and really look forward to learning more about the position. I wrote my newspaper column previewing the Pittsburgh Pirates. So far this spring the Pirates have been outstanding, garnering six wins in their first seven games. Furthermore, I've continued my job search. This past Monday I interviewed at CRC Advertising, a sports marketing/advertising firm in Washington, DC. The interview went well, but it was awfully short. They asked me to come in for a second interview on March 20 and 21st. It's a little outside of television, but it is still in the sports arena, so I'm happy. I've continued my addiction to www.talentdynamics.com. I've applied for seven positions (sports) in the past two weeks. I haven't heard anything from possible employers other than a few confirmation letter, letting me know that they got my stuff. The big part of this semester has obviously been the job search. It seems like I don't have as much to put down here as I did last semester, but I know that's because most of my work is done with applications, cover letter, networking and sending out my resume. Hopefully something hits soon! All for now...

JMM

Monday, February 27, 2006

What I did this week in broadcasting...

This week is actually pertaining to last week. Last week, I announced two Titan basketball games. The PAC Tournament started on Tuesday, as the Titans knocked off #6 seed, Thomas More. They advanced to the 2nd round and fell to Waynesburg. These two were my final broadcasts of my Westminster career. I will really miss broadcasting here, but hopefully I'm able to continue it in the future. I wrote my Holcad column this week on the Olympics. My point was that the Olympics do not attract the television ratings that they once did. My reasoning is that the abundance of professional sports in our country has made the Olympics obsolete. If you click on the link, http://www.westminster.edu/student/pdf/holcad/holcad_20060224.pdf, and scroll down (or type in) page 7, you can view the article. I also started applying for more jobs. I applied to for two sports reporter positions in the outlying areas of Washington, DC. These are print journalism positions, but I still want to maintain my writing. I applied at WJLA, the station where I interned, for a producer position. I haven't heard anything back, but hopefully soon. It seems that quite a bit of this semester, and Capstone for that matter has been devoted to applying for jobs. That has been my focus, first and foremost. Also, utitlize the site www.talentdynamics.com. I know I posted this last week, but just to clarify, it is a free webpage and a very useful resource. I have found many positions, from all over the country, just in these past two weeks using talentdynamics.com. All for now...

JMM