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Lessons from an EMMY-awarded journalist

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This past weekend has been a truly humbling experience as myself and several friends and former co-workers from NBC26 were awarded an EMMY for Outstanding Achievement in an Evening Newscast in small market television. This was the first EMMY ever in the station’s history.

That evening with those friends goes down, by far, as one of the best nights of my life. As I reflect on this award and what it means for me moving forward, I can’t help but remember the journey in getting there.

I spent almost seven years at NBC26 and it’s how my career got started. I owe a lot of my success to the friends and mentors who helped me along the way. That leads me to the first lesson I’ve learned: Be patient and open to criticism from those you look up to. Mentors are there to help you grow and they will challenge you, and even frustrate you, but if you rise to the challenge and remember they’re there to help you get better, it will pay off in the long run.

As the night wore on and the champagne started flowing, my former news director said, “You can’t win an EMMY in an eight-hour work day.” That brings me to the second lesson: Hard work pays off. No one ever wants to work a long day, especially if you’re pulling a double shift, but when you put in the time and produce a quality product, it makes a difference. Take on those challenges and don’t cut corners because even though it’s exhausting, it’s a chance for you to grow and, many times, achieve things you never thought possible.

As I looked around at the people I was surrounded with that evening, I couldn’t help but smile because this award was truly a team award. My third lesson is: Teamwork makes the dream work. Who you surround yourself with will play a large part in your success. This award does not belong to any one person because we all had to play our respective parts to make it happen.

Lastly, enjoy the ride. Now that I’ve switched careers I can truly appreciate what it took to get to where we were Saturday night. The long days, hard work, challenges and friends made along the way are memories I will forever cherish. They say hindsight is 20/20, and I can honestly say I never truly appreciated the journey while I was in the moment, and it’s only in reflection that I can see how every piece of the puzzle came together to lead us to this success.

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