Anaridis Rodriguez, '11
Q. Why did you choose Emerson?
I chose Emerson because of its aggressive curriculum and hands-on workshops. Being part of a field like journalism, you need to learn how to tell a story in any medium — whether it be broadcast, print, or web. Emerson College prepares you to do just that. You learn how to shoot, edit, and write for TV, web and print.
Q. What do you love about your field/major?
What I love about Broadcast Journalism is how powerful video can be at telling a story. I recently did a story on born-again gang members which was published by YourTown, the Boston Globe's hyper-local news service, and what I couldn't convey on print was clearly evident on video. The emotions and the power a video can convey is unmatched.
Q. What do you like about Emerson?
What I LOVE about Emerson is the community. Everyone is just as passionate as you are about whatever they major in, whether it be theater or communication studies. When you walk the hallways and see your peers in the studio shooting their shows or ferociously editing in one of the edit suites, it propels you to be persistent.
Q. How does the Emerson community help you thrive as a student?
The faculty and staff was one of the reasons I thrived as a student while at Emerson. Aside from being inspired by your peers, the faculty inspires you through their dedication to making sure you are always on the right track. I've never been part of a department where the professors spend 14 to 16 hour days teaching, helping students, and being in their office for when you need them. They are honest and challenge you constantly, which in the long run will only make you a better professional.
Q. Describe a typical day or week.
A typical day at Emerson is far from typical. If I picked Thursday, one of the busiest days for me, it would be broken down like this:
Wake-Up - 5:30 am. Walk dog, eat breakfast, get ready for Good Morning Emerson
Good Morning Emerson Taping - 7:30am call time. Go over banter topics with Terry until 8:30 am.
Rehearsal - 8:30 am.
LIVE taping - 9 am. Shoot a LIVE 30-minute show.
Class - 10 am - 4-hour practicum class with Dr. Marsha DellaGiustina
Direct J-Channel taping - 2 pm - Shoot a 2-minute live update of the top news of the day.
Break for an hour then WEBN goes up live at 8 pm. I'm the executive producer, so I must prepare scripts and make sure my rundown is ready for air.
Home - 10 pm
You are constantly on the move. You don't feel like a student. You are working with faculty and staff who have been in the industry. It feels like you are collaborating to create sound shows and good content.
Q. How have Emerson faculty helped you?
Dr. Marsha DellaGiustina and Jerry Lanson have helped me tremendously. Marsha always made sure I worked on both my on-air skills and putting together a sound package. She challenged all of us constantly by letting us know what was wrong with the piece and then making sure we fixed it immediately. In Marsha's class, you will find yourself working on pieces over and over again until they are up to par with what today's industry requires.
Jerry Lanson helped me immensely on my writing for print. He pushed me to become a better writer and encouraged me to try new ways of reporting. Three of the stories I wrote in Jerry's class ended up being published by YourTown, and I believe that is a true testament of his teaching skills.
Q. How have you changed personally between your first day at Emerson and now?
When I came into Emerson, one of my professors Manny Paraschos said "you need to develop thick skin to be in this business." And when I arrived at Emerson, I wasn't confident. As months went by, I became consumed by the possibility of all of the opportunities and experiences that were at my fingertips. That's when I decided that I needed to take full advantage of everything I was offered, and as I pushed myself harder, the confidence kicked in, and now I feel unstoppable. My drive and my confidence in my work is different. I know I can be of service to any community as a journalist, and it's all thanks to Emerson and its faculty.
Q. What do you hope to do with your Emerson degree?
I hope to get a full-time job as a journalist in a major television market.
Q. What advice would you give to an incoming Emerson student?
If I could give advice to an incoming Emerson student, it would be to be persistent and work hard. Nothing is to come of your experience at Emerson if you don't challenge yourself. If you want to be a journalist, persistence should be your middle name. It's a demanding field, and hard work is essential for you to survive. It all pays off in then end when you see your work come to fruition. You've helped a community have a voice or inspired someone to change something about themselves. Journalism is not about you — it's about the community you are serving. And lastly, have fun!