Elizabeth Cotter, B.A.J. ’17, started her career as a television news producer, but recently returned to her alma mater as a communications specialist with IU Studios. Cotter told us about her professional journey so far:
1. What does your job with IU Studios entail? What types of stories do you write?
“As a communications specialist, I write stories highlighting great programs and opportunities on IUPUI’s campus. My main focus is content for JagNews, a weekly newsletter and now website geared toward keeping students informed and connected with campus. When I write the newsletter, I include important ‘need to know’ information about things like priority registration, as well as photo galleries, student features, and other stories showcasing campus life.”
2. Why did you decide to apply for this position? How has it been moving from news producing to writing?
“I decided to apply for this job at IUPUI because I wanted to see what writing and communication opportunities there were outside of news. I had worked in local TV news for four years. I started at WANE-TV in Fort Wayne, Ind., as a weekend evening producer. I later moved up to the 11 p.m. show and then took a job at WRTV, the ABC affiliate in Indianapolis. At WRTV I worked the overnight shift 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. producing for Good Morning Indiana. I got to do a lot of cool things in TV and producing was something I enjoyed, so when I saw this IUPUI job pop up on LinkedIn I thought it was a perfect mix of writing, content management and a better schedule.
The transition has been smooth. This job is a slower pace so I can focus more on longer writing and feature stories which I couldn’t do in TV. I do miss the adrenaline of 24/7 news sometimes, but I have been able to find more fulfillment in flexibility and focusing on the topics I enjoy.”
3. What has been your favorite story so far?
“I focused on studying sports journalism at IUPUI and I’m a sportswriter at heart, so all my favorite stories revolve around sports. It was really special to be a part of the IUPUI women’s basketball team’s run for March Madness. I was able to profile one of the players, Rachel McLimore, during the season and later provide game coverage on social and write a recap story on them winning the Horizon League Championship. I also got to help highlight the opportunities offered through your department’s Sports Capital Journalism Program and the Sports Innovation Institute when many students played a role in Indianapolis hosting the National College Football Championship. When I was a student at IUPUI, I was able to have a similar experience covering the semi-final round of the CFP at the Cotton Bowl, so it was great to share how others are getting the same incredible experience.”
4. What do you think graduating seniors should know about the journalism job market today?
“The journalism job market is full of opportunity. If you’re looking for traditional media like local TV news, there are lots of open positions and stations are looking for smart, dedicated, young people to break into the industry. It is tough, pay is not great, and schedules can be frustrating, but it is rewarding and very important.
Internships are key. Use them to try as much as you can. I came away with so much when I interned at WANE-TV by not only shadowing reporters but watching producers and sitting down with the digital team to learn about the web and social media. It helps you better understand your strengths and how you can best set yourself up for success after graduation.”
5. Can students apply for communications internships at IU Studios – if so, when and how should they apply?
“IU Studios will have an opening for a video/content intern in the fall. The position will work with our social media team to create videos and provide content for IUPUI’s social media channels. The position will be posted in late August/early September and interested students will find a link to apply on IUPUI’s Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts.”