By Matt Watson
What’s the one thing better than landing a dream job in your field when you graduate from college? For Andrea Herrera, it’s starting that dream job before she even finishes school.
In November, the convergent journalism major and Met Media veteran was hired as a producer and editor for Entravision, where she’s putting together Spanish-language news broadcasts for the Wichita, Kansas, market from Denver.
Herrera, who plans to graduate in May 2018, took 17 credits in the fall while working 40-hour weeks after her hiring. Before starting full time, she interned at Entravision for five months and spent more hours at the studio than required by her academic requirements on the advice of her journalism internship coordinator.
“Mark Isenburg told me you’re only required to do four hours per day, but always stay after if they need help,” Herrera said. “I think that’s what really landed me the job, showing that I was available.”
Broadcasting wasn’t in the plans when Herrera came to college – she wanted to write before discovering TV. She joined Met Media as a freshman as a reporter, made her way up to lead video editor and then became executive producer for Noticiero TV Met, the Emmy Award-winning Spanish-language news program on campus. She got connected to Entravision through a contact she met at a Regional Emmy Awards event.
“I love that I was able to dig into most aspects of journalism. It wasn’t, ‘You’re doing print and that’s all you’re doing,’ or ‘You’re only doing broadcasting.’ It was, ‘You can do podcasting, you can do layout and design for a magazine, you can do all that and see what you’re really drawn to,’” Herrera said.
Steve Haigh, the director of student media at MSU Denver, said Herrera is a “player-coach” with a diverse set of skills and a willingness to help other students.
“Andrea surprises me all the time. I see her as an integral part of Noticiero TV Met, and yet she has a lot of skill as a photographer and as a writer. She brought that to being a script writer, helping to bring up the skill level of the other broadcasting students,” Haigh said.
In her new job, Herrera works with news anchor Karen Vega, another Met Media alumna who landed a full-time job in TV as a student.
“Karen left before graduating to go off to work with Univision. It’s cool to see the two of them together at the same station now,” said Haigh, who added that other recent graduates have found jobs at ESPN and a TV station in Boulder. “There are a lot of students who come through here and see opportunities for themselves, and it really makes you feel good to get them where they want to go. They’re doing most of the work themselves – we just give them a pathway with equipment and a little bit of expertise.”
Herrera credits her journalism advisor Shaun Schafer, professor Kenn Bisio and Met Media advisor Richard Ortner as critical to her ascent from student media to a professional newsroom – all while still a student.
“They’ve always seen my potential, and I feel like that helps students a lot, being able to know that,” Herrera said. “I’m still in the, ‘Is it really happening?’ stage. Being able to land a job in Denver, a top 20 market, in broadcasting, and I’m not even out of college yet … It’s definitely a dream come true,” Herrera said.
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