Life is a journey. Within life though, there are many paths that bring you a step closer to finding a piece of yourself.
This weekend, a path within my journey of life took me to the heart of the Big Apple, Time Square for the College Media Association’s Spring National Convention with professionals who have made it in the business. Most have said it took a lot of persistence and hard work, and others said they got to where they were by pure luck.
Today, I felt I was here in NYC listening to these professional inspirations by hard work and pure luck. I love New York City and it is a place I have fell in love with ever since I was in high school. My path of changing majors and beginning to run GriffinTV news brought me here.
It was hard work that lead me to take a step in finding my passion.
It was hard work to collaborate with other students who were new at running a news show and getting the hang of putting it together every week.
It was hard work to be frustrated and wonder is this career for me, I have so many talents and absolutely want to pursue a bit of all of them, is this field where I can do that?
It was luck that my advisor happened to stumble upon this media conference last year and actually have a club e-board to bring.
It was luck that all of these professionals happened to be free the same weekend.
It was luck that I have had the amazing opportunity to listen about their lives first hand.
Today, the KeyNote Speaker was Willie Geist from the Today Show. His life of hard work and pure luck lead me to see that the path I am on right now is leading me to find a piece of myself. No one steps right into the business.
His past began with driving a liquor truck back home in New Jersey the summer after graduating from Vanderbilt. He moved to Atlanta, “because that is where everyone down south moves to after graduation,” Willie said, and found his way into CNN. That fell through and he ended up back in NYC at Fox Sports. Living in NYC he did not have the golden life. He shared an apartment with three other guys and they would eat things like pb and j and Ramen. Fast forward and he is finding himself hosting three hours of Morning Joe after Don Imus was removed and then began hosting his own 30 minute program called Way Too Early with Willie Geist. Today, Willie is the co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe and co-anchors the third hour of the Today Show.
What I took away is that you have to be willing to take the extra step in life. You need to be “hungry” as Willie exclaimed about the world and getting to the heart of every story. You have to dig deep and get people to open up to you.
You need to investigate and look for answers about why something happened. He told us there is no mold or series of steps that he can tell us to follow to end up where he did. It was his work, and luck that he happened to be in the right place at the right time. What he could tell us, was that getting and absorbing as much knowledge as we can now and getting our foot in the door any way possible is what matters. Then, things will fall into place. One path will end and lead to a cross roads where another will begin under the umbrella of life’s journey.
At the end there was a question and answer session. The last question was a student who asked Willie if it was true that going out into the world and starting off was going to be very difficult and that you are going to be poor and most likely eat Ramen. He confirmed and stated that some of those times with his best friends in their apartment eating crackers were the best times. Willie told us you accept any opportunity you were given because that was a step towards your dream, and life became exciting. Willie simply smiled and said, “There’s nothing wrong with eating Ramen because you will be eating something better soon.”