OLD Media Moves

Don't take no for an answer

February 9, 2010

Bloomberg Television anchor Margaret Brennan is profiled on the News on Women site, where she talks about how she got into business journalism.

Here is an excerpt:

“Frankly, if you told me at age 18 or even at age 22 that I’d be doing this for a living, I would have laughed out loud. For most of my academic career, I thought that I was going to work for the State Department or conduct foreign policy work. That is why I studied Foreign Affairs and Middle East Studies as an undergraduate at University of Virginia. I minored in Arabic because I saw that there were more layers to understanding situations than simply studying theory. I wanted to learn the stories of the people living the experiences that I was consulting on in some fashion. It was a very romanticized view of the policy work that actually takes place!

“Thanks to my talented Arabic professors at UVA, I was fortunate to qualify for a Fulbright Hayes grant to study abroad in Jordan. When I returned home, I no longer wanted to work in policy.  My mom suggested that I try broadcasting and I was lucky to land an internship at CNN headquarters in Atlanta. I interned on the international news desk and loved working in a newsroom. I was fascinated by Christianne Amanpour and the work that she had done in Bosnia, Iraq, and other war-torn nations.

“Much to the chagrin of my academic adviser, by the time the summer was over I was pretty certain that I wanted to work in TV. I struck a bargain with my adviser:  I’d go into academia if I didn’t have a successful TV job in five years. I took my first job – working for Louis Rukeyser as a researcher – and I ran with it.  Four years – and many, many long days of work later – I officially made the transition from full-time producer/occasional air reporter to full time correspondent. And after seven years at CNBC, I joined Bloomberg this past July.

“My advice to anyone looking for a job in financial news or simply in broadcasting is to stay nimble, stay informed, have fun and don’t take no for an answer.”

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