30 under 30: Amanda Foster, Reporter/Multimedia Journalist for WBTV in Charlotte, NC
Amanda Foster graduated with a degree in Communication - Journalism, in 2015. She developed her love for writing and reporting at a young age and is now living out her dream as a reporter/multimedia journalist for WBTV in Charlotte, North Carolina. In our interview, below, Foster talks about the importance of Auburn's Eagle Eye TV, her role as a reporter, and how she is trying to take her own advice of stressing less.
Q: How did you first develop an interest in the field of journalism?
A: My passion began first with writing. Even very young, I would write hundreds of little short stories and “articles” to force upon my family and friends. As I got older, I continued with an internship at a very small newspaper in high school. I then explored the world of broadcast when I came to Auburn. The on-campus program Eagle Eye TV taught me another skill I came to love - creating videos. When I could combine this, with my lifelong love of writing, it was the perfect fit for me.
Q: Would you please describe your current role as a Reporter/Multimedia Journalist at WBTV in Charlotte, North Carolina?
A: At WBTV, I work as a nightside reporter/mmj. This means I begin my shift in the early afternoon, and leave just before midnight, working as a “one-woman-band.” I find and research my own stories, conduct my interviews, shoot and edit all my own video, write the script, and set up my own camera shot to “go live.” I love this role because it allows me to be in total creative control of what I put together each day, while relying on the guidance and feedback of a talented and experienced team around me.
Q: What has been your favorite part or experience(s) in your job so far?
A: Local news has the ability to effect real change in the community it serves. My best days are the days when my coverage impacts a positive result for the people I come in contact with. Whether someone sees my story about a young homeless family who needs a place to stay, and they find them one, or a mother finds comfort and support in telling the story of her young son lost to violence, these are the days I am most grateful to tell these stories and do this job.
Q: What was your path like after you graduated from Auburn University?
A: While in Auburn, I chose an internship with a local news station WJCL in Savannah, Georgia. I’m grateful that I was invited back after graduation to work full time as an on-air reporter. I stayed there for about two-and-a-half years and reported on stories that included a national court case, several presidential candidate visits, and devastating hurricanes that came through the area. It was an invaluable experience that led to a move to work as a reporter/multimedia journalist for WBTV in Charlotte, North Carolina, where I am now.
Q: What classes and/or professors do you feel best prepared you during your time as a student for your future career?
A: Our classes in the studio with Dr. Sally Ann Cruikshank were invaluable to me, as they introduced students to people working in the industry, and provided us with an accurate portrayal of what the industry would be like once we entered it ourselves. Without a doubt, the most valuable hands-on experience for me at Auburn was the Eagle Eye TV program. There, I gained real world practice doing many of the same things and sharpening many of the skills that I now use every day as a reporter.
Q: What are some key skills that you developed while at Auburn that you think best prepared you for the job market/real world?
A: While Auburn prepared me for the technical aspects of my job, it also prepared me to make myself marketable to potential employers. Auburn provided opportunities that put me in contact with the right people who I could have on my side as guides and resources through the job search process. It also provided practical help with things like mock interviews and resume writing.
Q: If you could go back, is there anything that you would have done differently during your time at Auburn?
A: If I could talk to the college version of myself, I would tell her: stress less. I so enjoyed and appreciated my four years on the Plains. But if there is one thing I could do differently, it would be to enjoy it even more. To relax more, and not worry too much about what comes next. If you work really hard, and do your best, everything will work out as it should.
Q: What’s next for you? Any long-term career goals or aspirations?
A: I am blessed to truly be living my dream at a young age. I’m living in a city I love, and I get to go to the job I love, every day. I keep my mind open to what may come along next, but I’m trying to take the advice I’d give my younger self - no stress.
Last Updated: August 15, 2019