I always focused on News at The Academy, and it has really paid off for me. (I graduated from the Academy in 2000.) While my first actual job out of ARB was as a weekend jock for KOSS and KTPI, I consider Airwatch/Clear Channel Traffic Los Angeles to be the first step in my career. I was hired in 2001 as a fill-in only Traffic Producer, then as full-time Producer and part-time Reporter, and then as Programming Supervisor and full-time Traffic Reporter and by 2004 I was the Operations Manager, Traffic Reporter and News Anchor. Moral of the story: Patience pays and learn everything you can every step of the way.
But, I had lived on the West Coast for nearly 20 years and missed my family. So in August 2007 I left Clear Channel (yes, I left voluntary!) to move to Savannah Georgia. I downsized my career, but I spent the last year of my mother's life with her - having fun, hanging out, and just being there.
Job wise, I was hired to be a part-time Traffic Reporter and Fill-in News Anchor for a six-station cluster for a company called Adventure Radio. After six months, I became full time News Director. That was three years ago. Now I do Morning Traffic and News, plus a 30-minute weekly Public Affairs show over which I have complete control.
Over the summer, I started doing morning traffic reports for one of the local television stations. Not being a TV person, I was surprised that I have found it incredibly fun and actually look forward to it now. I never would or could have done that in LA.
I have also gotten to cover many a sporting event and done a number of other things I never could have done in Los Angeles.
So to sum up, make the most of your time at the Academy, make the most of every job you get, keep your eyes on your personal priorities, and never let anyone tell you that there is no life outside a major market.