Name: Leo Cosio
Hometown: Miami, Florida
Degree/major: Bachelor of Science in Communication / Broadcast Media (Honors College)
When did you graduate? Fall 2018
Where are you working? WSVN 7 News
How did you get your job? I asked the alumni relations person at the College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts to put me in touch with FIU alumna and WSVN anchor Belkys Nerey. I emailed Belkys and she was happy to recommend me for the news writer position. It also helped that I was very qualified because "who you know" plays a big role, but if you don't have the skills to do a job well you're not guaranteed anything.
What was your greatest fear going into your first job and how did you face it or overcome it? Writing for TV in the real world was uncharted territory for me. This would be my first job after graduating college, and I didn't really know what to expect. I'm one of those people who needs to know what I'm getting myself into before I do it. Not having that certainty gave me some anxiety. Of course, everything worked itself out because I knew I was meant to get that job and be great at it!
What surprised you the most about your first job? Everyone at 7 News is so nice! My co-workers at WSVN make me feel at home. The assistant news director at the station even does monthly one-on-ones with me to make sure I'm on track to achieve my personal and professional goals.
What advice do you have for those beginning the job search process? Just apply. Don't think twice. If you can check off at least half of the skills or requirements on a job posting then go for it. The worst thing that can happen is you don't get an interview. Most jobs will offer training during your first week on the job so don't say you're not good enough. It's really about selling yourself and having a positive, can-do attitude when speaking to employers. People want to work with happy people.
What does a day on the job look like? When I first started back in January, I worked from 2:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. —the "graveyard shift"—Monday through Friday. It was hell. There's no other way to put it. But once I figured out how to tweak my sleep schedule, I started realizing how rewarding it was to work at that time. You're not just watching how a news show gets made, YOU ARE making the show. Now I work Wednesday through Friday at 8 a.m. and weekend afternoons. A typical day has me come in to work, identify stories to write each 30-minute show's rundown (the layout or framework of what's going to be covered in a show), check our internal server for detailed info. on whatever story I pick to write, and I start writing. I basically write the words that appear on the teleprompter for our anchors.
How does your job connect back to your coursework I had some really great teachers at the FIU School of Communication + Journalism—Dan Evans, Kate MacMillan, Albert Soto and the South Florida Media Network professors. I graduated knowing how to write and edit for print, TV and online.
What role did Campus Life play in preparing you for your current position? Serving as SGA president for Biscayne Bay Campus was the best thing I did at FIU. I not only learned about the inner-workings of a world-renowned public institution, I also had my leadership, interpersonal communication and public speaking skills tested on a daily basis. That experience has made me a better friend, a better leader and a better student of life. It's also made me more capable of taking on big projects and planning out big ideas.
How has your transition from school to work been? It's been difficult coming to terms that I'm in the adult world now and everything isn't as clear-cut, laid out as it once was. I've created new routines and actually started using the agenda that was laying around in a corner of my room. I bought it last Fall when I was convinced I was super busy. Now, I'm the busiest I ever have been, and it's on my own time. I had to learn how to stay productive without having someone over my shoulder telling me to do it. I miss school.
How do you balance your time? I stay very organized. My friends (and sometimes family) know me as the one who sends Google calendar invites for everything—from movie night to getting drinks to just stopping by—it's all typed in or written down.
What’s been the coolest thing about your job so far? The coolest thing about my job is when what you write airs on TV. We all have little TVs at our desks and I always tune in to 7 News to watch our anchors read the words I wrote. Doing this also helps me improve my craft. I am, and always have been, in the business of personal improvement.