Skip to Content
Got my first job! Working as a reporter at the Miami Herald

Got my first job! Working as a reporter at the Miami Herald

In this series, recent grads share their journey to landing that first professional job out of college. After years of studying and working toward a degree, these Panthers’ hard work paid off. Now they’re paying it forward by letting you know how they did it.

February 11, 2020 at 11:30am

Name: Michelle Marchante

Hometown: Miami

Degree/Major: Broadcast Media, subtrack: Broadcast Journalism

When did you graduate? May 2019

How did you get your job? Networking! I made a connection in the industry while working at PantherNOW, FIU's student-run newspaper, and they told me about the job opening. I applied, and I'm glad I did!
What was your greatest fear going into your first job? How did you face it or overcome it? I was nervous and excited. I had experience in finding stories, but it's a whole different level once you're working at the Miami Herald. I was worried during my first few weeks on the job, but thankfully, my editors and co-workers were there to help me.
What surprised you the most about your first job? I knew social media was helpful for reporters in the digital age but I didn't realize how useful it could be when working on a story.
What advice do you have for those beginning the job search process? Start getting experience in your field as soon as you can. Find a club, organization or job on campus that can help prepare you for the future. 
Secondly, get an internship. Your internship coordinator is a great resource so meet them as soon as possible! My coordinator, Professor Lilliam Martinez-Bustos, helped me secure a summer internship with Inspicio – arts publishing platform.
Next, take your classes seriously. Not only can you make a portfolio with your assignments, but your professors are also potential references. I was lucky to have learned from professors such as Dianne Fernandez, Neil Reisner, Dan Evans, Kate MacMillin, Bustos and Student Media advisors Robert Jaross and Alfred Soto.
What does a day on the job look like? My job is to report breaking/trending stories and write enterprise pieces that will interest or help our readers. So, every day is different. I usually work on multiple pieces a day, finding sources and doing interviews. I love it!
How does your job connect back to your coursework? Every day at work, I use the skills I learned in class, PantherNOW and The Roar (FIU’s student-run radio station). I graduated with a diverse background in writing, video and audio. I believe these skills gave me the foundation I needed to begin my career.
What role did Student Media play in preparing you for your current position? One of the best decisions I made at FIU was joining PantherNOW. It taught me what it's like to be a journalist. The leadership opportunities it gave me through the years (opinion director, news director and editor-in-chief) also helped develop my ability to work with a team, think on my feet and solve problems creatively - skills I use on a daily basis.
I also made great friends while I was there.
How has your transition from school to work been? Super easy! I actually have more free time than I did before! I had two jobs while I was attending FIU and it turned into three during my last semester. I was working part-time as a news writer at WSVN Channel 7; editor-in-chief of PantherNOW; and bookseller at the FIU Barnes & Noble at MMC. I feel like all the work experience made the transition much easier.
How do you balance your time? Some stories require more hours than others so I always try to plan ahead and make a mental list of what I want to find out, who I want to interview and what research I'll need to do before I start an article. Breaking news is different. While you can't plan for it, you can still create a quick list in your mind of what you need to find out and who you need to speak with. Then you develop it from there.
What's been the coolest thing about your job so far? Every story is different and I love that. I’m a big Miami Herald fan and it was one of my dream media outlets. Now, I’m lucky to be working there, along with the reporters and editors behind the articles I always read.

"One of the best decisions I made at FIU was joining PantherNOW. It taught me what it's like to be a journalist." Michelle Marchante