Want to succeed? Do this.

  1. Take initiative and push yourself harder. DON’T BE LAZY.
  2. Be nice.

    Your classmates and I will help you get paid to do a job you love. Treat this class as a professional environment. People are watching the way you behave. If you act right, it will help you for years to come. If you’re a jerk, people won’t help you succeed.
  3. Never ask me (or anyone else) anything you can easily find on Google like event details, addresses, contact info, hours of operation, etc.

    It’s super rude to waste people’s time because you’re too lazy to check your own phone.
  4. Show me your videos as soon as you shoot so I can give you advice on how to make your project amazing (be warned this may mean re-shooting your video so don’t wait until it’s too late). When I give you feedback in person, take notes. Don’t come back later and tell me you forgot everything I said.
  5. Subscribe to the Zimmerman School Digital Network at USF on YouTube. Watch the videos, like, share and tag. Helping your classmates = good karma. Want views and likes on your own videos? Start by supporting your classmates and soon your analytics will grow organically.
  6. Follow me on Twitter and read everything I post (at least skim the headlines) @JnetAbrahamsen. Subscribe to my lists for story ideas.
  7. Follow @USF_ZSAMC on Twitter. Follow your classmates on Twitter, then like and share their posts.
  8. Follow usfzschoolmc on Instagram.
  9. Don’t post anything on social media that you wouldn’t show a hiring manager during a job interview. DELETE anything that doesn’t make you look like a reliable, trustworthy and credible worker.
  10. Download news apps and allow push notifications.
  12. Write like a human. Just because you’re in college doesn’t mean your writing should be arrogant. You’re writing for the masses, not an academic journal. Use simple words well.
  13. Kill it on all of the photography/videography basics like the rule of thirds. Don’t ever accidentally over backlight an interview. Don’t shoot in the shadow of a tree. Shoot an extreme number of extreme close-ups.
  14. Try out digital media apps that make it more efficient to create cool videos, images and graphics.
  15. Use YouTube’s free music library (and properly attribute songs in your video descriptions)
  16. Learn new (and modern) video effects, transitions and text animation in Adobe Premiere Pro. Here are some tutorials.
  17. Use free After Effects templates to elevate the quality of your videos. Motion Array is my favorite. There are free and paid templates.
  18. If you’re going to be on camera, be creative and active.
  19. Get certifications using your FREE LinkedIn Learning account.
  20. Check out free equipment at the CIS video lab.
  21. Don’t forget extreme close-ups. Like LOTS of them. Always shoot more b-roll than you think you need because not all of it will be amazing.
  22. Ask yourself, “would I watch this if it wasn’t mine?” If not, try harder.
  23. Follow the rules until you’re good enough to break them.

Published by JeanetteAbrahamsen

I am an instructional designer and TV news instructor at the University of South Florida. My passion for innovating learning led me to pursue my PhD in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Instructional Technology. I love creating media to enhance eLearning and foster online engagement. I teach students to create multimedia stories for broadcast, web and social media platforms. I lead the Florida Focus class where students produce daily news shows that air on Tampa's PBS station. My reporting classes collaborated with Tampa's NPR station to produce award-winning stories. I am an Emmy Award-winning journalist. I produced thousands of hours of TV news in some of America's largest media markets at Tampa's NBC station, San Diego's ABC station and the San Diego Union-Tribune. I also produced immersive 360-degree virtual tours at the University of South Florida and reported for Hashtag Our Stories.

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