A decade of persistence pays off for Panula

“Todd(April 10, 2014) Todd Panula’s story is a model for anyone who is struggling in the sportscasting job market. An STAA client, Panula has been hired as the Sports Director at 1240 KFMO and B104 FM in Park Hills MO.

“It took me almost 10 years to finally make it,” Panula grins.

A 2004 graduate of the University of Kansas, Panula’s job market success has come only after considerable trial and error. “I made a lot of mistakes along the way. I used to just send resumes out into the void and hope they’d speak for themselves. When I first started, I didn’t follow up and when I found out I needed to, it was still a struggle because I’m nervous on the phone. I may have made a couple mistakes in interviews as well.

Panula has also faced some bad luck in his job search. “One hockey job I almost had. My foot was halfway in the door only to be told I didn’t make it because another candidate could double as an assistant coach.”

Ultimately, it was the support of his family and his belief in himself that kept Panula motivated.

“Year after year went by and I came close to giving up a few times,” he says.

Deep down I knew I was good enough to be a broadcaster and I just couldn’t force myself to give up on the dream even when, financially, there were times it would have made sense to. My family’s acceptance of my goals helped and my fiancé, Candace, was a big motivation too. She kept me going during the low times.

Landing the KFMO job was the result of Panula applying many of the job market strategies he has learned over the years. “It was just doing the things [CEO Jon Chelesnik] and STAA taught me all in one. I turned in my resume soon after seeing the posting, I followed up when I said I would, I was confident in the phone interview and I researched the job going into it as well.”

Panula’s KFMO application also received a more direct assist from STAA. “I had turned in my resume myself, but the PD said he also got it from [STAA], so it was nice to hear confirmation that my stuff was received from STAA as well as through my own efforts.”

The opportunity in Park Hills is perfect for Panula because it includes everything he wants to be doing.

“I get to do play-by-play and sports updates and even a DJ shift on an FM station,” Panula says. “They specifically told me they want me to focus on sports and that’s it.

“It took a long time to get my foot in the door but I feel extremely fortunate to have landed in a really good situation.”

(Visit Todd’s STAA Talent Page).

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