(October 24, 2013) After two years working as a one-man-band reporter for a website, Mike Peal is ready to don a jacket and tie, and get in front a TV camera. An STAA client, Peal is the new Sports Anchor/Multimedia Journalist at WBNG-TV in Binghamton, NY.
“Before this, I was doing a little bit of everything and sprinkling in sports when I could. Now I’ll be doing sports full time, and suddenly I have a feeling work is going to feel less like work and more like a lot of fun,” Peal grins.
Peal has been on the job hunt since the beginning of summer, with little result. When an STAA email with the WBNG opening hit Peal’s inbox, he pulled a quick turnaround to make sure that his application was among the first the station received.
“I have a friend who works at WBNG’s main competitor, so Binghamton and WBNG had always been on my radar. But if it wasn’t for STAA’s job lead emails, I may not have seen this opening as quickly as I did. It was posted 9/25, I saw STAA’s email about it at 5:30 p.m. that evening,” Peal explains.
“I had a cover letter, resume and demo reel shipped through FedEx that night and it arrived the morning of 9/27. I can’t help thinking that was huge — that I was able to get my information in front of them as quickly as I did.”
Peal also relied on STAA for help in preparing for the interview. “The day before my interview I bought three STAA audio clips regarding how to get a job, what to say and what not to say, etc. A lot of it was common sense, but it was nice to hear it. The one thing those audio clips really did do was give me some ideas on questions I should ask the employer. Very, very helpful. I am thrilled about my decision to join STAA.”
A graduate of the University of Connecticut, Peal spent the last two years honing his craft at ItsRelevant.com, a hyper local news website in Connecticut.
“At the company I’ve worked for the last two years, the experience I’ve gotten was pseudo-broadcast experience. I was writing, shooting and editing my own news packages; I was making editorial decisions, ethical decisions; learning how to gather and maintain sources — the whole nine yards. But I still didn’t have that commercial television experience I knew I would need to get where I want to go. This is a good start in that regard, and I’ll be at the top station in the Binghamton market with a long tradition of quality.”
The most common advice offered to job hunters is to remain patient. It might sound a little tired, but Peal says that advice is still an essential ingredient.
“Just don’t quit. God knows I heard ‘do not give up’ so many times I became sick of hearing it, but it’s true. I applied to jobs starting in late May and only got two call backs before this one popped up. My friends, professors, mentors from my internship — they all told me I was good enough and to just hang in there, but eventually you get sick of hearing that from everybody but an employer. But it’s true. Just hang in there. It’s a very subjective process and as good as you may be, a news director might not like your voice, your style or a number of things. If you’re good enough and you work hard enough, you’ll land somewhere.”
(Visit Mike’s STAA Talent Page).