Alumna Working in TV News Credits Career Success to Training Received from Professors with Real-World Experience Alumni Profile
Meet Sierra Tufts
- Job Title & Employer
- News Anchor and Reporter, WANE 15
- Broadcast Reporting
- Public relations and advertising
- April 2015
- College Activities
- Union City, Pa.
- High School
- Union City High School
- Now Living In
- Warsaw, Ind.
- Hobbies & Interests
- Cooking, baking and spending time with my cats Olivia, Queso and Kona
"Having educators [at Point Park] working in the field is an immeasurable asset. They know what’s going on in the business and prepared me for what was sometimes a challenge in the real world. Passing their knowledge and experience down to their students is what sets Point Park apart from most journalism programs."
Tell us about your career path since graduating from Point Park University.
I spent the first two years out of school working as reporter and anchor in my hometown of Erie, Pa. After those first two years, I wasn’t sure if news was the business for me. I went out on a limb and took a public relations job at a nonprofit in the state of Indiana. As much as I loved helping others during my six months at that job, I missed news. I saw a weekend morning anchor and reporter position open in nearby Fort Wayne. A little over a year later, I’ve fallen back in love with the news world.
How did your undergraduate experience prepare you for professional success?
It’s the professors, hands down. Having educators working in the field is an immeasurable asset. They know what’s going on in the business and prepared me for what was sometimes a challenge in the real world. Passing their knowledge and experience down to their students is what sets Point Park apart from most journalism programs.
What are your key responsibilities in your job?
I am a general assignment reporter three days a week and the weekend morning anchor.
As a reporter, I pitch story ideas, contact sources, set up interviews and shoot the stories. Occasionally I have a photographer to help, but it’s usually just me. Once all of that is done, I tease my story on social media and write a web version. Everything is due by 4 p.m. It sounds like a lot, but in smaller markets there’s much more work, so this is a pretty easy day!
On the weekends, my day starts at 1 a.m. (three hours before my shift begins). I take my morning to monitor developing stories, check in with the producer and read scripts from home. Once I get to the station, I make my edits to the scripts, help the producer with additional writing/editing and add/update web stories. Then it's finally time to anchor the newscast, which includes in-studio interviews during the show.
What are your fondest Point Park memories?
The atmosphere. I love the feeling of being in a big city, but being at Point Park still gives you that college atmosphere.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Take advantage of all the classes offered and snag that minor. As much as I love my job, I’m happy to know I have my minor to lean on if needed. I received it all because I took a few extra classes.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I am so proud to be an alumna from a journalism program that has the proof it works. TV news is a small world, and there’s a good chance you’ll run into someone who went to Point Park or knows about the program.