Before accepting a new job in Reno, Sydnee Scofield had never even been to Nevada.
She was willing to go anywhere to follow her dream.
Sydnee’s name may ring familiar from the Good Morning Reno show on KOLO 8 News Now. As a journalist, Sydnee felt a little weird to be on the opposite side of the interview with me. Instead of asking questions, she was in the hot seat for once! Not to worry, I play nice.
Many of us see and hear from reporters daily and don’t think twice of it. But what’s behind the glamorous profession?
To start, Sydnee recounted that she is her own cameraman (or, in this case, camera-woman). She pointed over my shoulder to where her camera gear was stashed in her car. I was surprised to find out that most reporters actually do their own shooting. She doesn’t have a crew or a makeup artist. Rather, Sydnee usually gets ready in the rearview mirror of her car a few minutes before going live.
Rearview mirror makeup sessions aside, it’s clear that Sydnee is working at her dream job. She told me that she was always interested in the news. Growing up in Spokane, she looked up to anchors and reporters. When someone from the news came into her class or covered an event she was at, she described it as “the best day ever”. Sydnee was the editor in chief of her high school newspaper.
After winning the Spokane Lilac Festival, a pageant focused on professional development, Sydnee went on air at her local news station. She described being awed when she walked into the studio for the first time. The more time she spent in the studio, the more Sydnee craved being in a newsroom. That craving followed her throughout college at the Arizona State Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. Albeit a Sun Devil at heart, Sydnee is now proud to work in the home of the Wolf Pack.
Live from the source, here’s Sydnee’s take on life behind the scenes of a journalist:
Telling people’s stories is an immense responsibility
“There was never a moment where I was like “meh”. I was so attracted to journalism. I never questioned it. It was weird. I feel really grateful. A lot of people struggle with what they want to do. I feel really grateful that I have always had this passion for news.”
“You get to see all the people who come together to fix things. There’s always the day when I’m reporting on something awful. But for the most part, you get to see so much good. I have more faith in humanity because of this job.”
“I like to cover stories that are really unusual. There was this house in Spanish Springs where bugs invaded outside of the house. They couldn’t figure out what the bugs were. I got to shoot a bunch of video of these really creepy bugs at their house, identify what they were and actually fix the problem. I really like stories that are unusual that I can actually do something about.”
You’re going to have to be a squeaky wheel
“There’s always going to be someone who tells you you’re not going to do it. Even when you’re already doing it! No matter what point you are in your quest to do this, everyone thinks they’re not going to make it, but so many of us do. Keep going. Someone, somewhere will give you a job. Even if it’s in the middle of North Dakota. I’ve seen a lot of people go there. Even if you have to start there, you’ll still get where you need to go. If you want to get there, you’ll get there.”
“That’s another thing I learned. If you want something you’re going to have to be a squeaky wheel. You do. You have to keep, keep, keep on. If you don’t get into a program, job right away, you have to keep going, keep trying, keep pestering. Eventually someone will hire you, give you the right shift. If you keep going, you’re not going to ever fail. You’ll win the war ultimately if you keep going.”
News gives you a platform to be an advocate
“I think a cool thing about this profession is it gives you a platform to be an advocate. I do that through the stories that I decide to do. I always do stories to benefit a sick kid, breast cancer, anything like that.”
“I actually have kidney disease. It’s not curable. At some point I can advocate that through research and awareness. This is something that affects people every year.”
“Everyone on my mom’s side has had [kidney disease]. I watched my mom get sick when I was in sixth grade, and get a transplant in eighth. It’s difficult to know that someday I’m going to need a kidney transplant, especially after seeing someone else go through it. It opened my eyes that a lot of people are going through something like that, even if it’s not the same.”
Be kind to yourself- it’s okay to struggle
“I’m learning to be kind to myself. It’s okay to spend a night at home doing nothing. There’s so much pressure to have this perfect life, the perfect job, the best boyfriend. You know what I mean. I don’t think people really know that. Even if they do they do know that, people still expect that they’re going to have that perfect life.”
“I think the vast majority of us are working really hard, but we’re not ever told it’s okay to struggle. It’s okay for it to be really difficult at first. I was like ‘Is it supposed to be this hard? Am I doing something wrong?’ You have to work, really work. It’s okay to make a mistake at work, not to be perfect, not to be married, to struggle. It’s fine. There’s a lot of pressure to have everything in place right now. It’s not going to be. And that’s okay.”
Want more of Sydnee? Check out Good Morning Reno on KOLO 8 News Now from 4:30 AM to 7 AM. You can also follow Sydnee on Facebook and Twitter. Sydnee wants you to know that you can always reach out to her with story ideas or any questions via her email at email@example.com.
Even though being a squeaky wheel is traditionally thought of as negative, I like it within the context of this story. To be successful in your dreams, you have to make sacrifices, work hard, and keep going. You have to ask for what you want, and then work hard to deserve it. You have to be a squeaky wheel.
Has the squeaky wheel philosophy ever worked out for you? Let me know by leaving a reply below.
Until next time- Saludos!