A dream internship

By Rachel Davis

Last summer, she worked for some of the biggest names in morning television, met several celebrities and even appeared on camera a few times in front of a national audience. For Sierra Fox (’16), Good Morning America was the kind of internship dreams are made of.

“I applied like anyone else would,” says Fox, who had experience as an intern at WNCN in Raleigh and as a production assistant for ABC 11. “Most get their internship through a connection, but I had no connections. I’m just very passionate about broadcast journalism, and I felt so fortunate that they could see that through my application.”

She might have been a little starstruck early on working with the likes of Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos and Ginger Zee, but Fox learned quickly that it takes a large crew to make a show like that run. She also learned to hold on to opportunities and resources presented to her.

“Since I worked specifically with the GMA Investigative Unit, I was able to hone my researching skills and learn ways to find information that I never knew about before,” she says. “At the network level in news, they have so many resources that it’s almost hard to take advantage of them all.”

It wasn’t all research and books. One of the times Fox made it in front of the camera involved drinking smoothies for breakfast and reporting on how long it felt for her to feel hungry again. She also snagged selfies with Regis Philbin and record producer DJ Khaled and helped shadow bookings for stars like Kelsea Ballerini and Florida Georgia Line to appear on the show.

Her work on Good Morning America helped land Fox a full-time reporting position in October at WHAG-TV, a local Washington, D.C., station serving smaller markets in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia. She says the job gives her the opportunity to connect with the community and learn more about the surrounding area and the people living there.

Like her experience at GMA, a typical day at WHAG is anything but typical, she says. “Every day I have to come up with two story ideas on my own, get them approved in the morning meeting, then I go out to shoot my story and interview people,” she says. “If I have no cameraman, I do it all by myself. I write, shoot and edit my stories and meet a daily deadline.”

It’s a big job, but Fox says she has the passion necessary to propel her forward. The appeal of broadcast journalism is simple: “There’s just something about people in the community feeling so comfortable telling you their story and trusting you enough to share it.”

Fox says she’s aware that her career will likely take her to several markets, but for now, she’s focused on the present. “I still have a lot to learn, so I just hope to grow and improve each and every day,” she says. “Reporting is what I love to do and I am looking forward to seeing where my path takes me.”

She credits her time at Campbell with giving her the skills to create her own opportunities: “In life, nothing is just handed to anyone. You have to work for things and make them happen.”