TV Professor Ross Brown interviews a recent grad, Katie Chilson, who majored in Television and Broadcast Journalism, who now works for ABC.

What was your major and when did you graduated?

I majored in Television and Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Advertising, and I graduated in May 2012.

Where do you work now?

I work as an office and writers’ PA at “The Middle” (Wednesdays at 8/7c on ABC!!)

What do you like most about your job?

I work with an incredibly nice group of people, and I am lucky to be in an active an creative environment. I enjoy taking notes on production meetings, tech scouts, etc. because every department meets to discuss how the episode will come together. I love knowing all the details that go into making a script come to life, especially the logistics that require more complex solutions.

What is your ultimate career goal?

 I would like to write comedy for television. I’m particularly fond of late night sketch comedy, so let’s hope SNL sticks around for another decade.

What classes and learning experiences at Chapman were the most valuable in building toward your current job?

The writing classes, from Fundamentals of Screenwriting to Writing the TV Drama, helped me learn structure and instill some discipline in my habits. On top of that, the internships I had during my time in school are by far the most valuable experiences I had. I can directly attribute my job to my two latest internships.

What kind of things are you learning on the job that you couldn’t learn in school?

Being around people that have worked in the industry for decades has taught me a lot about what makes a show run well and what to do when there are bumps in the road. Chapman prepares it’s students incredibly well for the real world, giving us plenty of production opportunities, but there’s nothing quite like real life experience. The pace, attention to detail, and overall production value in television are amplified upon entering the workforce and take a bit of adjusting.

Would you recommend the Television program at Chapman to others who want to work in the field?

Absolutely, and take advantage of opportunities outside of the program too! Make shorts with friends, help out on film sets, do projects outside of your emphasis. You never know if you’ll find something that really clicks.