What type of person creates a year-long color-coordinated chart with rotating responsibilities to ensure that her six-person suite always stays clean?
None other than Andie Babusik. Organized, driven, hard-working, and the definition of a “people person,” Babusik, MCAS ’18, is especially prepared to pursue her career of choice—broadcast journalism.
She brings the motivation and attention to detail that keeps her suite running smoothly to every part of her life, and it’s brought her far. A communication major and American studies minor, Babusik has a passion for journalism that she hopes will lead her to become an on-air television personality.
Babusik has long felt that she belonged in a field where she can interact with others. From a young age, she was outgoing, loved talking to adults, and loved giving class presentations.
Her friends and family always suggested that she pursue a career in journalism, where she could put those skills to work interviewing and reporting. But when she reached high school, she was unable to take classes in television production or journalism, and she decided to look into business and science as alternatives.
After her acceptance to BC, these remained her two main options. While she was initially a biochemistry major and then a psychology major, she became undeclared second semester. Nothing sparked her interest like the dream of television journalism she had held since her childhood. In discussions with her family, she was encouraged to major in communication and pursue her original goal because it better suited her personality.
Since she was so torn between the options in her future, she decided not to study abroad and stay in Boston to get her major sorted out.
She began sophomore year taking two introductory classes in communications to see whether or not they intrigued her. She easily achieved great grades in both classes and connected with the professors well. Rather than drag herself through classes that she disliked, she decided to major in communications to take classes that obviously suited her better.
Her friends, such as Alexis Hamill, MCAS ’18, point to her as a born communicator—always reliable and concerned about what is good for everyone.
“Once Andie sets her sights on a goal, she is bound to achieve it,” Hamill said. “Even with her busy schedule, I can always count on her to listen when I need a friend at the end of the day.”
With those traits, Babusik turned her sights on the next goal. She had to translate her success in the classroom into practical experience outside it. She considered finding any internship in public relations or broadcasting a success, so she began exploring her options. After speaking with a friend from high school, whose mother worked at FOX 29 News Philadelphia, she applied to and received an offer for an internship in the community affairs division of the station.
The experience turned out to be very educational for Babusik. During the initial few weeks of the internship, she found herself staring at Excel sheets and working through company files, bored with the monotonous work. It wasn’t what she expected, and it wasn’t what she wanted. She discovered that this type of setup wasn’t where she would thrive long term.
On a positive note, she met with the boss of her boss, who worked in the upper management of the station. She gave Babusik the opportunity to help a Friday morning newscast live from an event in Philadelphia, which turned out to be the most inspiring moment of that summer. She was on the ground, watching the action unfold. It affirmed for her that news was where she wanted be.
As the next summer approached, Babusik realized that she needed an internship that would give her the chance to get in front of the camera. To become a broadcast journalist, one must put together a demo reel—a carefully selected and edited sequence of clips of a prospective journalist’s work—and the only way she could do this was by having reporters and photographers teach her how.
She applied to NBC Boston for the spring semester but soon realized that the internship would not be able to fit her schedule. She was, however, such a promising candidate that the assignment manager offered her a spot on the summer internship team.
The upcoming summer turned out to be one of the most amazing Babusik ever had. Working at the assignment desk, she learned all about the behind-the-scenes processes through which broadcasting networks put on the news and was directly involved in preparing stories for viewing.
“It’s truly unbelievable how much work goes into making something look so effortless,” Babusik said. “That blew me away the most.”
She learned that a simple one-to-two minute segment aired on television can take up to five hours to make. To produce the highest-quality story for viewers, stations have to have a meticulous attention to detail.
And in the newsroom, no one knows when a slow news day might erupt.
“They might get called in the middle of the story they’ve been working on for three hours to go across the state of Massachusetts and report on something else,” Babusik said. “It’s a 24-hour turnover cycle and you never know what you’re going to get.”
Babusik experienced that in July, when a massive fire broke out in Waltham, Mass, burning down multiple apartment buildings under construction. NBC Boston covered the story from the first flames to the surprising revelation that it was not an accident, but arson. Babusik watched the reporting unfold in front of her at a rapid rate, and knew that this world offered her important and meaningful work unlike any other.
Although her summer is now over, she still works at NBC Boston’s assignment desk during the school year once a week. Now she has enough video segments to put together an impressive demo reel for her first job applications.
Nonetheless, she is not planning to go directly into the business right after she graduates. Rather, she has decided to apply for a year of service with City Year Philadelphia. This nonprofit will allow her to mentor in the classroom with inner city students of various ages who do not receive enough support in the classroom. Ultimately, this work will spark meaningful dialogue about education and help diminish the dropout rate for these students.
“It’s a big responsibility to inform the people and help them make decisions about how to live their lives, so I need to learn more about the world before I talk about it,” Babusik said.
After her year of service in Philadelphia, she is considering volunteering internationally. This way, she can go into the reporting field having the knowledge to discuss both domestic and international affairs.
Babusik’s love of journalism isn’t that far removed from her love for service. For her, reporters are valuable public servants. She thinks that broadcast journalists have a crucial responsibility, and sees her future career as much more than just TV.
“Journalism isn’t about the broadcasters or stars on television, but the people you inform,” Babusik said.
Featured Image Courtesy of Andrea Babusik