It was the day that Carley Berlin had been waiting for. Finally, Hillcrest Middle School was hosting its annual career fair. Berlin’s heart raced at the sight of her once- plain cafeteria that was now filled with unusually businesslike students and presentation boards that listed their dream jobs.
Finally, after a long line of speakers, Lesley Stahl, a news anchor from “60 Minutes,” stepped up to the podium. The room went silent as Stahl began to speak about her path to becoming a news anchor and what her job entailed.
Berlin laughed and listened intently during Stahl’s charming address. Her speech moved Berlin. She got to hear what it was like to be a real news anchor, and she was hooked. From that day on, Berlin knew her calling was journalism.
The first opportunity to try out journalism was during Berlin’s freshman year of high school, when she auditioned for her dream job as a school news anchor. Berlin had been eying this position the moment she had set foot into her new school during the fall of 2010.
The scene was set for the audition. Twenty other freshmen were her competition. When it was Berlin’s turn to try out, her confidence and excitement overshadowed her nerves. “I was not nervous at all,” she remembers.
All she had to do was read a mock version of morning announcements presented from the teleprompter. She seemed a natural: She was one of two seniors to be named an anchor.
Although her career of being a school news anchor was limited to the morning announcements of the day’s lunch menu and news from clubs, she enjoyed the experience.
Recently she held an internship at a local radio station in her hometown of Trumbull, Conn. She was allowed to play her preferred music and then report on it after. This was a fun outlet for Berlin to explore her love of music as well as her love of reporting.
This led to Berlin to explore her options for reporting and writing during her summer leading up to her senior year. Berlin researched the colleges that had accredited communications programs.
“I found American University all on my own,” Berlin said.
She enrolled in broadcast journalism and professional newswriting courses at American’s Discover the World of Communication program. She said she is thoroughly enjoying the experience and is learning skills that will help her in her career.
“I just like to be heard and listened to,” Berlin said.