Fox NFL sportscaster Erin Andrews said she cares about sports, about her new married life and, most of all, about her job.
Members of the IU Panhellenic Association welcomed Andrews to Bloomington for a talk at the IU Auditorium on Wednesday night, during which she offered advice on topics from how to get a job out of college to what her most embarrassing story is.
Andrews, who also hosts ABC's Dancing with the Stars, told students having a thick skin is important, but having someone to support you is even more important.
"Have a mentor, someone to look up to," she said.
From the early age of 13, Andrews said she knew she wanted to be a sports journalist. As a kid, she would watch games with her dad, Emmy-winning journalist Steve Andrews.
She said she would root for the Boston Celtics and Green Bay Packers and always dreamed of working on the sidelines.
She said she entered her college career at the University of Florida knowing she wanted to pursue sports broadcasting.
While in school, she was a part of the University of Florida dance team, the Dazzlers, and said she joined the sorority Zeta Tau Alpha because other girls on the team were in the house.
Upon graduation, Andrews said she went back to her hometown and begged a local station she had interned at to let her be a freelance reporter.
When they offered her a behind-the-scenes job, her father gave her some helpful advice that she passed on to the audience.
“Go be where you can be on air,” Andrews said.
After that, she got a job on air for the National Hockey League, and embarked on her almost 20-year career as a sports journalist.
She said being a female in a male-dominated field, such as sports broadcasting, has been difficult sometimes, but it does not get to her because she of her passion for the field.
She said being a Zeta has given her many advantages, such as making connections and networking, which she said is important in the industry she works in.
Now, Andrews goes from reporting on grassy NFL sidelines on Sundays, to hosting reality TV on a glitzy sound stage for "Dancing with the Stars" the next day.
She said breaking into the entertainment journalism industry can be difficult, but one thing helps.
"Work your tail off, because it’s a hard and competitive field," she said.
Andrews said she got to where she is by working hard and taking advice from her mentors.
Part of working hard means preparing for interviews, she said.
“I’m really religious and kind of crazy about studying,” Andrews said.
IU sophomore Chase Rainey said he thought the talk was inspiring and thought-provoking.
“It was great to hear about how she worked her way up the ladder, and how she never felt like it was a disadvantage being a woman,” Rainey said. “She studied hard and knew she deserved to be there. She gives her career everything she’s got, and that’s what I admire about her.”
Andrews dished out advice for students looking to go into the journalism industry.
She said something her friend told her stuck with her when she thinks about telling others, women specifically, how to get a job out of college.
“Being a female is going to open the door for me," she said. "But how hard I work is what’s going to keep me there."
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