On the Come UP…Chiderah Aalisa

Name: Chiderah Aalisa

Brand Affiliation: thatgirlontv.com

Job Title:  Journalist

Age: this lady won’t tell :-) (between 22 & 25)


UP:  Chiderah what’s going on, we want to thank you for taking the time to do this feature with us here at Urban Professor.  So tell us, what are your current titles?  How do you label yourself?

Chiderah: To sum it all up – I am a journalist. I’m a News Editor and Researcher for a major broadcast network, so I deal with the inner workings of what major news stories make it on television each day, but I’m also an entertainment writer, reporter and film critic who’s had the chance to sit down with actors and directors and cover red carpets. I love hard news just as much as I love celebrity fluff, and I dabble in everything in between.

UP:  What’s the motivating factor that drove you into this industry?

Chiderah: People, and the stories we all have to tell – that’s what got me started on this path. I’ve always been interested in getting to know people, asking questions, and learning. I think journalism does a great job of relating us to one another.

UP:  What could someone reading this right now do to further pursue their dream career immediately?

Chiderah: Take out a piece of paper, and give yourself some goals and deadlines. Ask yourself – six months, a year, five years from now – what do you want to accomplish? Writing it down and posting it somewhere can really be the difference between saying and doing. With that in mind, be realistic. Don’t be too lax, but give yourself goals that are attainable. You are not going to be Oprah in five years – even she had a lengthy journalism career. And last but not least, remember that you are your own life editor. It’s never too late to start over.

UP:  Very powerful words…”You are your own life editor.”  We couldn’t agree more.

UP:  Was college necessary for your current career/position? If not, what was?

Chiderah: I don’t doubt one could be a journalist without a college degree, but I strongly believe in traditional training. There’s a huge difference between being a journalist and being a blogger with a lot of web traffic (trust me, I am both!) and that’s really just learning the craft. Here comes the big BUT – college alone doesn’t make you a good journalist. You have to supplement education with experience, uniqueness, and a great network of professional people. Emphasis on the network.

UP:  What’s the best advice you’ve received in the last few years?

Chiderah: “Cry yourself a river, build a bridge and then get over it.” Or in other words acknowledge, accept, and move on. When things go wrong or something falls through it’s ok to be upset, but there should be an expiration date on wallowing. Give yourself the day to be upset if you need it, but then get up the next morning and move forward having learned from that experience.

UP:  What’s the biggest myth about your respective industry that you’ve learned during your career journey thus far?

Chiderah: I think the biggest misconception is that journalists will do anything to get a story. Sure, some people have made bad decisions in the name of journalism, but that’s not the norm. Every day I see ethics applied in the newsroom. Decisions are made with heavy consultation, and precaution is always taken. As an editor, a huge chunk of my job is fact checking.

UP:  What are some of the biggest challenges you face regularly?

Chiderah: Time management is a constant struggle. News is often times unpredictable, and very fickle. Sometimes my job will involve a quick change, quick thinking, or juggling several things at once. It’s not a business for the unorganized, and that’s something I’ve learned the hard way.

UP:  Tell us about your most significant accomplishment thus far.

Chiderah: I’m very proud of getting two degrees in four years. I got my Bachelor’s in Broadcast Journalism and my Master’s in Arts Journalism all before my 22nd birthday. I was initially hesitant to accept this as an accomplishment because I’ve always considered academic achievement mandatory, but honestly- I’ve worked my ass off. And with what I do now I’m often the youngest person in the room. Why shouldn’t I be proud of that?

UP:  Most influential book you’ve read? Why (the abbreviated answer)?

Chiderah: Oh The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss. If you didn’t read it as a child, you should read it as an adult – I guarantee the lasting effect will be the same.

UP:  How do U Define Success?

Chiderah: Success is simply doing what you love, and loving what you do. It could be anything.

UP:  What’s a quote that you live by?

Chiderah: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt. Most of what we become in this life is what we believe and speak into existence.

UP:  Drop a nugget. What’s something that you want to put the Urban Professor audience on to (blog, website, up and coming artist, technology, clothing brand, etc.)

Chiderah: Just a word of advice to all aspiring professionals: One key to success no matter what you do, is to become the expert in your field. Learn everything you can about something specific, and people will think of you first. And on that note, check out www.thatgirlontv.com :-)

UP:  Thanks Chiderah.  U DEFINE SUCCESS

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February 24, 2012 by Mr. Forte


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