Dozens of journalism students filled the Balboa Room at the California State University, Northridge University Student Union on March 9 to hear CBS President David Rhodes speak about careers in broadcast journalism.
Department of Journalism Chair Linda Bowen introduced Rhodes at the event, which was organized by CSUN’s Radio Television Digital News Association.
When he took over the post in February 2001, Rhodes became the youngest network news president in American TV history. Only seven months later, the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred and challenged Rhodes professionally and personally, as he and his family were living in New York.
“It was an unusual event in a lot of different ways [in terms of] dealing with covering it for national news, but also dealing with it being your neighborhood,” Rhodes said.
He spoke about the global economic and technology issues that create more opportunities for journalism professionals than ever before, creating a diverse array of career paths and a need for coverage. But few people take advantage of these opportunities, and they neglect one of the most important steps after a job interview — following up, he said.
“You’d be surprised how many people don’t [follow up],” Rhodes said. “Advocate for yourself, and they will react to it. Exhibit the skills they will expect you to demonstrate in your job.”
He shared his experiences with former applicants who gave up too fast, and he advised students to be persistent and not get discouraged.
“If you can’t sell yourself, you’re probably not going to be an advocate for us,” he said.