Aubrey Helms, a 2010 Anderson University graduate and broadcast journalism major, has taken on new roles since graduating. Newly married, Helms and her husband moved to Rochester, Minn., where KTTC, an NBC affiliate, hired her as a television anchor and reporter. She credits God and those at WQME for the opportunity to follow her passion.
“I wanted to be in news since I was in high school,” said Helms. She enjoyed working for WQME and made good friends there. She started out as news director, and then moved into operations. “By the time I graduated I was doing a little bit of everything,” she said.
The summer between her sophomore and junior year, Helms worked as an intern for Channel 6 News in Indianapolis. Her time at WQME gave her live experience on a daily basis. “The news department teaches you how to think quickly, to come across clearly and precisely,” she said.
While at Channel 6, Helms worked the morning shift three days a week, from 4 a.m. to 1 p.m. They often sent her out as a reporter with a photographer, helped her make a résumé tape, and record. “They let me do rather than observe, and I had fun," she said. "A student could go to school for 100 years but isn’t going to be as good as someone who is doing it. That’s where you really learn, from practice.” Her practice with WQME helped her in her work with Channel 6, and now at KTTC.
Helms believes that God had this job for her and led her to it. She found it while searching online, sent in her résumé and tape, and then heard from KTTC about a month later. Helms was one of 150 applicants. “My tape happened to stick out, so I feel like the Lord orchestrated it all,” she said.
Helms reports three days a week and works as an anchor on the weekends. “I have a reporter who goes out and brings local material, then I produce the show and anchor it,” she said.
Helms does four shows on the weekends and enjoys reporting the news to the local community. Being a reporter and anchor provides a steady change in her day-to-day tasks. She believes it is important to be informed about where you live, even if it is information you don’t want to hear.
Helms often covers news on school systems and local government. She makes decisions about what is the most important news to cover. “We can put a two-hour city council meeting in the simplest terms for our viewers and tell them what’s happening in about 90 seconds,” she said. Helms is passionate about what she does, but sometimes wonders if she is making any difference; for instance, when reporting on local sidewalk repairs. “I want to be better at what I do every single day. I hope there are more people who feel touched and that someone cares for them,” she said.
Her advice for current communication arts majors is to do as many internships as possible and to build a network of contacts. She remembers some advice given to her by Dr. Donald Boggs, chair of the Communication Arts Department: “When someone asks you, ‘How do I get a job?’ it is easy to say, ‘well just do what I did,’ but everyone’s story is different. You just have to do what is right for you.”
— Rebekah Shirar is a senior from Darlington, Ind., majoring in communication arts and minoring in history. Shirar is an associate with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.