Gender Gap = Confidence Gap

I have something on my mind.

There has been a trend going on (probably for ages) that women everywhere: my friends, my colleagues and myself have fallen victim to.

Women underestimate their qualifications. 

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It hit me as I was looking into yet another job application: one for a videographer and editor for the Tennessee Titans.

It was perfect. I don’t tend to enjoy being in front of the camera, but I love being behind it. I love production and I have an eye for helping others look their best.

I scrolled through the job description down to qualifications.

  • Must have an understanding of football as a sport, and how it is played. Check.
  • Must know how to operate different cameras: DSLRs, camcorders, etc. Check.
  • Must understand mics: lavaliers (wired and wireless) and stick mics. Check.
  • Must be proficient in video editing software. Check.

But wait. Then it started listing all the software said applicant would have to be proficient in. Adobe Premiere Pro, which I know almost like the back of my hand. Then Adobe After Effects. (Wait, what? That’s animation software.) Then about seven other programs that I hadn’t used before, including three by Sony.

I gulped.

“I know this job is something different, but you could do it,” my roommate said.

My stomach sank. No, I couldn’t. Oh well. Another day, another job I’m not quite qualified for. It was the same old song. Others that seemed perfect for me needed an applicant with three years’ experience. There goes that. Still others needed a year experience at a particular station. And there goes that.

But I got to thinking, if I were a man… would I be so tentative about applying for these?

Somehow, I just don’t think I would. This is not a criticism towards men at all, if anything, it’s a compliment. But why does it feel like men have the confidence to apply for anything and everything? And here my friends are nervous about applying for administrative assistant positions, just trying to somehow break their way some way, any way, into their chosen field.

After doing some research, a long but fantastic article in The Atlantic pretty much hit the nail on the head for me.

“Women feel confident only when they are perfect. Or practically perfect.”

We do. As the article states, women at HP only applied for a job promotion when they felt they met 100% of the requirements. Men? They were happy to apply if they met 60%.

We win awards. But we shrug and say that must have just happened by chance. We bypass applying for promotions because we don’t think we deserve it. We don’t apply for jobs and amazing opportunities simply because we don’t think we’ll get them.

I’m tired of that.

So read the article and get your heads on straight, ladies. Ask for that big promotion. Apply to that Ivy League grad program you don’t think you’re right for. Apply for huge research grants and apply for every job you think you almost but don’t quite make the cut for. It’s not for you to decide, but in the end, it is.

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Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes

“Turn and face the strain.”

The time has come for me to ponder all the things that are changing this time of year… and the things that aren’t.

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I’ve mentioned before that like Spencer on Pretty Little Liars (which isn’t coming back until like June and I’m pretty upset about it,) I don’t live well in the gray areas. The things that are almost happening but not quite, or the things that are all happening too quickly and all at once.

I needed to keep change in mind this past week as the job search has gotten a little bit harder… and as birthdays have reminded me that I’m a little bit older and I still haven’t got my life figured out yet. Hell, I don’t even have the subject of my blog figured out yet. It’s more of a welcome to Stephanie’s mind, take a look around. But, let’s take this a few steps at a time. Let’s look at some things that have and haven’t changed this year, things that I’m okay with, that I’m going to be okay with, that I have to be okay with.

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  1. I became a Fifth Harmony fangirl. What can I say? “Work From Home” is catchy as hell. I can pass on the video that objectifies both men and women in the worst way possible, but the song. The song is so good.
  2. Crazy leggings became my new fashion statement. Thanks to LuLaRoe, lots of hip moms everywhere + me are rocking wild leggings from a brand that is sold by consultants much in the same way that Mary Kay or Pampered Chef are sold. And also Facebook groups. I’m now the proud owner of leggings with: unicorns, radios, dinosaurs, cupids, octopuses, etc.
  3. I gained confidence. And lost it some days. But mostly gained it. I’ve learned that sometimes you aren’t going to be happy with all of your work, and sometimes you’re going to feel like you’re not good enough. But spending so much time worrying about trying to be the best isn’t healthy. And it isn’t me.
  4. I got tired of eating pizza. Probably the saddest day of my life.
  5. Makeup became my favorite thing and Sephora became my greatest weakness.
  6. I helped raise over $600,000 for my favorite cause.
  7. I turned 22. And with it came all that wasn’t already unsure at age 21.

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  1. I’m probably still going to eat pizza.
  2. I still do not have a job lined up.
  3. I still have the greatest friends and family ever. They’re the biggest group of cheerleaders. I hope they know how thankful I am for the constant pushes to do my best.
  4. Radio is still there for me. I’m still glad that I chose the less popular branch of broadcast as my future career.
  5. I still like dogs more than most people.
  6. I’m still 100% no filter, no bs Stephanie Beckett. I’m still nervous about what I’m doing with the rest of my life. I’m not alone in this feeling, but it’s scary. And that’s okay.

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22

Hi, something big has changed since I’ve been here… I had a birthday! Which really isn’t as exciting as it was when I was little… and I’m a little disappointed that no one ever tells you that birthdays get less exciting. My dad didn’t bring cupcakes for my class to share. I didn’t get a second cake when I got home. Mostly I’m upset about the severe lack of cake in my life. Also the lack of direction in my life. That too.

22 just sounds older than 21. I feel like it’s an age where you can still float around life like a reckless little dandelion, but people start judging you more for that. Like people give you harder stares of contempt when you opt for cider at a bar. Or when people ask if you have job prospects they actually expect you to answer, “yeah totally.” Being 22 feels like 21’s lame older sister. But it’s only been 2 days since my actual birthday, so it could definitely get better.

And it probably will. People have already stopped giving me the knowing smile when I order drinks like, “do you know what you’re ordering?” They also seem to magically stop thinking that you go out every night of the week. And they start trusting your opinion on things, probably because you’re about to be out of the college haze. 

But still…

“22 is one of the best years. You’ll find out so much about yourself.”

I don’t know that I’m sold yet. But I’ll keep an open mind. May 22 be a year of surprises, hard work, best friends, and please God let it be the year of a full time job.

I Found My Why Pt. 2

Hi blogging world!

If you’re reading this, you might know that dance marathon happened Friday and Saturday. And in dance marathon, we stand for 24 hours in support of the patients and families of UNC Children’s hospital. This marathon was particularly special. Why? Because we raised over $600,000. The most we’ve raised in a year to date. And this marathon was my last as a UNC student. Will I come back to help them on occasion in my old age? Probably. But there’s nothing quite as special as participating as a student.

Just like there’s nothing quite as special as the bonding you get to do as a committee during the marathon. I was lucky enough to be in the first generation of the technology committee, working to ensure all photo and video coverage was in place during this huge event and all other events leading up to it.

I had always felt like our committee was close. There were the occasional giggly outbursts during meetings or snide, sassy comments from me to Jacob, the technology chair. But it was really during the marathon that we came together as one moderately sized dysfunctional family. As we should.

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Am I a little sad that I’ll never get to experience the gloriousness that was our committee dance again? Absolutely. The bonds that you make at this event are incredible. You’re in pain, your friends are in pain. All you can do is work as hard as you can to make their job easier while ensuring that you’re completing yours in the best way possible.

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I’ll miss how close I grew with my committee and how much we bonded over our mutual pain and love for our cause. Of course I will. But my time’s up, and I’m also thankful for that. Bring in the new generation of tech. I’m ready.

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Thankful.

Today, I woke up at 6:30 A.M. and I was exhausted. I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in a week. I haven’t had 5 minutes to myself in a million years until today. Everything has been horrible and sometimes I think graduation can’t get here soon enough. However, when I woke up this morning, I was also thankful.

I am thankful that I am going to an amazing university that challenges me in the best way every single day.

I am thankful for Carolina Connection for allowing me to express my love and passion for radio news each Saturday at 8:30 A.M.

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I am thankful for those I surround myself with. Friends, family, boyfriend, roommate, mentors and teachers. They have supported me through countless trials and tribulations. They have offered words of encouragement, shoulders and shirts to shed tears on, and are my biggest cheerleaders. I would be lost without them.

I am thankful for an occasional lazy day like today that allows me to simultaneously nap on my couch, be semi-productive, catch up on any shows I’ve missed, and eat cheese puffs.

I am thankful for Carolina For The Kids. I am thankful for the ability to create videos that I love and share them with the organization I love (and those within it, whom I also love.) I am thankful for our Executive Board. They give me a lot of creative reign, and trust me to do what I think is best. I am thankful for wonderful committee members who help me in every way they can. And I am thankful for the huge event we put on every year. Seriously everyone in this organization inspires me every single day.

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I am thankful for caffeine. I would be productive at all if it did not exist.

I am thankful for music. There’s always some song out there perfect for every emotion I have ever felt.

I am thankful for theatre for teaching me so much about who and what I am.

And finally, I am thankful for uncertainty. Earlier in my blog, I spoke about how afraid I am of gray areas. I still am. But every day that goes by that I don’t know what I’m doing with my life, I’m getting older. More mature. I’m growing into myself. And that’s okay. Through uncertainty comes confidence. And for that, also, I am thankful.

 

 

 

Get You a Broadcaster Who Can Do Both

Come on, you know you’ve seen these memes floating around.

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It’s okay to laugh. They’re funny. Humor aside, I feel like this speaks to my experience in the broadcasting realm. We don’t talk about this particular industry a ton in Branding of Me, but the breakdown isn’t hard to understand. There are two facets: radio and TV. Most people are either one or the other. But in today’s day and age, it’s become increasingly important to brand yourself as this super duper multimedia journalist. A jack of all trades. A master of print, radio, TV and sometimes photojournalism.

THAT’S VERY HARD.

And I learned that the hard way recently in a class I’m taking this semester: JOMC 421: TV Reporting and Producing. At first I thought, “Hey. I know how to use Adobe Premiere. I use it all the time to make videos for Carolina For The Kids. I’ll be fine.” Turns out, I couldn’t be more wrong.

As I’m sure you can guess, there are certain rules in every part of journalism. In print, you pretty much always end on a quote. In radio, never end on a sound bite from another person. Photography – mind your aperture. And in video, it’s sort of a weird mixture of all the rules. Look at your camera, make sure it’s focused on the right thing. But don’t be standing while your source or subject is sitting, leaving their eyes looking up at you, and giving a weird angle to the camera. RULE OF THIRDS IS YOUR BEST FRIEND. But be careful to always have the camera showing the darker side of the face. Diffused lighting is best. But also watch your audio levels, making sure to hit between -12 and -9. If that isn’t hard enough, then you have to write your story, but write it in a way so an editor can understand what’s happening, or supposed to be happening on the screen while you work with telling the story in your words. And then when that’s all done, you edit your package.

I don’t understand how people do it for a living. Just to create 1:30 of story. But trust me, if I didn’t have mad respect for TV broadcasting people before, I do now. I have even more respect for those rare gems who can do it all.

Will you ever catch me in the field during the 5:00 segment on your local CBS affiliate? Absolutely not.

I’ll stick closer to NPR-style newscasts. But believe me when I say working solely with audio files can be difficult too. But that’s for another time.

Moral of the story is: don’t judge it until you have to try it and it’s 50% of your final grade.

Want to see my foray into the unknown? Watch my first package below… if you dare.

 

*Shreds Bracket*

If you know me, you’ll know that I’m not the most well-versed person in anything sports related. But you’ll also know that I do happen to love college basketball. And you’ll know that I’m competitive. Like really competitive.

So, bracket challenges are my bread and butter. I love them. I live for them. I choose my teams carefully and with calculation, always including at least a few upsets. But I was not prepared for this. Was anyone prepared for this???

  • Michigan State. What happened??? They were ranked second. SECOND. And they lose to… who did they even lose to again? Middle Tennessee? Okay. 97.8 percent of people who made brackets through ESPN at least had Michigan State making it past the first round. Hell, 23% of people had Michigan State winning the whole damn thing, so… really… what happened other than lots of threes and a great defense?
  • Purdue. I don’t actually know a lot about Purdue, but I know more about it than I know about Little Rock… like the fact that it exists.
  • West Virginia. Now, I know they aren’t really a basketball school. They’re a football school. But who is SF Austin and how did they beat a third ranked school??? They’ve been ahead of them the whole game. Seriously, who is SF Austin and why am I just hearing about this as an institution?
  • Seton Hall... I don’t actually know this school either but I was rooting for them, okay?

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Okay. My rant is over. Enjoy your night while I cry onto my poor, sweet bracket. Or what’s left of it.