Having a knack for the news

Recent alumna Natalie Bland turned an internship opportunity at WBAL into a full-time
associate producer position

Recent alumna Natalie Bland poses in the WBAL studios. After having an internship
at the Baltimore NBC affiliate, the Essex, Maryland native now has a full-time position
as an associate producer. 

Since the fifth grade, Natalie Bland knew she wanted to work in journalism. 

As an elementary school student, she joined the “TV Crew,” and helped produce the
school’s news broadcasts. It was that first exposure to the broadcast news that shaped
her education, even as she graduated from Towson University this past May with a degree
in mass communications.

Last summer, Bland worked as an intern at WBAL, Baltimore’s NBC affiliate. It was
a rotation program that gave her experience in all facets of broadcast news — reporting,
producing, sales and creative services.

Once the internship was finished, she knew for certain that broadcast journalism was
the path for her.

“It was an absolutely amazing experience and I cannot say enough wonderful things
about WBAL,” Bland says. “I loved every second of it. There was so much more that
goes into the 5 o’clock news than I ever thought.”

But even after the 11-week program was done, the Essex, Maryland-native isn’t finished
with WBAL. Bland was offered a part-time job as an assignment editor, and following
graduating in May, she was bumped up to a full-time associate producer.

When she was offered the full-time position, Bland couldn’t help but remember driving
up to the studio with her dad for her initial internship interview. She remembered
smacking his arm when she saw the sign.

READ:  https://tigerweb.towson.edu/npnguyen/

That’s because after growing up watching the NBC affiliate, and seeing the news reporters
on television, these people are now her colleagues. 

“I’ve always known that I wanted to work at WBAL,” Bland says. “I honestly was star
struck meeting the reporters. Knowing that I get to work with these people every day,
and have the opportunity to learn from these people every day, when they offered me
the job, I was just speechless.” 

During her time at Towson University, she tried to get as much experience as she could,
while working part-time jobs to help pay her bills. She wrote for The Towerlight her freshman year, and also wrote for the Baltimore Watchdog, a news website produced by Towson University journalism students and faculty.

Before coming to TU, Bland already had some experience in newsrooms with high school
internships at some other local television stations. But when she got to TU, she got
to work with professors like Jennifer Atwater, who worked for years at WMAR, Baltimore’s ABC affiliate.

“Having professors bring their real-world experience to the classroom was just a really
awesome learning experience,” Bland says. 

Along with getting news experience, she has also worked on her producing skills by
working as a videographer for the past three years at the Towson University Career Center. In fact, she got the job by looking at the Career Center’s job searching website,

READ:  Jeffrey Kenton | Towson University

During that time, she worked on a variety of projects to help promote the Career Center.
This included producing, shooting and editing videos to promote Career Center events,
initiatives and programs. She also worked to provide photography for the Career Center’s
social media networks and website.

And while she got experience in video production, she also got another support system
on campus in the Career Center staff. In fact, she credits Keith Jones, the Career
Center’s assistant director of marketing and technology, for giving her opportunities.

“At the Career Center, I’ve had a wonderful amount of people I’ve come in contact
with that believe in me and support me,” Brand says. “To have Keith be one of those
people has been great. I’ve been here for three years, so he’s seen me grow, he’s
seen my work, and just knowing that he knows that I can do it makes me feel better.”

As she takes career to the WBAL newsroom, Bland says she looks back on her time at
TU fondly. From the professors, mentors, lifelong friends and even peers she’s had
class with, this new alumna can’t say enough good things about her time as a Tiger. 

“Everyone asks me, how do you like Towson University? And I really have enjoyed every
second of it,” Bland says. “From the friends I’ve made, to the experiences I’ve had,
to the classes I’ve taken…it’s just been an amazing experience.”

READ:  St. Mary’s County | Towson University

This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel’s priorities for Towson University: Lifelong Career Center.

View more information: https://www.towson.edu/news/2020/natalie-bland.html

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