WOW! That is all I can say after speaking and getting to know Jen Wieglus. Jen is a graduate of Northwestern University and is currently working in sports media at the Bucks County Courier Times in a suburb of Philadelphia. She provides absolutely INCREDIBLE insight and real world experience regarding females in the sport industry along with the challenge of finding the truth as a young reporter. I wish I could get her response in the hands of every individual in a similar situation.
This past week we asked Jen the following,
1. What is one thing you have learned in your career you wish you would have known coming out of Northwestern?
It sounds negative, but I wish I knew not to trust people so readily. What I mean by that is, fact-checking of what sources tell you is always important, even if they’re just athletes or coaches. If you can’t necessarily fact-check, ask more probing follow-up questions. It’s important to approach every story with healthy skepticism. As a young reporter, I took people at their word far too easily, and sometimes that can result in reporting untruths or half-truths. The job is to do your very best to report the truth
Trust can be defined as a firm belief in the reliability, ability, or strength of someone or something. Early on in her career Jen took people at their word, trusting too easily. Be weary of people’s answers and keep digging deeper. Develop follow-up questions to have in your arsenal when conducting interviews.
2. What is the biggest challenge being a female in a male dominated industry? What is your advice for females aspiring to work in sport or the sport media industry?
Really, the challenge is just being tough enough mentally to not let anyone else’s opinions or ideas or biases affect your confidence and how you do your job. You WILL, especially in the internet/social media age, run into people with backward ideas about women and their role in society. They WILL sometimes be vocal about it. You WILL work with men who want to turn the workplace into — or keep it — an ‘Ole Boys Club and don’t want to treat you with respect. You can’t let it affect you. It sounds corny, but you have to believe in yourself and your ability and don’t give a [bleep] what anyone of any gender thinks about you. It can be tough to balance that mentality with an occasional need to be diplomatic and professional, but toughness will get you a long way in whatever you decide to do.
Mentally. Strong. After meeting Jen and getting to know her, it’s very clear she is a mentally strong person and professional. Judging from her response above, it indicates females have no choice if they are going to succeed and prosper in sports media. I talk all the time about focusing on the things you can control and blocking out all of the other noise. Jen has had to do that throughout her career.
To learn more about Jen and her journey follow her on Twitter @JenWielgus
For information on Sports Business follow Nick on Twitter @CIPbiz1988 and request to be added to his Sports Business Newsletter.