Senior Kiera Hood is accustomed to roving deadlines, late work nights and the constant shift of new information. As a student reporter, those trends have consistently domineered over her college career. She is thankful her last semester has consisted of only two classes. “It’s really nice,” she laughed. “It’s given me the time to figure out exactly what it is I want to be doing.”
Hood will now trade her four years earning a bachelor’s degree in mass communication for a full time position as a morning producer for WSFA-NBC in Montgomery.
Hood said her journey into TV news began when she was in second grade. Her teacher at the time often pushed her into any and every opportunity to speak in front of the class and school. “She just felt like I would be a great public speaker,” said Hood, grinning. “I guess because I talked too much in class, I don’t know.”
Perhaps as a compliment to her headstrong personality, Hood often welcomes criticism from others about her public persona and performance. “I feel like the best way to honestly get better is to listen to somebody who’s not going to tear you down, but tell you what you can do better,” she said confidently.
At Fairfield High School, Hood took initiative and helped start the school’s current news broadcasting show, Tiger Pride News.
Once Kiera arrived on the brick streets, she immediately found a home in the bustling Mass Communication department. On Falcon Weekly, the University’s student led news program, she gained valuable experience as an anchor and executive producer.
Her first taste of professional experience came this past summer as an intern for NBC WVTM-13 in Birmingham. She was determined to squeeze as much from the internship opportunity as possible and made sure to make an equal presence in not only the newsroom, but sales and master control as well.
While Hood’s ambition and experience is what earned her the position at WSFA-Montgomery, she was greatly influenced by recent alumna Hannah Bell, 16, the current 9 p.m. weekday producer at WSFA.
Hood said Bell first told her about the position and highly encouraged her to apply. “It’s definitely good to make a good impression not only on your professors, but your classmates,” said Hood. “They can help you get a job. Or they could even be your boss.”
As she prepares to report stories, both good and bad for a new community, Hood offered parting wisdom for incoming UM students: “Don’t be a hermit. Don’t come here and stay in your room. Go explore, be of interest,” said Hood. “You have to be willing to take that extra step to be successful.”