Two weeks after graduating from Chapman with a double major in Communication Studies and Television & Broadcast Journalism, Alli Friedman packed her bags and moved to Montana to become a news reporter. “I did that for about a year,” says the Dodge College alumni, “and then switched over to producing.”
Alli worked for KSBY-TV in California briefly before accepting a job in 2016 as a producer with Denver7 in Colorado. By 2020, she had been promoted to Executive Producer of the Denver7 News. With new responsibilities came new honors, and in 2021, Alli was awarded an Emmy for Best Live News Producer.
We asked Alli about her time at Chapman, and how her experiences here impacted her career.
Who was the most influential person for you at Chapman? Why?
I can’t pinpoint a certain person, because each professor had such an impact on shaping my career. However, working with my classmates in Chapman News was key in helping me become so successful in the news business. Having the opportunity to develop skills, learn about different job functions in a newsroom, and get hands-on experience working as a journalist before I even launched my career was incredible.
If you could go back in time and experience one moment again from your time at Chapman, what would it be? Is there anything that you would do differently?
I was so fortunate to be able to study abroad for a semester in Madrid, Spain, during my junior year. It was the most incredible experience of my life. I learned so much about myself, I got to travel through countries I would never normally travel to and I was able to meet some of the most incredible people along the way. I wouldn’t change a second of it, and I would encourage everyone at Chapman to take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad.
What do you wish you knew at the time of your graduation that you know now? What advice can you give to the students and/or recent graduates of today?
Enjoy every second. I wish I could go back and relive the late nights I stayed up with friends working on projects, laughing and trying to refine our skills. But also, the big thing I learned is that everything works out the way it’s supposed to. There were so many different paths I could’ve taken after graduating, but I truly believe the jobs I accepted landed me in the right place. Don’t get too caught up worrying about what’s the perfect job. It’s an adventure and you never know who you’ll meet along the way who can change your life and offer you an opportunity you wouldn’t otherwise have been offered.
How did Chapman prepare you for your career? For life? How did your experience prepare you for the real world?
During my time at Chapman, I never truly understood the impact my professors had on shaping my career. However, they really made the biggest impact. They not only helped me jumpstart my career, but they pushed me to be passionate about my line of work.
Being able to learn from active, working journalists and filmmakers in the industry gave me insight that I don’t think a lot of aspiring journalists receive. I never felt afraid to ask questions and I never felt afraid to fail at a project. Every project, every conversation, every lecture was an opportunity to grow and learn from some of the best in the business. Thanks to their expertise, I got experience working both in front of the camera and behind the camera, I sharpened my writing skills, and was able to network with professors and colleagues to land internships that students only dream of.
I recently went back to get a master’s degree in Journalism from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and realized just how lucky Chapman students really are. Not every student gets the education we received and the opportunity to learn in such a hands-on environment. Chapman students, and specifically students in Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, should take advantage of every opportunity they get.
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