Alumni Spotlights

Sarah Kim, ’11: From the Ridge to the Big Apple

September 10, 2014 by Lisa M. McMahon, MA'09

In just a few short years, Sarah Kim has gone from producing stories for Niagara’s Ridge Report, a program she co-founded, to producing stories for Fox News Channel in New York City.

Her journey to the Big Apple came via her hometown of Denver, Colo., where she landed a job at the local Fox affiliate immediately after graduating from Niagara in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in communications. She had completed two internships with the station during her undergraduate studies and so impressed the management that she was offered a position in the control room.

The job was a great opportunity to get her foot in the door, but Sarah soon discovered that she wanted to work in a different area of the newsroom. She began applying for entry-level production jobs at stations across the country, including what she thought was the CBS news affiliate in San Francisco. Turns out, she had sent her resume to the division’s headquarters in New York City. And while the job she originally applied for did not match her experience, the general assignment editor interviewed her for a position that was a better fit for her skill set and immediately offered her the job. Two weeks later, Sarah had relocated and began a job as a desk assistant.

During the two and a half years she was with the station, Sarah covered major stories, including Superstorm Sandy; the bombings at the Boston Marathon; the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.; and the gas leak explosion and collapse of two five-story buildings in East Harlem, which killed eight people and injured 70 others.

“That’s the biggest challenge of working in a newsroom – there’s so many emotions behind each story,” she says. “It’s very emotionally draining. Before you get into this business, you have to put your heart aside, because you’re doing your job. Things like that happen almost all the time. It’s so heartbreaking, but we have to cover it. You have to mentally prepare for it.”

Sarah recently left CBS to join Fox News as a regional assignment editor, covering New York City's East Side. She loves the fast-paced work environment and notes that “watching stories come to life” is her favorite part of the job. “It’s every news junkie’s favorite thing,” she says. “I love working with a reporter, bringing in the elements, to produce a story. It’s incredible to see the story develop.”

Sarah’s interest in journalism was instilled by her father when she was 11 years old. During a conversation about career possibilities, he suggested she consider becoming a news anchor. Not sure what that was, Sarah began to watch television newscasts and reading newspapers, and developed an interest in the field. She notes that when she struggled with mastering the English language, her dad, who immigrated from Korea when he was 16 years old and understood her struggle, would encourage her to read and summarize two news articles a day, as well as write definitions of unfamiliar words, which he would later quiz her on. “That’s kind of when I fell in love with journalism as well,” she says.

Although Sarah’s current role is not at the anchor desk, she doesn’t rule out the possibility of a future on-air position.

“When I was 11, my dream was to be a news anchor, but at 24 years old, that’s not exactly the case,” she says. “Right now, I enjoy being behind the scenes. My rough draft is that I want to be an assignment editor for a little bit, then I want to go into producing, then, eventually, maybe I’ll go on to being on-air. I kind of want to try everything.”

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