Cindy Dole is a jack of all trades, and she charges all aspiring journalists to adapt to the multifaceted skillset required to leave no task unlearned. Dole has dabbled in many aspects within the field of journalism, including reporting, television, radio, branding, multimedia, social media and public relations.
Dole attributes her success to her fearlessness and tenacity to pave her own career path, while embracing change within the medium. Throughout her 35-year experience as a multi-dimensional journalist, Dole was previously employed with CBS Los Angeles on KFWB, KNX, before launching a nationally syndicated home improvement talk show “Home Wizards.”
Dole pitched “Home Wizards” and said the radio show was unique because this home improvement show talked about topics that ranged from feng shui to succulents, while offering listeners humor.
Dole encourages students to “get involved with more things outside of your wheelhouse.” She said she always valued the advice of those that encouraged her to acquire multiple skills.
Dole said it is important to think on your feet. She said she sometimes practices by looking outside of her car window when she drives, and describes what she is observing in detail by composing thoughts to help her focus on what is occurring. Dole said learning new skills should be a constant.
“I think the more that you read. The more that you travel. The more that you experience life, and keep your eyes open,” Dole said. “All those things make you a better person, and then now make you a better journalist, because you are recording history and life. And if you aren’t fully aware and fully open, you’re going to miss something. We always have to keep honing that, no matter how good you are. You can’t just stay stagnant. You have to keep growing.”
Dole said “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and media-related movies inspired her to be a journalist.
“It was a very popular sitcom, and it was very much ahead of its time,” Dole said. “Because women weren’t really working in these powerful jobs like being a reporter, and so I was fascinated by the show. I would see other movies tied to media like “All the President’s Men” where it’s about how journalists save the day and reveal the truth. So those things stuck in my mind.”
Dole said early in her career, she packed a few suits, resumes and demo reels when driving from Los Angeles to Waco, Texas hoping to land a job.
Dole said she arrived at every news station with the initiative to actively search for potential job openings.
“It’s how you seize opportunities that will open more doors,” Dole said.
Dole said the aspect of journalism she finds most rewarding is reporting.
“When you are a reporter that is unique because everyday you are experiencing what is unveiled as the news of the day,” Dole said. “It’s part of a human emotion.”
Tahmineh Dehborzorgi, political science and history major, said she enjoyed hearing about Dole’s job search.
“My favorite part was when she talked about her experience in finding jobs and knocking on every station door. Which was fascinating, because I think that is quite an adventure,” Dehborzorgi said.
Dehborzorgi said she admires Dole’s fearlessness.
“She has taken a lot of risk in her life, and just listening to her talk is inspiring,” Dehborzorgi said.
Media Arts instructor Tracie Savage said the Speaker Series provides students with valuable knowledge.
“What I really enjoy is when the students ask questions. I love that they are getting something out of it, and by asking questions, it shows to me that they want to know more,” Savage said.
Dehborzorgi said the event was informative.
“Knowing more about different fields of study, and how people do it, is always interesting. I believe it was a very eye-opening event for me as a person who is not actually majoring in either journalism or media studies,” Dehborzorgi said.
Savage said the department continues the series because of the response from students. She said many of her students attend the Speaker Series and are fans of the event.
“I can just tell when they stay and they don’t leave that they are enjoying it. The feedback that I get from students every time we do this is that they love it, and they appreciate it,” Savage said. “They are always so grateful and happy that they came.”