Catching up with Kathryn Young ’19 Young learned the critical skills to excel at her job from the veteran journalists in Reid Hall.
What was your major at W&L, and how does it apply to your career now?
I was a business administration and journalism double major. I have to say, I use the journalism major a lot more! I work as a morning news anchor in Charlottesville, Virginia.
What was your first job after graduation?
My first job after graduation was as a television news reporter in Charlottesville, Virginia.
How did W&L prepare you for your career?
The experience I gained in the walls of Reid Hall was invaluable. I learned how to do everything there is to know in journalism. I could write, edit video, interview, produce shows, and more. Those are all great skills to be a good journalist, but some of the more important things I learned in Reid Hall were the more “soft” skills: how to ask thoughtful questions; how to be an active and empathetic listener, caring about each and every person you speak with; and remembering that while they may just be one interview for you, to the interviewee, you are a chance for them to share their story. W&L has some incredible veteran journalists working in Reid Hall. They will teach you everything you need to know and more!
What are some of your major or memorable career milestones?
Charlottesville is a small city with big news, so I have covered a lot of events that have garnered national attention during my time here, but I was really proud to be promoted to morning anchor after just one year at the station. W&L really prepared me to flow naturally into a weekday morning role, and I was ecstatic that it came when I was just 23.
Who or what has most inspired you along the way? (Staff, faculty, classmates, internships, alumni, etc.)
So many people! But I’ll try to pick a few specifics. Professor Kevin Finch in the Journalism Department was a great inspiration to me. He let me anchor Rockbridge Report repeatedly — I even did it not for credit at least once — so that I could keep getting reps and achieve my dreams. He was so helpful during undergrad, and after I graduated, he looked over my resume, looked over my reel, and helped encourage me along the way. Another great inspiration was Sarah Bloom, who is a Washington & Lee alumna and works as a morning anchor in my hometown of Richmond. While I was still a student, she took me under her wing and was happy to answer any and all of my questions, gave me lots of advice, and gave me a tour of her station, NBC12. The Colonnade Connections are real, y’all!
What do you miss most about your time at W&L?
I miss having all of my friends so close by. I miss being able to sit in Co-op and have a meal with them, study with them in the library, and just spend time doing nothing with my closest friends. It’s something I took for granted when I had it. It’s difficult to only see your closest friends a few times a year.
What was the one class you most enjoyed outside of your major, and why?
A creative writing class in poetry! It was nice to be able to write and use my brain in a totally different way. Deborah Miranda was also an incredible professor.
What is the one class or professor you wish you could return to campus and take a class with now?
Ted DeLaney (rest in peace). I have grown very interested in history as a post-graduate adult and wish I had taken advantage of his wealth of knowledge as a student.
What is one thing on your W&L bucket list that you would still like to accomplish?
Go on a sunrise hike somewhere around Lexington. I am a much earlier riser now (those 2:15 a.m. alarms will do that to you) so it’s definitely more achievable these days.
What advice would you give to next year’s graduating class?
Take advantage of everything W&L has to offer! There are so many opportunities for you and people want to help you. Also, don’t blink.
Tell a favorite memory in five sentences or less.
It is so challenging to pick just one! During my senior year, my friends and I had a tradition of going to Don Tequila every single Wednesday. It was a rotating group of people — the kind of thing where whoever could come that week/didn’t have a lot of homework/wasn’t busy would show up and we could just catch up. It was always a big group and it was just so much fun to get together over some Mexican food and $2 margaritas and spend time catching up with some of your closest friends. We still talk about Donny T’s Wednesdays regularly! I miss them!
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