COM Alumni Spotlight

Kim Ratcliff

ratcliff

Name:

Kim Ratcliff

Graduation Date: 1988
Position Title:

News Anchor, Carolina in the Morning

Company:

WECT/WSFX

Current Location: Wilmington, NC

What was your favorite class in the COM Dept? Why?

My favorite class was Rhetorical Theory, Dr. Rohler taught it and I liked it because I learned a lot about some of the greatest speakers of all time. While Adolph Hitler was a monster he was charismatic in his speech and was able to get people to follow him. On the flip side Martin Luther King Junior was also charismatic but used his words to empower people and fight for civil rights and equality. I found learning the dynamics of each very interesting.

What organizations/groups were you involved in while you were a student?

When I was a student I played soccer for the women’s team which was a club team at the time, I also wrote briefly for the Seahawk newspaper.

Did you complete a departmental internship? If so, please list your internship agency.

I did complete a Summer internship at WWAY. It was perfect and eventually led me to a part time job and full time career.

How are you using the skills/concepts learned from your COM degree in your life?

I am a news anchor and use Communication Study skills every day. I read scripts, also do public speaking at schools, or for other organizations when asked. I also write and often have to condense or re-write news stories to be conversational and easy to understand.

What are your proudest accomplishments since graduating from UNCW?

Getting a part time job right out of school with a local TV station and then becoming a news anchor within a year. I am also proud of the work I did establishing a permanent internship program at WWAY the station I used to work for. There wasn’t anything really organized and I set up guidelines where students had to submit a resume and come in for an interview just like they would a job. I also set up the schedule enabling the student to come in for an 8 hour shift so they could really get the experience they needed for that entry level job and they could get a good idea of what a normal day would be like if they chose to continue on in this field.

Complete this sentence: Communication is so important for so many different reasons. Good/Open communication helps people understand situations in their personal life, career and everyday tasks. 

What advice would you give current COM majors?

COM majors should do everything they can to complete an internship especially if they want a job in TV News. It will be the only way to really learn how to write for TV and TV web. You will get true hands on experience you can’t get anywhere else.

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