After over a decade in the industry, I have begun to reflect back on where my journey as taken me so far. Now, I can't speak for everyone and what I am writing is through my own personal experience. Take it for a grain of salt because everyone has different paths to their own destination. This article is intended for those who might be interested doing video/ or film work, or would just like an insider's perspective.
After graduating college, I knew what I wanted to do but didn't know where to start. During my senior year at California State University, a documentary I was working on was selected to be viewed at our Student Showcase. During the showcase, I was fortunate enough to meet a representative from a PEG (Public, Education, Government) station who saw the piece and introduced herself to me. I eventually interned at the station and then got a full-time job there where I learned the ins and outs of television broadcasting. Which leads my to my first point of emphasis when trying to break into the industry: NETWORKING IS ESSENTIAL. Regardless if you are an intern or someone who has been doing video/ films for 10+ years, networking is an important part in being successful and having longevity. I am a firm believer in making a good impression and being professional at all times. Introduce yourself and start having a conversation. This is an important life skill to have. If you don't, make a point to do it. Get of out that comfort zone because you never know if that person you meet or work with will need you again or will refer work to you later down the road.
As I began working at the PEG Station, I quickly learned that this wasn't a classroom anymore. There was no teacher or classroom setting to act a safety net; this was the real world. An environment like that can quickly overwhelm a recent college graduate. It's easy to be overwhelmed by meetings with project managers, making tight deadlines, edit reviews with the production supervisor and keeping on budget when faced with it all at once. This brings me to my second point: Develop your own voice, your own style and your own workflow. During that time, at least for me, was when I began to develop my voice. Every editor/ shooter/ production crew member/ etc. will have their own way of doing things. We develop a workflow that makes it easy for us to get things done when we are in a crunch. Not every editor "edits" the same way, not every videographer/cinematographer will shoot alike, and so forth. I can't stress this enough for beginners. Experiment with new things, learn new technology, produce different content. JUST DO IT! It is important to not get lost in all the information, but to adapt it into your overall style. Ultimately, this will be the foundation of things going forward: how you proceed with work, the different angles of your shots, the different softwares using when editing, and ultimately how the final piece will look. Use all the skills you've learned to highlight your style.
Hopefully with these two points I have covered, someone who is interested in pursuing will have some insight on this career field. Everyone will have different experiences so my story will differ from someone else reading this. The words may not resonate with the reader and it's totally ok. The biggest thing I want someone starting in the industry is to just step out of your comfort zone and experience new things, meet new people, and continually grow as a person.