Tips for being a successful college student

Hey! My name is Madison Brodsky and I am a journalism major with a film and tv minor at the University of Arizona! Though I am only a sophomore, I have already begun to develop my résumé. I began my journalism career writing for the Arizona Daily Wildcat, a student-run newspaper covering the University of Arizona, and this summer completed a reporting internship with the NBC affiliate in Tampa. Both of these positions required creativity, positivity, commitment, confidence and honesty.

During my first two years of reporting, I have covered entertainment features as well as other beats. These experiences have given me the opportunity to grow as a reporter and play around with different forms of writing and reporting as I covered subject as diverse as a private tasting at a restaurant grand openings to an officer-involved shoot out, from my vantage point in a helicopter. One of the most memorable experiences thus far has been getting to interview sources about Tariq Abukhdeir’s homecoming after he was brutally beaten and arrested by Israeli soldiers. This story encompassed breaking news, national coverage and emotional response and left a lasting impression.

I also have a passion for culture and travel so I am extremely accustomed to being thrown into a variety of settings that could be uncomfortable or even too good to be true. A few summers ago, I traveled to Costa Rica by myself and ended up dedicating my summer to Habitat for Humanity to build houses. I was thrown into five-star hotels, as well as tents with no comfort whatsoever. My personal favorite was meeting the people there. Some Costa Ricans make less than a dollar a day and yet inspire everyone around them to stay positive and work for everything. This outlook has stuck with me ever since and inspires me to work harder every day to achieve my dreams in broadcast journalism.

Day One: RING… My alarm went off. I slowly rolled over and looked over at my phone. 5am… Great.

A 5am wake up call usually sounds like a nightmare for an average college student, but I was so excited to begin my journey in the fashion industry that my adrenaline kicked in and I immediately woke up with a smile on my face. I’m staying at my friend Crystal’s house in Hollywood who has a cute kitty named Leroy. Well, let’s just say Leroy isn’t all too cute anymore after realizing he puked all over my bed in the middle of the night. I had to have been extremely tired to sleep through that.

But Leroy isn’t what you want to read about. You guys wants to hear about the glamour, the fashion and everything in between. I decided I didn’t want to be a media representative for every single show this week because I wanted to experience the REAL glamour behind the scenes so I asked to be signed up as a volunteer for just the day.

Volunteering backstage, hanging out with the models and designers, getting to see all of the shows and outfits before they are actually debuted on the runway; sounds like a dream, right? WRONG.

The runway is the only location that showcases actual glamour because after today I can officially say that backstage is full of grumpy and hungry models and disorganization. I began my day in love with Michael Ngo’s line watching him rehearse his show step by step with his models. The setup was done by creating a catwalk out of two rows of chairs, the bright white lights and aggressive, yet catchy music were on and it honestly almost felt like I was getting my own personal runway show.

But then it was time to go to work. I was on check in duty. My boss for the day gave me an iPad to check the media in with and I viewed this opportunity as one to gain more connections and pass out my business card to people who could help me with my dream career – boy was I wrong. The iPad died almost immediately and my advisors kept shooing me away as if they didn’t care the iPad died or what happens at check in. The only thing they cared about was if I messed up so I had to figure something out and fast. What was I supposed to do in that situation? Just let EVERYONE into the venue? Nope. I asked everyone to make the extra effort and pull out their press pass tickets to prove their credentials.

3pm – FINALLY! It’s time to go home, but read my next post about LA Fashion Week red carpet and runway at the main location as a media guest later that night for a piece of the real world of LA Fashion Week glamour.

XOXO

Madison Brodsky

Night time:

Lights, Camera, GLAMOUR!

Crystal picked me up from volunteering at the LAFW shows in downtown LA and I quickly got changed in the car to walk the red carpet at the main LAFW location. Upon arrival, volunteers checked me in (by the way, props to you guys for running the event so well) and strutted my dress down the carpet smiling and posing for hundreds of paparazzi cameras. I was with my photographer, Kristine and we then decided to get a drink at the bar and check out the runway.

This runway took my breath away. It was beautiful. The ceiling was insanely technologically advanced with the light crew controlling the designs and colors that are presented on the ceiling. This created a really cool vibe as they used different shades of blue and green for the majority of the show. The runway was huge and lifted above everyone’s heads when they are sitting down. It was white with silver sparkles that just screamed fashion week.

We walked back to the red carpet to see if any celebrities have arrived so we can take photographs of them and possibly try for an interview. A man named Tom approached me asking who I was broadcasting for and I ended up talking to him for a few minutes about my current jobs and my dream career. Tom must have been impressed because he offered me a job right on the spot to replace his red carpet reporter and interview every big name on the carpet for the night. HELL YES.

I was so excited, but kind of unsettled as I didn’t know too much about any of the designers so I wasn’t prepared like I usually am for interviews. But I guess this was good practice if I want to host an entertainment show and the red carpet for the award seasons so I took my mic and started doing my thing. I interviewed a variety of people from designers to producers to models to Disney Channel stars. It was a great experience full of wacky and unique surprises that I will always remember. You can check out my interviews at 4K Fashion Network which will be on almost every TV in a few months! (I will also upload it to my YouTube channel when I get it!)

Anyway, the red carpet ended so on to the fashion show. Girls were strutting their perfect bodies in teeny tiny bikinis that were begging me to purchase them. (SPRING BREAK, they yelled). The music was catchy and drove everyone to dance while watching beautiful couture creations strut down the catwalk. Paparazzi crowded around the edge of the runway snapping away at these fierce models.

One of my favorite designers of the night was Triple Man X. His line killed it (and no, I am not biased due to the gorgeous male models without any shirts on). I actually had an opportunity to interview Eric, the designer of Triple Man X and he said the line was inspired by his life story trying to find his soul in a dark place. The music captivated his inspirations and the crowd went wild.

After the show, I went backstage to meet some of the models. Everyone was so kind and interested in everything I had to say. One thing that particularly stuck out to me was how much the models wanted to give back to this world. Every single model that I spoke with told me about a charity that they truly want to help and some will even hint at it while they are on America’s Next Top Model!

I am so thankful for this opportunity and every single person that I met. I truly believe I have made a huge advancement in my career and I am looking forward to the best day of LAFW tomorrow. Stay tuned. Until then,

XOXO
Madison Brodsky

Day two:
Hey Beauties,

We have a lot to catch up on so let’s not sugarcoat anything and get right down to business.

Where do I even begin? The red carpet for LAFW on Thursday? Okay, that’s a deal.

Yesterday, I arrived on the red carpet at the exact check-in time – 5pm, but was SO early. LA really loves to play by the old “always be fashionably late” or “the party doesn’t start ‘til I walk in” so I decided to arrive at the red carpet an hour late – 6pm: GASP!

But guess what? I was STILL one of the first guests to arrive on the carpet. You’re kidding, right? I really wish I were. My friend, Kristine and I took a few photographs and set up our equipment only to find ourselves standing around on our phones. I could literally hear the crickets. I kept asking myself what was going on, I thought tonight was supposed to be THE night for LA Fashion Week full of the biggest designers and celebrities that Art Heart’s Fashion has to offer LA Fashion Week. So we decided to sneak backstage.

We made it and not a single person questioned our whereabouts. YES! I immediately ran into my new friend, who is a former NFL athlete and current model for many designers, Dale Moss, backstage. We sat down and discussed our career paths and I was instantly fascinated by his life choices and the path that led him to his current success.

Time to be bold and ask for an interview. My interview with Moss caught the attention of many big time designers including Hallie Sarah, the main secret performer of the night (who, as a little hint, wore Armoni), LAFW hair and makeup coordinator, photographers, and other models. I all of the sudden had back to back interviews full of amazing and unique stories. I guess you know you did well when other photographers from a variety of different publications are asking YOU for your business card because they want to collaborate.

Time for the runway! This is where I have to stop and give a shout out to LA Fashion Magazine for saving Kristine and I two seats in the second row on the runway. These seats aren’t even sold out to the invite list because they are specifically reserved for the best of the best. This saved Kristine and I from being pushed around in the photographer pit with every other invited media personal and if you are a girl reading this post, you should ESPECIALLY understand how relieved I was that I could sit down instead of standing in my heels for the four hour runway show.

But anyway, enough about me – back to the fashion. The clothes were gorgeous and more glamorous then I have ever seen in person. The majority of the designers were showcasing their gowns and formal wear, but one specific designer stood out amongst the rest and her name is Hallie Sarah.

Sarah is a NYC designer who has showcased her lines all over the world. Her models all spoke with me about how she is way more specific about her show than other designers they have walked for because she personally chooses her models based upon the look of her clothing line. She doesn’t want the typical male look that used to be in for America and still works overseas. Sarah seeks strong, healthy men that can still flaunt their muscles on the runway. She also hand-makes each piece to specifically fit the model with the finest quality of fabrics that she can find. Editorially, I can say that her designs took my breath away with its classic simplicity.

Day three:

“Wake up in the morning feelin’ like P. Diddy.” Boy, could Ke$ha be any more spot on with my emotions towards the day. I was about to get ready to experience the best day of my career-related life thus far. I was about to get a personal tour of E! News. Now, before we get into my stories of the day, let me give you some background information.

I’ve always had the dream to work as an entertainment broadcast host for a television show and the red carpet when the award season approaches. This dream probably stems down to my mom inviting me to watch the show with her every night in little baby heels. I grew up loving the world of entertainment and television and truly feel like this career is in my cards.

So anyway, I get to E! and it is BEAUTIFUL. The first thing I see is this gorgeous fountain with a path leading to a garden with a large white canopy that has bright green vines growing on top of it. Tim Turner, who found me on Twitter and sort of recruited me to have this opportunity, met me outside and gave Kristine and I a full tour of the building. E! owns around 85% of this gorgeous property and is actually planning to move locations come November 2015.

After the tour, I was able to meet my role models. I met people like Ken Baker, Catt Sadler, Terrence J and Jason Kennedy. They were all so sweet and so supportive of my dream to basically take their job. I even joked with the on site stage manager about taking his job right now so he could go outside and enjoy the day. He laughed, agreed, gave me his headset and walked out, only to return about five minutes later laughing.

Watching E! News be recorded left a lasting smile. All of the hosts just joke around and you can really feel the sense of family within all of the talent and crew members. Kristine was shocked by the technology they have within the studio. A host can ask a question and a voice on the intercom will answer them. It’s kind of like a personal God that you actually get to hear. A host makes a request and they get an immediate response.

Later, we got to watch Joel McHale record the Soup, one of E!’s shows. This was a really cool experience and McHale is definitely one of a kind. He is truly hilarious and was also so supportive of my dream, even though he joked that E! News isn’t “real news”.

I then got to speak with a few people in the office about a summer internship even though I have already completed several interviews. I am looking forward to hearing back from E! next month.

Later that night, Kristine and I went to LAFW’s After Party at Unichi. The red carpet was so much fun! I got to interview several people from various movies and television shows and actually became friends with the majority of these people later on through the night.

All in all, I had an amazing experience in LA. Thank you so much for all of the support and encouragement with my dream. Every text that I received thus far congratulating my accomplishments mean more than I could ever put in words. Kevin Hart once said, “everybody wants to be famous, but nobody wants to put the work in.” But just look at the amazing experience that I had that has definitely advanced my career just because I, as a college student, gave up the party lifestyle in order to put the work in.

Thank you for keeping up with my LA Journey.

XOXO

Madison Brodsky

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