7 Jobs Before TV Job


The road to success doesn’t happen overnight and I’m living proof! After all, I’m still defining myself as a woman. When I graduated from college, I knew I wanted to do something big, be somebody, and make an impact on peoples’ lives.

I’ve looked for the elevator to success— IT DOES NOT EXIST. As one of my famous mentors has said, “you must take the stairs.” We all love Jay Z now, but no one talks about the 8-9 years before his hit album, “Reasonable Doubt” dropped. Before that, he was just a broke rapper with a mix tape. No one talks about Oprah being fired from her job as a TV news reporter. Before their success, they were just young people with dreams.

Funeral Home

The summer between freshman and sophomore year of college, I worked at a funeral home. 95% of the work I did was just clerical. I really didn’t work too much with bodies, however I was around them everyday. My largest lessons came from working with grieving families. It taught me the importance of customer service and learning how to work with people in various states of minds. The task at hand: Get the job done, AND be sensitive to the customers’ needs. Control your emotions and empathize with the family. It’s called balance!

Jamaican Restaurant

No, I did not make jerk chicken. But, I did eat a lot! I worked as an office manager of a small chain in Chicago. I did the office work including paying bills and payroll. And I learned a lot about Jamaican culture and food! WHATGON MON?!

FOX News Chicago and Channel 26 Intern

I worked these internships at the same time and both were UNPAID! As in, I got no money. Yeah. That was a hard summer working six days a week FOR FREE, but it was necessary. Mon-Wed I had to be at Channel 26 at 6am. And Fri-Sun I had to intern at FOX Chicago 2-10pm. Crazy schedule, but I surprised myself in pushing my limits. I did everything from pick-up donuts, to washing dishes, and picking up dry-cleaning. It was a big fat piece of humble pie!

Media/Marketing Intern

This was the perfect job I held for three years in college. I made $12 an hour and made my own schedule. But more importantly, I got the chance to work with some amazing women. I was definitely there for a reason.


When I graduated college, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do! I spent four years getting a communication degree, but still had a dream of pursuing modeling. I did it a little bit in high school and college. But now that I graduated, it was time to really go for it! So, I moved back to Chicago and lived with my MOTHER! (Which turned out to be the perfect opportunity to follow my dreams). I got an agent and got to work. I had some success. I walked a few runways and ended up getting a billboard! However, modeling didn’t pay all of my bills, which leads me to my next job.


I was the typical model/waitress. However, it was cool for me at the moment. Being a waitress gave me freedom to still go on modeling calls. And I kind of liked being a waitress. I got in a good bar/restaurant downtown and made some good money. A waitress at the restaurant I worked at could make $600-$1500 a night. You heard me! That’s good money, but the problem is you didn’t make that much money every night.

So, here I am a year out of college. I decided I would either move to New York, lose 10 lbs, and join thousands of other models in the hustle. Or, use my degree. The goal was always to be in television, so I chose reporting. I wasn’t sure about this path, but I played the strongest card in my hand and it turned out to be a great decision.

TV News Personality

And now I work for the NBC affiliate in a small city in Missouri. I anchor the weekends and report weekdays. I work 10-12 hour days, but I know I’m in the right place. I trust my journey and my growth process. I’m not saying I “made it,” but my point is EVERYBODY starts somewhere. It’s not where you come from, but where you’re going. The point is, GET STARTED! I’m on my way, comment below and let me know where you’re headed. What random job did you start off with?

Elena Scheiner