Throwback Thursday: Hustle and Pluck with Julie Chen

With the lovely Julie Chen last semester in the Annenberg Auditorium.
With the lovely Julie Chen last semester in the Annenberg Auditorium.

If Julie Chen isn’t a perfect example of the hustle and pluck attribute, I don’t know who is. On August 26th, she joined journalism professor Mary Murphy in the Annenberg Auditorium to discuss her career path, advice for Annenberg students and aspiring journalists, as well as some of the struggles and successes encountered along the way. As a 19-year-old CBS intern during her sophomore year at USC, Julie claims to not have possessed the networking skills necessary to maximize on that opportunity. She was quiet and kept to herself, not offering or learning much. She knew that had to change.

Upon graduation from USC Annenberg in 1991, Julie’s #1 goal was to become a reporter/news anchor and Los Angeles was conveniently the #2 news market in the world. Instead, she landed a job in the small news market of Dayton, Ohio as a field correspondent. She stuck it out at that job and persevered at subsequent, smaller jobs in other areas of the country (i.e. New York) always doing more than what was asked of her but aspiring to something greater. Although she initially had doubts about her Big Brother host position in an unfamiliar, untested market, she took a chance! That chance eventually landed her a seat on CBS’ The Talk.

I related strongly to Julie, who condones “walking with confidence as if you belong”, and encourages a key hustle & pluck skill: “Find the person whose job you want and say ‘I want to learn by watching and listening to you.’” I know that I can practice these skills in an internship environment, at the very least. I can continue on to push boundaries as a minority woman in entertainment, and go with my gut, plucking all promising opportunities, no matter how challenging or unexpected.

This concept may seem trivial, but it’s highly applicable to any career. We can all benefit from working hard, working smart and going the extra mile. In the entertainment industry, it’s ‘all about who you know’. Your next handshake, email or elevator speech could be your next step up to a better career, so hustle & pluck while the going’s good!

All the best,


Click here to read about Julie’s return to Wallis Annenberg Hall and naming of the Media Center!

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