Genevieve Skelton: Today’s Notable Young Professional

Today’s Notable Young Professional is City Montreal segment producer Genevieve Skelton, whose daily tasks include everything from putting something together about the charter of values to researching Tommy Chong, organizing a home décor set up, and everything in-between…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
It’s difficult to be concise about what I do! A typical day looks something like:
4am – 6am: Prepare sports and host chat segments, review show rundown for content, errors, changes.
6am – 9am: Control room produces Breakfast Television.
9am – Whenever: Post-show meeting, book guests, research already booked guests, prepare background for hosts, enter tomorrow’s information into the rundown.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I have been working for City since 2007 (with a one year leave of absence to work and live in the UK). I got an internship through my program at BCIT and was then hired as a temporary worker. I moved my way into a full-time role from there. I decided to enter this field because I loved drama class in high school, but knew being an actor or stage manager was not a practical way to make a living.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of my job is learning something new every day. While the everyday tasks I do are similar, the content is always different; from putting something together about the charter of values, researching Tommy Chong, organizing a home décor set up, and everything in-between.

The worst is the hours. I have to be at work by 4am latest (!), and I often work far beyond the standard nine-hour day.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself being in more of a managing role, with more input into a program than I have now.

What does success look like to you?
While I love my job, success isn’t about your career. It’s about finding a perfect work/life balance and somehow maintaining a level of happiness through it all. It’s about being able to separate your work from your personal life, while nurturing both. I haven’t quite mastered this yet.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
To date my most memorable milestone was when I was given the opportunity to become a producer, because I was trained in the technical aspects of TV (camera, graphics, editing etc.). I was laid off and hired back two weeks later as a segment producer; I will never forget being given that opportunity.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
As far as the TV business is concerned, I would say be prepared to work harder than you ever imagined, get paid less than you imagined, and not have a steady job with regular hours. It sounds very negative but the reality is that TV is a downsizing industry. A majority of people I went to school with never found regular work and switched careers, and I have seen many others get laid off.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I don’t have a specific charity I support but I always make sure to donate to any one of my friends or co-workers who are doing something to raise money.

What to you is notable?
The most notable people in my career have been the people who mentored me. I have been lucky enough to have a few amazing people give me the opportunity to try crazy things and make many mistakes. These people taught me everything they knew without restrictions. I hope I can pass that same thing on to someone else one day; I think it’s such a shame when knowledge is held back from others because of the fear of succession.

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
BlackBerry… just jokes! iPhone of course.