Graduates of the University of Montana School of Journalism go on to do great things, in journalism and beyond. They direct newsrooms, report on international issues, photograph history, inform the public on air, start their own businesses, influence public policy, publish books and become leaders in their communities. Here, we spotlight some of our alumni who showcase just how powerful, and versatile, a journalism degree from UM can be. (If you are a graduate who would like to share your experience or know of someone we should spotlight, email Courtney Cowgill.)
This installment spotlights Meg Oliver, ’93, who works as a News Correspondent at CBS.
Question: Where do you work, how long have you been there and what is your job title?
Answer: I’m a CBS News Correspondent. I report for CBS This Morning, The CBS Evening News, CBS This Morning Saturday, CBS Sunday Morning, and I anchor for their digital network CBSN.
I started at CBS News in 2006.
Was this the type of work you thought you’d be doing when you went to school? Share any details you’d like on your work trajectory?
I started out as a “one man band” in Missoula and over the course of a few years made my way up through local TV markets. It wasn’t until I was in Washington D.C. that the network called and offered me the overnight anchor of Up To The Minute at CBS News. Today as a correspondent, I cover practically every major breaking story.
Can you describe an average day on the job?
There is no average day on the job for me. I never know what I”m going to end up covering. To give you an idea the last year has included the London Bridge terror attack, two hurricanes back to back with one day off in between, the Texas Church shooting, two terror attacks in New York and multiple feature and enterprise stories.
What experiences at the J-School were notable in preparing you for your work?
The best thing about the UM J-school training was that it was hands on! Everything we did in the classroom we used in the field. When I looked around for Journalism schools UM stood out to me for their hands on approach and the amazing professors they had on hand.
What do you think makes the J-School special? Do you have any particularly fond memories of your time at the J-School?
The J-school is a hidden gem in the rockies. I was lucky to find it when I was looking for schools. There is nothing like being inspired by the mountains and having some of the best professors in the business teach you how to write, shoot and edit.
What advice would you give a student just starting out in journalism school? Or, what advice would you give to someone considering journalism school?
… It’s an ever changing field. I would soak up as much wisdom as your professors have to offer you. But remember to keep up with the changing social media platforms …