Please tell us about yourself
From bombings to floods to polyandry, Bharati Naik, a field producer for CNN International in London now covers a wide array of stories in her career, but the real story is how she got from Texas State to CNN.
Texas State University Alumna Bharati Naik made it her main goal to get an internship at CNN and that’s just what she did. She is currently a field producer for CNN international but there was a time where Naik considered herself just another Texas State student with high hopes and ‘traditional’ indian parents expecting her to pursue something in the medical or science field.
She had a deep passion and for news and was very interested in international issues. Naik says the way she got into CNN was simply by wanting it bad.
What did you study?
Before working at CNN, Naik had her humble beginnings at Texas State when she received her second M.A. in the Journalism department. Prior she went to school for her B.A. in computer applications and her first M.A. in information technology both at Stella Maris College, Chennai, India.
How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and fascinating career?
“I had been thinking about journalism for a long time, but I come from a pretty traditional Indian family, which means, my parents were really adamant that I follow either computer science or do medicine or something like that,” Naik said.
Towards the end of her time at Texas State, Naik realized she needed experience outside of her time spent at the University Star and the university channel. Naik began applying for internships.
Tell us about your career path to CNN
“I got so many rejections before I got my internship at CNN. I applied for about 60 or 70 internships and I had not be accepted for them…” Naik said. “It is a tough job market, but that is for every other [job market] too.”
After her internship with Anderson Cooper she did not have a job lined up. Instead of coming back to Texas, Naik decided that she wanted to stay in New York. She lived in an apartment with three other people and got a part-time secretary job at CNN.
“She just told every reporter ‘Let me know if you want me to go with you, I’ll just carry the camera or anything.’ So she really just followed people around,” said Dr. Susan Weill, a professor at Texas State.
How did you make it to CNN?
“You have to show persistence. You have to really dig deep and find out what it is you really want.”
Texas State Associate Professor Susan Weill said Naik was a great student. Professor Well taught Naik while she was enrolled in the graduate program at Texas State. Weil described Naik as being a headstrong student who was always involved.
“She wanted to work for CNN international, that’s what she always wanted to do. She figured out how to do it, and she did it. It was just by hard work.”
Above all, Naik said that the reason she was able to get her dream job was because she literally followed people around until an opportunity presented itself. She said she wouldn’t have gotten anywhere without making great connections with employers.
“It’s important because if they like you, they’ll hire you.”
Naik also says that social networking is a great networking tool but shouldn’t be a main platform for Journalism. Journalists should always strive to create stories that are going to be read on a longer format to really tell the story.
Naik also said the most important trick to Journalism is to simply get involved. She advises all students to participate in the publications on campus such as KTSW because ‘no one will tell you no’; those organizations are there to help students and it’s important to have that experience under your belt.
What do you love about your work?
Naik worked her way to being a field producer in India where she was during the 2008 bombings in Mumbai. Naik liked being a field reporter in India, but she likes her job better now because she gets to spend time in the field and in the office.
Your advice to students?
Her biggest recommendation to students at Texas State is to use all the resources you have at hand, use your courses, your professors, and tools that the university offers to you.
“Make sure you get the experience even in courses, shadow for a week at a news channel, you have to show persistence,” Naik said.