David Ingram, Auburn alumnus and previous Plainsman editor, spent his second time returning to campus discussing his college and work experiences to Auburn students on J-day.
When Ingram graduated Auburn University five years ago, he decided to follow his major from college and look for a journalism job. “There is no better time to be in journalism then right now,” Ingram said. “You can even become a journalist by tweeting a lot.”
He began freelance writing as an education reporter for a while, but decided he no longer wanted to be in front of the camera. “You can have the same success as a producer as someone in front of the camera,” Ingram said.
Ingram is now a producer for the Today Show in New York City. Ingram’s focus is news, government, politics and military. To be successful in this, Ingram read everything he could about these areas. His reading paid off because when interviewing with the Today Show, they gave him a current events test on his beat.
On a typical day, Ingram arrives to his desk at 1 a.m. He is one of 10 producers who get there this early. The early producers first do research for 30 minutes of the guests of that days show. After research is complete, an editorial meeting is held and the layers of the show are decided. They also decide what questions will be asked to the guests.
The anchors arrive at 4:45 a.m. Ingram and a few more producers prep them for the segment, and let them know that an ear piece will be given, so the producers can talk to them if necessary.
One piece of advice Ingram offers is to never take no for an answer. Ingram was eager for an internship his sophomore year at Auburn. He applied for an internship with the Boston Globe. He received a harsh email back with an answer of no due to his “weightless” resume he sent. He didn’t let this “no” stop him.
Another piece of advice Ingram offers is to never quit. “I have wanted to quit more times then I can tell you, and that was just this week,” Ingram said.
A final piece of advice Ingram offers is to have self-confidence. “It’s very important to have self-confidence,” Ingram said. “Keep telling yourself, they hired me for a reason.”
Although Ingram’s producing job may have long and crazy hours, he found what made him happy and successful. “This is a very difficult industry,” Ingram said. “But for every one of those bad days you have, you will have 10 good ones.”
Ingram joins another Auburn alum success story at NBC's Today Show. Lee Miller is an associate director of NBC Today and the fill-in director for Weekend Today. He has helped produced the Today Show's Olympic coverage and much more. Miller is an Auburn Radio/Television/Film alum from 1999. He's also an AU Singers alum.