My name is Alicia Acuña and I came to work for the Fox News Channel, as a correspondent, in 1997.
While I have covered stories and blogged for Foxnews.com, I am new to Fox News Latino and looking forward to contributing to this wonderful site.
Here’s a little about my background: I was born in Whittier, California, and grew up in the southern parts of Arizona and California. Depending whether you’re talking about my mother's or my father’s side, I am somewhere between second and third-generation Mexican-American. My parents both consider themselves Chicano.
They divorced when I was 13 years old, and my dad moved to San Diego. So, while I attended 2nd grade through high school in Tucson, my vacations and holidays were on the beaches of California.
While attending Northern Arizona University I saw a flyer one day for auditions for the campus television station, U-TV. This caught my attention because I'd always known I wanted to work in TV news.
I showed up, along with a bunch of other students, to read the tele-prompter for the other students who were "in charge." It was a pretty sophisticated little station we ran. It was an entirely student-run operation. There were multiple shows for a variety of interests, including a music video program.
For the rest of my college career, U-TV was IT, as far as I was concerned. I threw myself into anything that had to do with what we considered our main newscast. I produced, reported, directed and floor directed. I was, for lack of a better term, obsessed.
Looking back I wish I hadn't taken myself, and life, so seriously. But the hard work paid off. I applied for and received a fellowship with the International Radio and Television Society (IRTS) that took me to New York City for an internship at CBS News after graduation.
When summer ended, I went to San Diego to look for my first job in the industry, which ended up being on the assignment desk at the NBC station. My goal, at the time, was to become a field producer.
Until then, I'd shrugged off suggestions to pursue an on-camera career. I was interested in the behind-the-scenes, but more, I just didn't think I could do live TV. I had terrible stage fright and truth be told, still do. I also struggle with debilitating shyness.
What I didn't know at the time, but have come to learn through my 15 years in this medium, none of that matters. With the urging of a colleague, I put a resume tape together with the help of newsroom staffers. I applied for a reporter job in Bakersfield, California, and was terrified when they hired me as weekend anchor.
What I found when I did my first live shot and then newscast is that, because I couldn't see who I was talking to, I didn't have the fear I still get talking to a class of children.
From there I went to Fresno for a couple of years before coming to Fox News, which has been home to some of the best years of my life.
When asked for advice on getting into this industry, I encourage young folks to look for experience where they can get it. Whether it's by internship, fellowship or entry level position, it will help in ways that are unimaginable.
As I've learned, your industry friends and co-workers are the ones who will help you.
One other thing, keep your mind open to unexpected opportunity and encouragement. In my case it worked and I know countless others who climbed high because they tried something they didn't think they could do.
Alicia Acuña is a Fox News correspondent, based out of the Denver bureau.