Where Are They Now: Mary Katherine Rooker
Photo credit: Johnny Giles Photography
Since starting my Q&A series, These My Bitches, a lot of women I've interviewed have had life and/or career changes. When I ask for feedback on my blog, the thing I hear the most, aside from making myself one of my Bitches, which, I'm sorry, I'm never going to do, is a request to check in with some of my early Bitches. Ask and ye shall receive!
I first interviewed Mary Katherine in 2015. At the time, she was working as a news producer at the NBC affiliate in Nashville. If you live in Nashville, you're likely aware of all the changes at WSMV. Let's check in with Mary Katherine and see where she is now! (Hashtag: Team Taurus)
How has your life changed since our first interview?
Since my first interview, I quit my job as a newscast producer at Channel 4! I left at the end of 2016, when my contract was up. Since then, I’ve been doing freelance TV production, writing and copy editing.
What excites you about what you do now?
I love the freedom and flexibility I have. I call 2017 my “year of detox from news.” As hard as it’s been to start something new, I don’t regret my decision. I’m so much happier now!
What is something you wish you could go back and say to yourself in your previous job?
This isn’t really advice in the vein of “I wish I’d…,” but to anyone starting out in any career (especially young women), I’d say stand up for yourself. Question ideas/thoughts/people. Don’t be afraid to disagree. Chances are, someone else shares your same opinion.
As for advice to “previous me”, I would tell that woman who left her longtime job/career to be patient and try not to get frustrated when the work isn’t pouring in. Freelancing has been really hard, especially coming from a job where there was never any downtime. There have been months when I haven’t had any work. I’ve taken jobs I was way overqualified for just so I could network. It’s definitely been a learning experience, which has been difficult at times but also very valuable!
I would also advise anyone to seek out people you admire, respect or want to work with/for. I have sought the guidance of several people, especially those who also made big career changes. Everyone has been so encouraging and I am forever grateful to all the women and men who’ve given me pep talks and words of wisdom when I needed them most.
How do you feel about social media?
I think social media has become a necessary evil. It’s where most people turn to find out things or document things, which can be great. I believe a lot of people overshare, which is not great. That’s why I hate Facebook. I’ve been guilty of oversharing, too. Now, I rarely post on Facebook and when I do, it’s usually something I find really funny or interesting. I only check Facebook twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Each time, I limit myself to 5 or 10 minutes. Instagram, however, is another story (ha!). I love Instagram! I check it throughout the day.
What is the podcast you can’t wait to listen to each week?
I’m terrible at listening to podcasts. I hear about ones that interest me but then I forget them. I do, however, love the Vogue podcast and Pardon My French with Garance Dore. I try to listen to them pretty regularly. I just discovered the Unladylike podcast. It had me at the first line of the description: “Find out what happens when women break the rules.” I’ve only listened to one episode (How to Ride a Bicycle) but I really liked it. I plan to add that podcast into my rotation!