University of Washington Alumni Association
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Meet the Contacts - Peg Achterman
Name: Peg Achterman
Former UW student-athlete
Current position: Corporate Trainer, Grass Valley Broadcast Solutions
UW degrees: B.A. History and Communications, 1982
Other degree: M.A. Broadcast Journalism, 1983, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
What activities were you involved with at the UW?
I was a member of Phi Mu sorority and was on the UW rowing team from 1979 to 1982. I initially walked on in track and field as a shot and discus thrower. We'd practice in Husky Stadium at the open end of the horseshoe, and when I'd see the crew go by, I'd think, "You know, that looks like fun." So sophomore year I went out for crew, and we had back-to-back national championships under Bob Ernst in '81 and '82. In my junior and senior years, rowing was by far my greatest time commitment.
Why do you volunteer with Husky Career Network?
If you've achieved any measure of success, there are people who have helped you, and I want to give back. I also like to know what younger people are doing and what they're interested in. It's fun to be around those who are just starting out. Their enthusiasm is contagious and renewing.
You used to be a photojournalist but transitioned away from that. What made you change careers?
When I hit 40, I realized I didn't want to be doing this at 50. Also, as a photographer, it's hard to convince people that you can do other things, so I wanted to establish myself in another capacity. I was still very interested in teaching, and I had a contact who was involved in the technology of non-linear editing, so I went in that direction. However, my last day at KING-TV was two days after 9/11, and once again I had second thoughts about whether I should be getting out.
Did networking played a key role in your career transition?
Absolutely. It's all about connections. The broadcasting world is really quite small, and if you've been doing it a while, your name is known. It was through my professional organization and workshops that I made the connections that led to my current job.
Do you have any advice for students and alumni using Husky Career Network?
Even if you have a busy schedule, try to fit in an internship. They are huge in helping students gain experience, and realize whether a profession fits their personality. We had interns come into the newsroom and realize they wanted nothing to do with it. You generally learn more in your first year on the job than through all your years of school, and an internship gives you that inside view.