From humble beginnings delivering the morning announcements for her middle school, Elise Roberts worked her way up the ranks to become a successful news anchor. Here she shares how she made her way to a top spot in television, why more women of color are needed in television management and how she saves time with her busy schedule.
Name: Elise Roberts
Title: News Anchor/reporter
Location: Charlotte, NC
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
The gig: I am an anchor and reporter for North Carolina’s 24-hour statewide news network. I also file live reports from the field. I cover the state’s top news stories of the day. I also write, shoot and edit all of my stories and provide exclusive content for the station’s web site. I have interviewed a number of people including Dr. Maya Angelou, Bill Cosby, Kim Kardashian and Michael Jordan.
The journey: My first job was in banking. I worked at a credit union as a part of my work-study program in high school. It taught me the importance of professionalism and good money management. I took my first job in TV as a news assistant six months after graduating college. More than a decade later I have lived in a number of cities and I still love writing and the rush of working under tight deadlines. I hope to eventually move into a management, as there are few women of color in TV management.
Success 101: Never take no for an answer. When someone says “no,” I hear “not right now” or “find a better way.”
Her networking tip: Get out, make connections and nurture those connections. You have to be known in your industry. It’s important to meet people in the business and similar professions. The key to fostering lasting relationships is to be able to provide a favor before asking for one. Television is a big small network. Everybody knows everybody. So don’t burn any bridges.
Confessions of a Black woman in TV: Oftentimes corporate America has an idea of how Black women should act, speak or how they were raised. I’ve learned not to apologize for not fitting into stereotypes. I’ve also learned the importance of negating the idea of the ‘Angry Black Woman’ all while maintaining a level of assertiveness, professionalism and privacy at all times.
Her best time-saving tip: Plan, plan, and plan. I wake up at 2:45 and I don’t like to feel rushed. So at the start of the week, I meal-plan and plan my outfits for the rest of the week. I also do a little bit around the house everyday so things never get completely out of order.
Her money-saving strategy: Pay yourself first and have more than one source of income. We all need a side hustle and I think that side hustle shouldn’t feel like work. I sell vintage and vintage-inspired jewelry and accessories. It came from getting so much feedback of what I wear on air. I also take on a few interior design projects. I also put aside bonus money like tax returns and my Christmas bonus in an “in case of an emergency” fund.
Her secret superpower: My organizational skills. I’m slightly obsessive.
Her stress relievers: I pray a lot. I’ve learned to pray when things are good and when it seems like there’s no way out. I also read a lot and journal.
Her beauty secrets: I drink tons of water to keep clear tight skin. I wash my face with Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser in the morning, right after work and before bed. I also use a scrub once a day in addition to wearing sunscreen year-round.
Her power accessory: An eye-catching statement piece. I love a good cuff, a dangle earring or a statement necklace. I wear a standout piece everyday.
Her theme song: “Ready or Not” by The Fugees