Alumni Spotlight: Candice Smith of NBC 12
Aug 27, 2018
Posted in: News
Candice Smith (B.S. '14/MC) began working at NBC12 in Richmond the summer before her senior year at the Robertson School. She started at Channel 12 as an editor, working behind the scenes, but she knew she didn’t want to do that for long and began shadowing reporters.
“I would come in on my own time before classes and my scheduled shift, unpaid, to gain as much hands-on experience as I could,” she said. “And it paid off. I graduated in May of 2014 and had an on-air role that summer when I was promoted to weekend traffic reporter.”
Smith is now NBC12’s morning traffic reporter, the “12 About Town” reporter and social media reporter for NBC12. As Traffic Reporter she helps people avoid accidents and delays and warns them of construction projects in their area. But being the social media reporter and “12 About Town” reporter are her two favorite jobs. As a social media reporter, she covers “trending topics,” which can comprise a wide range of subjects from entertainment, sports, politics and even breaking news. She uses Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to show the local reactions to trending topics. As the “12 About Town” reporter, Smith features events happening around Richmond. In this role she’s covered new rides at Kings Dominion, restaurants, concerts, festivals and much more.
Smith’s co-workers describe her as "a firecracker, magnet and a jolt of energy.” When asked what she likes best about her job, Smith’s enthusiasm came to the forefront.
“Every day is a new day. You never really know how each day will go or what you will cover, and I love that. I also truly enjoy meeting and interacting with all kinds of people.”
Smith noted, however, that it takes more than enthusiasm to “make it” in broadcast news, and she credited the Robertson School with teaching her time management. “News is all about deadlines,” she said, “and most of the time you feel like they are impossible deadlines. You are constantly racing against the clock. It was really important to learn how to manage my time, and my class workload at VCU helped prepare me for my career.”
Smith grew up in Roanoke, Virginia and attended the Robertson School from 2010 to 2014. She majored in broadcast journalism and credits professors such as Gary Gillam, Sean Collins-Smith, Ryan Nobles and Ric Young with inspiring her to succeed.
“It was important for me to take every class they had to offer,” she said. “They all had either worked or were still employed in news at the time, and I knew that by taking their classes, I would gain a unique perspective that would help better prepare me for this career. And it definitely did.”
Smith is an enthusiastic fan of VCU athletics and has had the honor of serving as grand marshal for the homecoming parade. Her younger sister currently attends VCU, and Smith still goes to basketball games regularly.
“I loved everything about VCU,” she said. As an athlete herself, Smith played basketball and ran indoor and outdoor track in high school, believing athletics helped shape her competitive spirit. “Sports are a huge part of my life,” she said. “They helped mold me into a very hard-working individual and had an influence on how I constantly strive to be the best in my craft.”
As for role models, Smith like many young women can’t say enough about Oprah Winfrey.
“Oprah will always be my number one role model. She helped pave the way for women in TV. I would love to have my own show one day and follow in her footsteps,” she said.
Smith offered advice for other young people interested in broadcast: “Get an internship or an entry-level job. Get your foot in the door! It is extremely important to get hands-on experience early. This will help you to have a better understanding of the job and what it requires but also learn if this is the career for you.”
Sage advice from a recent graduate who is a star on the rise.
This article was first published in the Spring 2018 issue of the Robertsonian.