California State University, Northridge - Radio-Television-Film, Emphasis in TV production
Have you ever stayed up late at night watching “Entertainment Tonight” discuss the latest celebrity fashion (and woes) and think, “How would I get a job making something like that?” If it sounds too fun to be true, you’re wrong. Tiffini Bauder is a researcher at “Entertainment Tonight,” a syndicated news magazine. Tiffini has worked at “ET” for nearly eight years where she gets to do things like research everything from what designer a celebrity wears on a red carpet to the legal jargon in Tiger Woods’ divorce. But don’t think Tiffini is just another LA girl working in entertainment. She also happens to be one of my best friends and carries around the kindest heart you could ever imagine.
The entertainment industry is one in which women can thrive.
How did you discover your current job?
I started as a production assistant and advanced to a researcher after 18 months. A co-worker mentioned a position was opening in the research department. I applied to be a research assistant, got the job and six months later was promoted to researcher.
What has been your path so far to get you where you are today?
I interned at “The Young and the Restless,” a CBS soap opera, during my last year in college. That led to a part-time job at Soap Opera Digest magazine where I transcribed celebrity interviews. Through an acquaintance, I got a job as a production assistant at “Entertainment Tonight.” I took a heavy workload, serving as both an editorial assistant for Soap Opera Digest and as a personal assistant for “ET” for six months before transitioning to just my full-time position at “ET.”
What is your typical day like? Does it ever change?
Work begins early at 4:30 a.m. I immediately begin putting together what we call research packets. These packets include celebrity articles pulled from websites and magazines that producers use to prepare for interviews or create pieces for the show. After the morning production meeting, directors are assigned their stories, and I’m assigned three to four pieces to fact check. Basically, I help ensure everything is accurate before it hits the airwaves.
The rundown can change in a moment’s notice if there is any breaking news. That would include celebrity deaths, weddings, pregnancies and arrests.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I take pride in the fact that I am partially responsible for the production quality of the show. Everything from graphics being spelled correctly to a proper pronunciation of a name all gets ran by the research team.
We’re also treated to a number of perks at “ET.” As we like to say, it’s the only place where both Laura Bush and Jerry Springer will stop by for an appearance in the same day! We also go to a number of entertainment functions. Just recently, I was at the Daytime Emmy Awards in Las Vegas.
What is the most challenging part?
The work is very fast paced and deadline driven. I am assigned three to four stories each day. That means I also work with three to four directors who all work at their own pace. It’s challenging to manage my time around theirs.
What is one lesson you’ve learned in your job that sticks with you?
I deal with facts all day long, so double-check, then double-check again. Even if you think you know for certain something is correct, look it up anyway. You’d be surprised how many mistakes you’d catch that way.
What do you feel is the biggest challenge for women today, particularly females in your industry?
The entertainment industry is one in which women can thrive. However, there is a lot of competition. Some women are so driven, they don’t allow themselves to have much of a life outside work. This job can be all-consuming if you let it be, so it’s important to have balance.
Who are your role models?
My close friends are my role models. They each have traits and qualities I look up to, whether it be in their professional or personal lives. They get me through the good times and bad. Even some of my co-workers I consider my close friends who help me through my toughest days at work.
Is there a quote or mantra that you live by?
“You want to know how to make God laugh? Tell Him your plans.”
It reminds me that even when you think you have your life all figured out, you really don’t, and everything you get in life is thanks to Him.
What advice do you have for girls who want to be in your industry?
Don’t get caught up in cattiness and office politics. There can be a lot of that in this industry. Again, it’s important to have balance. Work hard, keep up with the competition, but give yourself time to enjoy life.