It’s not often that a childhood love blossoms into a lasting love affair. But for Jessica Radloff, her early love of television turned into just that: a long-standing career centered around an industry that has always captured her attention. Although her journey was not without lessons learned, Radloff is proof that with passion, hard work and confidence, anything is possible.
Long before she became Glamour’s West Coast Entertainment Correspondent, Radloff said she always knew she wanted to work in television. In fact, for as long as she can remember, she noticed she was captivated by the medium.
“Growing up, I was obsessed with the news. Seriously, what 10-year-old do you know that knows all the names of every news anchor on TV—both local and national?” she joked.
But news wasn’t the only thing she was interested in. “I should also mention that because my mom watched Days of Our Lives, I started on that when I was five years old,too (she didn’t know though…I snuck behind the couch),” she said. “And it’s very telling that apparently when I was two, my parents would put me to bed before they went to watch the TV show, M*A*S*H, and as soon as the theme song started, I would stand up in my crib and and say, “M*A*S*H!” It’s no wonder I’m doing what I do for a living.”
While she recognized her passion for television early on, her path to working in the industry wasn’t quite as easy as identifying her interest in the field. In school, Radloff was rather shy, and it wasn’t until high school that she learned that she had been struggling with three learning disabilities: dyslexia, dyscalculia (a condition that makes it difficult to interpret numbers) and listening comprehension.
“That shyness started to dissipate once I was diagnosed with my learning disabilities (which actually didn’t happen until junior year of high school),” she explained. “I began to understand that there was nothing really wrong with me at all. It’s about building confidence within yourself and learning it’s OK to be different,” a conclusion she reached as a result of “years of therapy, amazing, supportive parents, and also just getting out of high school.”
And once she left high school, Radloff hit the ground running: she attended the University of Arizona and graduated with honors in three-and-a-half year, all while working several internships. Taking several internships at places such as NBC Sports, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and the Young and the Restless, as well as ABC and CBS affiliate stations, Radloff said that the internships taught her to assert herself in the workplace.
Of the lessons she learned from her interning days, she said the most important was to have confidence in her abilities and speak up for herself. “Just because you’re working with grown-ups, it doesn’t mean that they know what they’re doing either. That’s not to say you know everything, because trust me, as an 18-year-old, I certainly didn’t. But it means standing up for yourself because no one else will.”
Detailing one internship that never delivered on lofty promises, Radloff shared that she was “basically there to stock the fridge, take lunch orders and deliver magazines.”
While not undercutting the experience, Radloff said it would have been much more valuable to have learned about the business in which she was interning. “Looking back, I would have talked to the internship coordinator and really pushed harder to make them deliver on their promises,” she said. “No one is ever going to give you anything. You have to prove that you belong, but also make sure you appropriately push for what you want and deserve in your career.”
After completing her degree, Radloff moved to Los Angeles, where she dabbled in a host of different media-related jobs, ranging from a role on a sitcom called “Campus Ladies,” to writing for Celebuzz and even the St. Louis Cardinals Gameday MLB Magazine, according to her bio. Now working as Glamour’s West Coast Entertainment Correspondent, which can involve attend red carpet events or even dropping by television sets, Radloff is doing the thing that excites her the most: working in the industry that she has been captivated by her whole life.
Thinking about her favorite perks of the job, Radloff joked that among her favorite events or set visits are those that serve great food. But beyond delicious food, Radloff appreciates getting a good interview. “You’d be amazed at the amount of actors that show up to events and skip press,” she shared. “You could be at the greatest party or gala, but if no one talks, it’s really disappointing. That’s why you need great food to make up for it. Or Harrison Ford, who will always talk to the press.”
Although Radloff has made a name for herself thus far, there are still some things the reporter hopes to accomplish in the future, both in her personal life and in her career. “I’d love to find the love of my life and have a family,” she said of her goals beyond work. “It’s just hard with my schedule, and also being in Los Angeles, which isn’t the easiest place to date (especially with the kind of guy I’m looking for).”
As for her professional goals, Radloff said, “I just want to be lucky enough to keep doing what I’m paid to do, and keep growing. Readers and viewers have so many media options nowadays, and if you’re reading or watching my work, I take that extremely seriously. I want to keep giving you guys the best interviews and videos possible.”
With an illustrious career in the journalism thus far and much more yet to accomplish, Radloff has a learned many a lesson working her way up in the industry. Reflecting on the best advice she has received throughout her career, Radloff offered, “Always be honest, accurate and loyal. Keep your word. Never mislead anyone. My dad taught me that from as far back as I can remember.”
But Radloff’s advice didn’t end there. “Be you,” she said. “I had no idea what that meant for the longest time. I mean, who else was I going to be? But it means embrace the quirks that make you you. Don’t try to be someone you aren’t.”
Sharing something that she has so greatly modeled, Radloff said, “Have a personality. Take the job seriously, take your work seriously, but laugh and have fun.”