Kristie Lu Stout, the award-winning host of ‘News Stream’ on CNN is a familiar face. When I met her at the CNN Asia Business Forum in Bangalore, I was very curious to know what made her successful in her field and how she sculpted her career to become a well-known broadcast journalist. I recorded a half hour long conversation for the Leadership Podcast which I host at The Hindu Businessline. While the Podcast will eventually be published in a few week’s time (my column is a fortnightly one), here are some interesting takeaways from our conversation.
Kristie studied Journalism at Stanford University and graduated at a time when the Internet book was just happening. She got her first break at the celebrated new age tech magazine, Wired.
My Takeaway: Have clarity of what you want to do in life. Kristie clearly loved journalism and picked up a course she enjoyed.
Kristie moved to China where she freelanced for the South China Morning Post and later worked at Sohu. She started to learn Chinese at Tsinghua University. Remember that, even though Kristie is a Chinese American, she spent most of her early life in the United States.
My Takeaway: Kristie could easily have built her career in the US. After all, the rest of the World is trying to get into the land of opportunities. Yet, Kristie realized the opportunities in China and stepped out of her comfort zone to move to another country. She took the effort to learn the language and dove into studying the burgeoning Internet space which proved to be a turning point in her life as seen in the next point.
While she was focused on print journalism, her breakthrough in broadcast journalism happened serendipitously. She gave a speech at the Foreign Correspondents Club on the state of Internet in China. As part of the audience was a senior member from CNN who was impressed with her. He invited her to come over to CNN and that’s what resulted in her first break.
My Takeaway: Breaks like this one is rare. And Kristie knew it and she was determined to make it count. During our conversation, she mentioned that the learning curve was very steep. After all, she was brand new to the TV medium. I loved how she was open to learning from others and constantly improved herself that made her now a name to reckon with.
Look out for the full conversation I have with Kristie Lu Stout in a fortnight.