Megan Lawson’s journalism career started in the second grade. With an early hunger to report news, the young girl in a small town in Arkansas created and ran her very own neighborhood newspaper.
“I’d go around to the neighbors and ask them things about what they were doing and stuff and then I’d go home, type it up, print it out and then go back around and sell it for a quarter,” said the 25-year-old who now lives and works in Manhattan.
Lawson, now an associate producer at Fox News, said she knew she wanted to live in New York since she was in her mother’s womb. It was sometime during kindergarten or the first grade that she decided she would pursue a career in television news.
Having entered the professional world when the recession was in full swing, Lawson’s story is unique. Not only did she secure a job straight out of college, she landed her dream job.
With a clear vision of where she was headed, Lawson attended Arkansas State University where she knew there was an ABC affiliate. She began working as a production assistant for the local news when she was just a freshman in college.
Later in her college years, Lawson interned at CNN in Atlanta and then Fox News in New York.
“I remember thinking in college all I wanted to do was work. I was so ready to work,” she said. This attitude pushed Lawson to work twice as hard and graduate in three and half years with a degree in Communications with an emphasis in broadcast news.
She got a job at Fox News with “The Lineup”, the show she had interned with the previous summer, and her dreams of moving to New York became a reality.
Though she was a production assistant, one of Lawson’s primary responsibilities was to book guests. When “The Lineup” was cancelled, she assisted with booking on various other programs until a new show went into production: “Huckabee,” a weekend evening show hosted by former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.
Lawson was hired on staff as a booker and has been with the show since it debuted in 2008. Her career at Fox not only brought her to New York, but her position at the Huckabee show has also sent her overseas.
First, she traveled to Israel for an interview with Tony Blair and the president of Israel, and she recently flew to London for pre-royal-wedding coverage.
“It was the first time I ever traveled outside the country and got a stamp in my passport,” Lawson said recalling her trip to Israel. Other favorite memories for Lawson include working on a special show at The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas and interviewing Derek Jeter at spring training for a special tribute to George Steinbrenner.
Mingling with celebrities is no longer strange for Lawson, but she still carries her camera to work and posts pictures on Facebook. Who are some other big names she’s met? Bradley Cooper, Russell Simmons, Paula Deen, Willie Nelson, Dennis Rodman, Wayne Newton. And the list goes on.
Lawson admits that opportunities have always come easily to her and that she is lucky to be where she is at her age. She offers two key tips: “You’ve got to really want it” and “You’ve got to be a good intern,” she said. It was during her summer internship at Fox that she was able to make connections for a future job.
Though she lives in New York City, Lawson still has big plans for herself. She wants to travel to new places, meet more celebrities and eventually venture outside of news and work on an entertainment show.
What’s her ultimate goal? “My goal is to be a millionaire,” she said. So far, she’s done everything she always said she would, so it’s hard to doubt her.