Emily Pritchard of ABC 57 in South Bend, Ind. visited her high school last week

The students of the Waynesville High School video production program had the opportunity to learn from a professional TV news anchor last week.

Emily Pritchard, weekend anchor and reporter for ABC 57 in South Bend, Ind. and Waynesville alumna, spoke to the class about the journalism business, how to succeed in your career, and the best parts about her job.

Pritchard said she enjoyed sharing her experiences as a way to help the students navigate through their careers.

“I remember trying to figure out if I liked journalism when I was in high school and it really helped hearing from people who had been through it and getting the opportunity to pick other people's brains was always helpful to me,” she said.

Pritchard gave the students important advice for their careers. For starters, she told them to be ready and willing to do anything and to take advantage of all opportunities.

“I started my career off doing an internship at KLMU in Columbia,” she said. “I started out teleprompting, editing behind the scenes as a production assistant, and eventually got the chance to do on-air work. That hands-on stuff helps you mold what you want your future career to look like.”

Pritchard stressed the importance of building relationships and connections with the people in your career field.

“It's great to keep in touch with people, you never know along the way who could help you out or give you advice that's helpful.”

Pritchard now covers both news and sports for ABC 57, which includes the excitement of following No. 1 Notre Dame football.

“Sports is definitely the part of my job that I am enjoying the most right now,” she said. “It's challenging at times, but I enjoy the fast-paced energy of it all.

Looking back on her journalistic career so far, she said that her favorite opportunity was going to the 2012 Superbowl in Indianapolis.

“It was just a different experience. I was a very small fish in a very large pond and it was cool to see the behind-the-scenes working of it all,” she said. “At the end of the day, it ended up being a 25-hours work day at least, but it was totally worth every second.”

Pritchard said that eventually she would like to be in a bigger city, but enjoys being in a smaller station right now.

“Working for a smaller station now gives me so many more opportunities,” she said.

One of those upcoming opportunities includes covering the BCS National Championship in Miami, Fla.

Pritchard grew up in Waynesville and attributes her small-town upbringing for the person she is today, personally and professionally.

“I would credit the community with giving me a different outlook on how people from different backgrounds are linked together with the military base and work for a common cause,” she said. “Growing up, there were kids on my street from Thailand, Guam, Germany, Australia. That encouraged me to go out and meet new people and see new places.”