Q&A with Lisa Sharkey, Senior Producer of "Good Morning America"

December 9, 2003

Q. What do you hope to teach interns during their time with you at "Good Morning America?"

A. Part of what I am trying to teach, especially when you have female interns, is that you can have it all. I have three young children and I am a senior producer at "GMA." I show them how to manage time effectively as a journalist, but always allow time for your family, too. In addition, we have to make decisions quickly... . We have to be able to know in our gut, in our heart and in our brain that it is the right story to do at the right time.

Q. Getting this internship must be very competitive. What skills do you look for?

A. I am only looking for the best intern candidates that we have. I need somebody who will really impress me on that first interview. I need somebody who is absolutely committed to taking it seriously, working all different kinds of hours and really accomplishing something -- having this as a meaningful experience. So, I will only take somebody who has a really good grade point average from a good school and who makes a great impression.

Q. What suggestions do you have for recent graduates looking for a job in this field?

A. The best way to get a job in the field is to get an internship and to make friends with those you are working with. Then you can start learning who their connections are and finding out internally what types of jobs are open.

Q. What does this job demand from you emotionally? What kind of time commitment is required to be successful in broadcast news?

A. Broadcast journalism is something that does take sacrifices. It requires you to miss holidays sometimes, miss nights of sleep and work around the clock in order to get the story. It is a competitive business. It is also a business that requires digging -- you don't instantly find that person you are looking for on the first try, and you don't instantly get them to agree to be on TV even if you do find them the first time. You have to be relentless, and sometimes that means that the minute you walk in the door at home, your phone starts ringing again, and you could end up being on the phone all night.

Q. What do you like most about your job?

A. I have the most interesting, fun and creative job in the world, in my opinion. I get to work with the best and the brightest that television journalism has to offer -- Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson are incredible, along with Robin Roberts. I supervise all medical news for "GMA," all financial news, parenting news, consumer product testing and hidden camera investigations.

For me, I am interacting with the top people in their fields and in journalism, across the country and around the world. It doesn't get better than that. Actually, I get to inform millions of different people, every single day, through my work about what is happening out there. For me, I am not only giving of myself and making sacrifices -- sometimes that is tough -- but I am doing it for a greater good, and that is the most important thing.