We caught up with Schieffer College alumnus Kris Gutierrez ’99, a news anchor and reporter for NBC 5 in Dallas-Fort Worth. Gutierrez serves on the Schieffer College Board of Visitors and loves to give back to his alma mater whenever he can. He shares the ways he likes to mentor students, including hosting a group of TCU journalism students at the NBCDFW studios last fall.
Q: What journalistic foundation did your coursework and experience within TCU’s Schieffer College provide you?
A: In the late 90’s, TCU’s Schieffer College looked NOTHING like it does today… it wasn’t even called that, yet. It’s a completely different place, and the current students at TCU are better because of that growth and transformation. That said, TCU changed my life. I came to TCU a kid who wanted to play Division I soccer for the Horned Frogs, but I left a young professional. I arrived on campus with lofty goals and with God’s grace, hard work and great professors, I’m a walking testament that dreams come true. I’m a first-generation college graduate. My classmates inspired me, the journalism faculty/staff challenged me, my teammates encouraged me and I refused to take no for an answer. This campus is a special place… where creativity is encouraged, ideas are born and lives are changed.
Q: Why is mentorship of young journalists important to you?
A: Mentoring young journalists is important because I know what it’s like to be in their shoes. I have mentors who continue to support my career and I think I owe that to the next generation of journalists. The students in TCU’s Schieffer College will soon be crafting stories that my kids will be watching/reading someday. That’s a big responsibility. These students aren’t the future, they’re the now. They’re equipped with the tools and knowledge to not just tell a good story, but to dig deeper and create change. If I can play a small role in that growth, sign me up!
Q: What are some ways you’ve mentored Schieffer College students as an alumnus?
A: The most impact I have is speaking to classes. I’ve done it multiple times through the years. I’ve also had several students reach out and ask me to review their resume reels. I help however and whenever I can!
Q: Why should prospective college students consider studying journalism at TCU?
A: TCU is a world-class university and the Schieffer College is a big reason why. Dallas/Fort Worth is the fifth largest media market in the country. There are endless opportunities here… I know, because I’ve experienced them. It’s hard to believe I graduated more than 20 years ago, but the connection I have with this university will never end. I get to lead a 5 p.m. newscast in the community where I grew up and went to college. I’m honored to have that privilege. Prospective students should really think about the quality of the work being produced around them… not just in the classroom but on TV and in local publications. You have to weigh the relationships you can develop. I interned in this market and made life-long friends and mentors that I can bounce ideas off of and I still trust for career advice. You can’t go wrong with TCU, I promise!