Jaymee Sire is definitely the exception and not the rule. After all, how many 22-year-olds land a job as a television news anchor just two months after graduating from college?
"When I set my mind to something, I do everything in my power to make it happen," says Sire, a native of Great Falls, Mont. "I'm a very competitive person by nature, so there was never a doubt in my mind that I would be successful... I was just surprised how quickly the successes came."
Sire's leap into broadcasting can actually be traced back to her high school days, when she decided that she wanted a future behind the camera.
"I was very involved in Journalism and Drama during high school, so broadcasting seemed like the perfect combination of two things that I was very passionate about," Sire explains of her youthful decision.
After her high school graduation, Sire set her sights on Washington State University, a school with its own student-run cable station. Beginning in her sophomore year, she took full advantage of every opportunity presented to her. In addition to her reporting duties at WSU Cable 8, Sire found time to work for ABC Sports as a production assistant on college football broadcasts. Most importantly, she began interning at KRTV, the CBS affiliate in her hometown, whenever she returned on breaks.
"There's only so much you can learn in the classroom," Sire recalls of her busy life in college. "I definitely gained the most valuable experience through those real-life, hands-on situations."
In May of 2002, Sire graduated magna cum laude from the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication at WSU. By July, KRTV came calling with an offer to anchor the morning and noon newscasts.
"Although getting my first job only 2 months out of college sounds quick, I was actually disappointed how long it took — and I didn't anticipate staying in Great Falls right out of school," she says. "I was also apprehensive to take a morning news job, especially when I was trying to break into sports (not to mention the fact, I am NOT a morning person). But I accepted, and made the best of it, despite having to get up at 4 a.m. every day."
After a few months on the job, Sire made the move to weekend news anchor at KRTV, but still longed for a chance at doing sports. She'd always admired the work of then Monday Night Football reporter Melissa Stark, who was part of a growing trend of women emerging in sports broadcasting at the time.
"I thought that she was really good at her job," Sire says of Stark. "I said to myself, 'Now that's something I'd really like to do.'"