Everyone likes to win, right?

But when you enter your work in student-oriented awards competitions, you're doing more than just taking a shot at a nice looking trophy.TammyFeb 01

Entering your audio, video, production or writing in a competition gives you a chance to see how your work stacks up against other students at the same stage of their career preparation as you are.

Of course, winning the big prize in whatever category you enter is awesome, but so is being one of the finalists. Many students don't see this as a win, but it really is. When you place as a finalist, that means that your work was among the very best entered into the competition. That's still a win, if you think about it. And finalist or winner, it's now something you can put on your resume. The entry might look something like this. Best Production Finalist - 2018 Broadcast Awards Competition.

There you go. Another line to help fill up your resume. And it means something. That line tells a prospective employer that your work stacked up with the best of them! That's proof that you've got something to offer.

Even if you don't win, many of these competitions will provide you with a very valuable critique of your work. Most will point out what you did well as well as what needs some work and will often give you some advice on how to improve your efforts. The competition judges are usually industry professionals so you'll be getting this insight from the kind of people you will be looking to for a job after you graduate.

One very important note. Don't wait until just before a contest's deadline to start trying to put together your entry. The pressure will be on and that is not when you do your best work. In fact, in those situations, it almost seems like the more you try, the more you falter.

It's a much better idea to save the work you do that you like as you go along. Just start a file somewhere and dump those pieces in there. Then when a competition pops up, you'll have a selection of pieces to choose from. This is something you really should make a habit of doing as you'll want to do it throughout your career. This way when you need a demo piece for a new job, you'll have it.

If you school isn't posting information about student competitions, urge your advisor or teacher to get your program involved. Some competitions require your school to be a member in order for you to enter. Others you can enter on your own. Try a Google search and you'll find quite a few. Some of the biggest competitions are run by College Broadcasters, Inc, the Broadcast Education Association and the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System.

Most competitions have entry fees, but they're usually not that much. Just consider it an investment in your future, because that is truly what it is. Go for it and good luck.

Next month, we'll talk about two words that don't seem to be used as much as they should and that can work magic!

TrujilloHeadshot 225Tammy Trujillo is both an entertainer and an educator. She began in the entertainment field as a child and since graduating from Cal State Fullerton, has continuously worked in the Los Angeles market as a News Anchor, Reporter, Sportscaster and Commercial Voice-Over Artist. Combining her real-world experience with a hands-on approach to learning, Tammy has also taught broadcasting for the past 25 years at many of Southern California's most prestigious private schools and colleges. She is currently the lead Professor of Broadcasting at Mt. San Antonio College. Throughout her career, she has received numerous honors for her work both on the air and behind-the-scenes, including several Golden Mike Awards from the Radio Television News Association. Tammy is a member of SAG-AFTRA, a former Board member of the Associated Press Television Radio Association, a Hall of Fame member at Long Beach City College and a member of Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters. She has authored two books,Intern Insider - Getting the Most Out of Your Internship in the Entertainment Field and Writing and Reporting News You Can Use.