On Christmas Day, Ingrid Allstaedt worked for close to 10 hours in her new job as a multi-media journalist for local TV station WLOS-TV. She told viewers in Western North Carolina about the unexpected heavy snow that the area had gotten and how this was the first White Christmas Asheville had gotten in close to 40 years.
She did all of this work on a day she was supposed to be off but the demands of a TV journalist aren't all that tough when you've been a student-athlete at UNC Asheville.
"My senior year I worked three jobs and ran cross country and track and field," commented Allstaedt recently. "Throw in a full load of school work and I guess I was pretty busy.
"When you work in TV, you're on the go all the time and there's no such thing as a normal day," explained Allstaedt. "My time at UNC Asheville really prepared me for to work in TV. As a student-athlete, you have to balance the demands of your time."
Allstaedt enjoyed an excellent cross country and track and field career for the Bulldog program from 2004 through 2008. The Brevard native majored in Mass Communications. She had always wanted to work on TV, and she thought coming to UNC Asheville would be a perfect place for her academic and athletic career to continue.
"I really wanted to run in college, and UNC Asheville allowed me to do that," said Allstaedt. "But before I decided to come, I checked out the Mass Communication Department and was very impressed.
"Ever since I was in high school, I dreamed about being a reporter on TV and UNC Asheville was the best place for me to achieve that goal," added Allstaedt.
Ingrid graduated in May of 2008 and with the economy struggling there weren't a lot of jobs open right away.
"I wasn't able to get a job in my field right out of college," explained Allstaedt. "I decided to move with a friend to New York City and see what I could find.
"There wasn't much open in New York City but I lived there for six months and that was a great experience," she said.
A TV job did open up at WLFL in Raleigh but it was a sales job, not quite what she wanted.
"I was an account executive and tried sales for a year," declared Allstaedt. "It wasn't exactly what I wanted to do but it was still exciting to work for a TV station and I learned a lot there, as well."
Ingrid applied all over the country, sending tapes and resumes and finally got a chance for a TV job in Oregon. She was hired at KMTR in Eugene, Oregon where she did everything, including the weather. Last June, Ingrid got an unexpected visit from old friends at UNC Asheville. Bulldog sprinter Natalie Pearson qualified for NCAA National Meet that was held in Eugene. She was accompanied by head coach Jesse Norman, who coached Ingrid her senior year.
"Eugene and the University of Oregon are well-known for running and track and field," stated Allstaedt. "It was so exciting to see that Natalie had qualified for the nationals out there and I got to see her and Coach Norman."
The station in Eugene was small and she had to do a lot but that was just fine.
"A lot of times when I would do a story, I would film, edit it and then provide the voice for it," said Allstaedt. "That was OK because I had done a lot of that at UNC Asheville and was used to it and I really enjoyed doing all of that."
Ingrid enjoyed her time in Oregon but always wanted to come back home. When a job at WLOS opened last fall, she jumped at the opportunity. And WLOS jumped at hiring her. She began her new job on Dec. 13.
"It is so exciting to be back home and close to friends and family," explained Allstaedt. "It's also exciting to be doing what you dreamed about growing up and your friends and family get to see me on TV.
"I had interned at WLOS my senior year and had a great time," added Allstaedt. "I learned a great deal and hopefully I left a good impression."
There are a lot of long days in the TV news business but that's fine with Ingrid.
"There's no such thing as a normal day," said Allstaedt. "You never know where you're going or what you're going to do each day."
Note - If you know of a former Bulldog student-athlete who you would like to see profiled, contact Mike Gore at email@example.com or call 828-251-6923.