NORFOLK, Neb. -- Kadra Novak is the assistant news director and digital director at News Channel Nebraska, she edits articles, rewrites press releases, and helps produce content alongside others in the newsroom.

In her nearly three-year tenure with the company, Novak has emerged as an irreplaceable part of the NCN newsroom, despite small beginnings.

In September 2020, while a senior at Wayne State College studying Mass Communications - Journalism, Novak wanted to get a foot in the door to the news industry. After finding an opening for Flood Communications on LinkedIn, she applied.

“I was like ‘why not’,” she said. “I got a call saying the digital director position had already been filled… but they put together a position helping with ‘Quarantine Tonight.’”

She began working part time with “Quarantine Tonight” special programming which put local bands and artists on television in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“After I graduated college, I was offered a full-time position as digital assistant,” she said.

Following nearly a year of dedicated full-time work, an opportunity arose for the digital director position once more, leading to Novak receiving a new contract that came with a promotion.

Now assuming a managerial role, Novak reflects on the significant shift of being on the other side, assisting and guiding emerging reporters and content creators within the newsroom.

“It’s been bizarre,” she said. “Being able to take what I learned in college as well as here, it’s really let me help and navigate how to say things to our reporters that help them.”

In less than a year, Novak earned another promotion, she continues to operate as digital director, but also now carries the title of assistant news director. The responsibility is not lost on her, and she believes in the potential for her colleagues to achieve similar career milestones.

She offered some advice for young students peering from the outside, wanting into the news field.

“Don’t be afraid to apply for something,” she said. “You never know what’s going to happen.”