Amy Gutierrez is no stranger to taking on new challenges.
When she joined the San Francisco Giants television broadcast team 12 years ago, she was one of only a handful of women in a traditionally male-dominated profession. “Amy G,” as she has become known to Giants fans, has also written a series of children’s books that tap into her own love of baseball growing up.
Gutierrez’s latest challenge: Teaching a Communication and Media Studies oral communication course on the SSU campus.
“The thought of ‘someday’ teaching has been on my radar for a long time, but throughout my 12 seasons covering the Giants, the right time never seemed possible,” she said.
“This year the stars aligned and I'm thrilled because I feel I have something to offer those who are seeking employment in my profession…. I'm definitely outside of my comfort zone, but it seems to be a perfect fit teaching Oral Communication because almost every student is placed outside of their comfort zone speaking to an audience. It's good to remember how that feels and put myself in their shoes.”
Teaching at SSU has also been a “coming home” of sorts for the Petaluma native. As a child, Gutierrez traveled regularly to campus with her mother, who was earning a degree in sociology.
“My mother graduated when I was eight years old and I vividly remember tying up my roller skates and bopping around campus until she was done with class,” Gutierrez said. “Usually there was a vending machine ice cream purchase that was made as we headed back to the car to make dinner or attend a sporting event. My mother didn't have a conventional college experience. It took her 11 years to earn her degree
“But because of that I was able, at a very young age, to grasp the feel of a college campus.... that peaceful vibe of higher learning. I attribute my unwavering decision to attend to college after high school because of that experience at Sonoma State,” she said.
Prior to becoming a lecturer this semester, Gutierrez had been a regular guest speaker in the Coms Department. She has a strong message for students interested in a broadcasting career about the importance of “hands-on” experience and a positive attitude.
“Be an invaluable intern! Experience is huge in our industry and you have a real shot at employment if you crush your internships, she said. “I would also add, be open to trying other positions in your respective field. You may think you want to be on-camera talent, until that day you edit a piece and become obsessed with being able to tell a story through the shots you choose. Having multiple skills is key and ruling out what you DON'T want to do is just as valuable as finally deciding what it is you DO want to do.”