Channel 5 anchorwoman speaks at TASC


Ruby Krietzman

Brandi Powell, 5 Eyewitness News Reporter, visits HHS during Boost TASC to talk about her career.

Students gathered in Rick Rexroth’s, Social Studies, room to hear Brandi Powell, a news anchor from Minnesota’s KSTP Channel 5 News speak on Thursday, Dec. 17.

Powell began her road to success as a journalist, reporter, and anchor after graduating from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, majoring in Communications and minoring in Spanish. Using her fluency in Spanish, Powell traveled to Barcelona, Spain to study abroad.

Upon graduation, Powell decided to pursue internships that fueled her interest in storytelling. Originally, she hadn’t planned on a career that required her to apply that credential, and many friends doubted her decision. However, Powell believed that trusting her instincts is what has made her so successful.

“I’m a big gut believer,” Powell said. “I believe that you don’t have to follow the path that someone says you have to follow. You choose your own and you go with it. And the majority of the time, I’ve been right, and I love the outcome.”

After many applications, Powell applied for and got a job for Dateline NBC in 2004. In addition to that internship, Powell also received an offer for and accepted an internship with the Washington Center to cover the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City.

In 2005, Powell began her career for MSNBC as a production assistant, working on graphics and a small amount of writing. After leaving her job at MSNBC, Powell applied for over 75 jobs, looking to be a producer or field reporter.

Finally, she was offered to be a political reporter in North Dakota in 2006. There, she covered statewide elections and legislation. Powell would also win the North Dakota Associated Press Award in 2007 for Best Series/Documentary.

While her job in North Dakota was a surprise and not originally part of her career plans, Powell said that she enjoyed her success and the work she did for the station. She stressed her ability to be open to any kind of opportunity.

“Being open and willing to explore your options is so important,” Powell said. “Your life and decisions don’t always need to be a breeze.”

In 2008, Powell flew to Austin, Texas to be a primary reporter at Fort Hood. There, she was able to shoot and edit her own work.

After working nonstop for over four years, Powell decided she would attend graduate school. She was interested in using what she had learned as a political reporter to study political science or public policy. However, Powell decided to study Anthropology at The George Washington University, in Washington D.C.

After her time George Washington, Powell worked with NBC in San Diego. There she covered breaking news, politics, and crime. She was able to use her ability to speak fluent Spanish to reach out to Spanish-speaking viewers in the community.

In 2014, Powell began working at 5 Eyewitness News in Minneapolis. At first, Powell was unsure on whether she should return to her home state, but her “gut feeling” persuaded her to take the job. She began as a weekday reporter, but soon became a weekend anchor.

In addition to her work with 5 Eyewitness News, Powell is an active member on the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the Twin Cities Black Journalists. Both organizations focus on providing programs and services for black student journalists.

“I love being involved with activities in the community, such as the [NABJ],” Powell said. “It’s good to be around people who support you and want to see your growth.”

To conclude her time with the students, Powell emphasized the importance of choosing one’s own path and pursuing careers one loves.

“My path was an uncommon path, but I’m really proud of what I’ve done and what I’m doing,” Powell said. “If you have your head on straight and you do things your way, you’ll feel good about your decisions and where you go in life.”