She is the friendly face many Chicagoans wake up to every weekend as the co-anchor of NBC5 News Today. She's also the bilingual reporter who delivers special stories on parenting for Telemundo Chicago. Jean talks with Zoraida Sambolin about her quick rise to the top and her commitment to balancing work and family.
Zoraida says that five years ago she was working for a public television station in Chicago, creating English and Spanish parenting programs for a national audience. When her on-air work garnered her a few local Emmy awards, Zoraida says she contacted an agent to seek out more opportunities in television. "I walked in … and she looked at my tape and said, 'I have just the person I want to show this to,'" Zoraida says. "And she went and showed it to the general manager [of NBC5 Chicago] … and he hired me on the spot basically."
As Zoraida took over the weekend morning anchor desk, she says she got a crash course on television news reporting. "It was a lot to learn—it was a very complex environment to work in because I had not had that training that happens in smaller markets," she says. Within a short amount of time Zoraida says she got the hang of reporting and anchoring. "If you have the desire to do something—if you have a passion for something—you are going to do it, you are going to do it to the best of your ability, and I think more often than not you are going to succeed," she says.
Now Zoraida is not only anchoring the news, but raising a 4- and an 8-year-old with her husband. Zoraida says it is possible to be a working mom and a good mom. "That balance people talk about, it is really individual," she says. "It is about what works for you and your lifestyle."