Podcast·2 min read

9 to 5ish: Maria Shriver

June 22, 2022

Listen and subscribe to our podcast from your mobile device: Apple podcasts |Google Play |Spotify | Stitcher

Maria Shriver never felt the pressure to go into politics like the rest of her family. Instead, her parents asked her: what moves you? She took that question and ran with it. Fascinated by storytelling, Maria led a decades-long career in journalism. But then she became first lady of California. And NBC asked her to leave. Looking back, Maria says: it was a blessing in disguise.

On Where to Get the Most Opportunities 

Maria: I would go to a place where you get the most opportunities. Where you get your hands dirty, and where you get a chance to do the most things. So I went to Philadelphia and Baltimore. And I was given the opportunity to work the assignment desk, to log people's tapes, to write things, to be a sound woman, to do the lighting, to work in the edit room. Those were things that would never have been given the opportunity to do had I'd gone to a big New York market. 

On Turning the Bad News into Good

Maria: I knew that when I started to have children, my career shifted. So when I became first lady, I thought that I could manage both. I thought I could keep my journalism in a diminished capacity. And they felt like, no, it would be problematic for them. So they made the decision for me. I think the whole period—becoming first lady, getting fired—all of these things happened in about a six week period. So it was tumultuous and hard. But it was actually a gift, because I could throw myself into being first lady of California and it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I brought my journalism to that job. I built a team, built a women's conference and initiatives, that, had I not had my journalism experience, I probably wouldn't have been able to do so.

Live Smarter

Sign up for the Daily Skimm email newsletter. Delivered to your inbox every morning and prepares you for your day in minutes.