Well, this summer has been a whirlwind.
May: The Page Program
I was accepted into and began the NBC Page Program on May 27th. My brain was flooded with hundreds of pages of NBC Universal history, facts and stats about NBC shows, brands and talent. I joined a program filled with about 60 of the most interesting, intelligent, talented and funny people I have met.
Before graduating I was worried the program might not be the best choice for me. I wasn’t sure if it would set me back a year in getting a more permanent job.
Well, all I can say is, I am happy I ignored that fear.
Being a page was the best choice I could have made. It allowed me to explore other career paths besides hard news and gave me a glimpse into a variety of NBC departments. I learned more about working in media and broadened my network within the company. Now when I walk through the halls I have a deeper sense of belonging.
June, July, August: PR
During my time in the program I had the opportunity to spend three months on an assignment in the NBC News PR department. I quickly learned that publicists do everything for a brand that nobody really knows about.
The women in this department shaped me into a better employee than I could have dreamed I would be. I learned the ins and outs of NBC, the work flow and the protocols. They taught me how to present myself in a professional and appropriate manner. They taught me how to work quickly and efficiently. And, they gave me my first taste of what it is like to have real responsibility in an office. Every day I knew my work had an impact and purpose, which was intimidating at times.
By the time I left something happened that I did not expect: I loved PR. While I don’t think I have the guts or stamina to work in PR long-term, I now have a deep respect for the people that do and a better understanding of how vital their role is.
After my 12 weeks came to an end I took a much appreciated vacation to Ludlow, VT. My wonderful boyfriend, Kevin, helped me process leaving the PR department, hid my phone when I tried to check in with my coordinators and got me to actually relax (which, for those who know me, is a feat.)
We hiked Mount Okemo, twice. We built a fire every night. We bought fresh groceries that made for some delicious meals. We went horseback riding. We watched TV. We saw sites. And we spent some peaceful, quiet, quality time together.
When I returned from Vermont I jumped back into the page routine giving tours and selling the coveted tickets to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. After being away for three months I was thrilled to be back on the tour route.
On September 19 I was filling in for an assistant to a TODAY Show producer when I got an offer from HR to start as a production assistant that day at MSNBC. I was stunned. This was the job I hoped to get since I ended my internship at MSNBC’s The Cycle a year ago. It was the job I was aiming for after my time as a page. And yet, I hesitated.
I was beyond grateful to be offered this job. I know how lucky I was to be given the opportunity to work as a PA for a huge network early in my career. And I knew it was the job I wanted.
I hesitated because I loved being a page. I loved the program, the people, the opportunities and even the tours (most days.) I wasn’t sure I was ready to leave all of that, yet.
In the end, I decided to take the PA position. I knew it was an opportunity I could not pass up.
Off to MSNBC
I started as a graphics producer for Weekends with Alex Witt on September 21.
One month in and I love my job. Although a hard choice to make, it was absolutely the right one for me. I create graphics for Alex Witt’s program on Saturday and Sunday. Her show airs at 7 am, 12 p.m. and 1p.m., which means I’m up at 3 a.m. The crazy thing is that I don’t mind. I love the work that I’m doing and the show I work on. On Thursdays and Fridays I assist and print scripts for the MSNBC Dayside anchors and write the news that scrolls across the bottom of the screen, called the ticker.
I have broadened my network at NBC even more. And, I’m doing what I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I’m working in journalism, putting out quality news on a phenomenal network.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned in my last five months at NBC is that my favorite part of having a job is learning new skills and taking on new challenges. Every time I have mastered a job I am excited to kick it up a notch by adding a new responsibility. NBC Universal is great company for me because there are many different departments, channels and brands that I can be a part of and because of that many skills to learn.
Another lesson I learned is that you have to jump on opportunities when they present themselves. I was hesitant to say yes to three opportunities I was given since I started at NBC, all of which turned out to be wonderful experiences. At this point in my career my goal is to say yes to open doors. There is no harm in trying new jobs, meeting new people and learning a little bit more about myself.