by Dafne Garcia
On Thursday, March 7 students from CSUN PRSSA had the opportunity to visit the public relations office of NBCUniversal. We met Stuart Levine (CSUN Journalism ‘86) who is the Vice President of Editorial and Media Relations at NBC Entertainment. He is in charge of the network’s editorial material, such as press releases, PR written materials, writing memos and much more.
Levine gave us some tips on how to stand out in a job interview. One of his tips were when preparing for a job interview, it is always good to research the company. Research what the company does and what they are working on. If you know who is interviewing you, it is also good to research them. For example, looking them up on LinkedIn.
Levine wants to help students out in the best possible way and help us have a memorable experience. For this part of the presentation, his colleagues from the publicity department gave us a few tips that can help us prepare for being in the working world. Before he handed the panel to his peers he shared with us a few last words that have stayed with me since then, “All the bad and good you do at work follows you everywhere.” To me, he meant it is better to keep up the good work because in the future you never know when, but it will benefit you.
Allison Rawlings, Senior Vice President of Corporate of Communications was one of the panelists. Rawlings shared her career journey with us, she found her passion for PR after several different internships. When talking to us she emphasized to keep relationships within our networks. She explained to us how building a network and relationships helped her get jobs in the future. Allison emphasized that one of the most important skills she looks for within a job applicant is their writing skills and that these skills have to be good for any type of occasion, from writing emails to a press conference, or even a small thank you note.
After meeting Allison we had the pleasure of meeting Dupe Bosu, Diversity and Inclusion Specialist at NBC Entertainment. Dupe found her passion for PR through her past experiences in other internships, one of them being where she worked with Allison. After going on their own paths they reunited again after few years at NBCUniversal when Allison thought of Dupe for filling her now current job at NBC. This is why Dupe kept stressing that maintaining relationships with the network you build is so important.
Leslie Schwartz, the Director of Publicity and Media Relations at NBCUniversal told us, “Do for a living what you really love and are passionate about.” This is not the first time we had heard this, but this time Leslie took a different approach. Leslie was a former law student who realized that working as an attorney wasn’t for her. She then pursued a career in the film industry. After moving to New York and she worked at different networks such as Nickelodeon, MSNBC and now NBC Entertainment. This was the very first time I heard from someone who pursued a career and realized was not the correct path for them. She shopped around until she found the right career for her. As a student I will keep her words in my mind with me at all times, we might make the wrong decisions along the way but, we can still go the correct way to where we want to.
After we heard from Leslie, we met Eric Rough, who’s career path is just as a different as Leslie’s. Eric found his passion for television and film and moved to Los Angeles to pursue it. He joined the NBCUniversal Page Program as a post-graduate working experience. After he got a job at the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, at the Ellen Show and a production company. He eventually found his way to the publicity department at NBCUniversal. He loved telling us how his work does not feel like work, because of his love, passion, and joy that it brings him. Having that said lastly, we met John-Michael Currie, who joined the Page Program in August 2018 and now is an ambassador of the program. He got a degree in Film and Radio at Northwestern University, and now he is in his second rotation at the publicity department at NBC. His advice to us was something that as students were to “approach every learning opportunity with a positive mindset.” He gave us his final thoughts and a list of great tips, we finished our NBCUniversal experience.
In the end, we all left with so much joy and excitement from meeting with the incredible PR professionals at NBCUniversal. They gave us their time to give us wonderful guidance and amazing stories to keep with us throughout our journeys of getting to the working world.