“Know that you can start late, look different, be uncertain and still succeed.”
—Misty Copeland, the first African American female principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre
What’s it like to work on the technical side of news? NBCU Academy spotlights three people with entry-level tech roles in the NBCUniversal News Group — Rashaun Hutchinson-Williams, technical associate and stage manager; Jesse Zingman, technical associate and teleprompter operator; and Yvonne Winfrey, planning and scheduling coordinator. Watch the video above and read additional comments below, lightly edited for conciseness.
How did your education prepare you for this role?
Hutchinson-Williams: I graduated from the University of Missouri in Columbia with a communications degree. I found a job at a local NBC affiliate news station, KOMU, as a live operator and floor director.
Winfrey: My education is in communications. I started at Seton Hall University. For my undergrad work, it was hands on in a television studio. I also did a lot of the tech behind the scenes on stage work. A communications degree prepares you for virtually any role.
Zingman: I graduated from Brooklyn College in 2013 with a degree in film production. My education taught me that working in news production is not a typical 9-to-5 job, and you need to be prepared to work any hours.
How is your work/life balance?
Hutchinson-Williams: My job is something I love. I love staging, I love coming to work. We have a great team, and it’s a well-oiled machine. Working a 3-to-10 a.m. shift is not bad because I get to go home and take a nap, and then I’m energized to spend time with my wife and daughter. Family time is very important to me. If you need to take personal time off, NBC does a great job of supporting you.
Zingman: A lot of people might hear that I’m working until midnight and they might think, “God, who would ever want to do that?” The truth is there are perks to it. I never have to set an alarm. The gym is always empty. The grocery stores are always empty. It’s very easy to make appointments. I enjoy working these hours because you get used to it quickly.