How Tech Skills Can Land You a Newsroom Job

“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  

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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.