Exceeding the Expectation, Vol. 1

When I joined Alpha Omicron Pi my freshman year, I had no clue just how true the organization’s trademark phrase “Exceeding the Expectation” is. My sisters are engaged in a variety of activities both on and off campus, and I have either heard of or personally seen each of them acting as an agent for positive change in whatever it is they are each involved in. Needless to say, they’ve served as a constant inspiration for me throughout my time here at Columbia and a continual source of encouragement as I’ve navigated my way through academics, extracurriculars and internships.

I’m currently a production intern at MSNBC and NBC News, a department of NBCUniversal, LLC, working in NBC’s New York headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. A typical day for me encompasses responsibilities that come with all the various parts of running a daily primetime television show; as the sole intern working on MSNBC’s news show Meet the Press with Chuck Todd, I find myself working often with multiple supervisors on the show helping in whatever way I can and even working closely with the show’s senior producers, director and executive producer. Some of my daily tasks include assisting NBC’s Music Services department with logging copyright information for music used on our show onto monthly cue sheets, assisting with drafting social media posts and some parts of the scripts, editing and cutting pre-taped segments, picking images and using basic design tools for the show’s infographics, checking in guests for the show and more. 

My favorite part of working at the media company, however, has been the perks of going to work for such a historic organization and in the landmark building 30 Rock truly is. I actually enjoy going to the cafeteria at work (Thanks Studio 9C!) and I love looking at the history of NBC all over the walls, including autographed pictures of almost every celebrity who has hosted Saturday Night Live, photos of NBC stars such as the casts of shows like Friends, The Voice, 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation on set and portraits of NBC’s legendary stars ranging from Jimmy Fallon to Johnny Carson. I love using the comfortable lounges (and eating all the snacks) while doing my homework off the clock; I feel like I’m taking a step into history whenever I walk into a studio. Not to mention how wonderful my colleagues are - I casually run into my favorite news anchors including Lester Holt, Al Sharpton, Matt Lauer, Rachel Maddow and Tom Brokaw on a daily basis, and I’ve crossed paths with more than a few celebrities here and there, including Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Alfonso Ribiero (not to mention watching him do the Carlton dance in person) and Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg. With the legendary Rainbow Room and Top of the Rock and Rockefeller Plaza to my bottom, I feel so blessed every time I walk to this famous New York City landmark for just another day on the job.

The internship has been incredibly relevant to my interest in pursuing politics or journalism as a future career, but has also been relevant to my experience in AOII. The skills I’ve learned and experience I’ve gained has proven invaluable for my time working as a current member of the communications committee for the organization. In more ways than one, I almost feel as though I’ve come full circle through my NBC internship; my sisters and close friends in AOII were the ones who first encouraged and inspired me to apply for such an incredible opportunity, and I am so thankful that I get to use my experiences to give back to this organization which has given me so much.

-Gloria Tso