Grady Alum, Kevin Schatell, Producer for NBC’s TODAY Show, Speaks to Eager PRSSA Members About How He Achieved His Dreams
By: Raynor Manley
On Tuesday, Kevin Schatell was the guest speaker at our first members only meeting of the semester. Schatell graduated in 2016 with a degree in Entertainment and Media Studies. During his time at UGA, he was very involved. He served as a UGA Tour Guide, a Grady Ambassador and participated in the Institute for Leadership Advancement among other things. When choosing a major, he was very unsure of which to choose, and the process created a lot of anxiety for him. He wants us to know that your major doesn’t set you on one path forever. He encouraged us to take classes we are curious about and have a genuine interest in, in addition to our required curriculum.
Schatell participated in the NBCUniversal Page program right after graduating from UGA. He almost declined the opportunity because he was so unsure of what he wanted his next step to be. He ended up committing to the program on his graduation day, in his cap and gown, and a feeling of peace immediately washed over him. As he began working in this program, he realized it was a diverse and vibrant place to work. He expressed that he felt on fire for what he got to do each day. He got to work as an ambassador for NBCUniversal and rotated through four different assignments during his year as a page. He got to work for the TODAY Show, in HR and other different parts of the company. However, when he was working on the set of the TODAY Show, he felt something magical about it. After the program was over, he had a few months to apply for other jobs within NBCUniversal. When the exact opening he wanted working with the TODAY Show suddenly opened during his eligibility, he knew he was in the right place at the right time.
He then began his new job as an Associate Plaza Producer for the TODAY Show where he got to interact with the audience, pitch ideas for crowd moments and eventually began producing segments. His assignments continued to get bigger, and he kept getting asked to do more and bigger jobs, such as a 2-minute interview with Jane Lynch. This year, he was finally promoted to an official TODAY Show Producer and all of his hard work paid off.
Schatell expressed how lucky he feels for his opportunities. He expressed that NBCUniversal has a wonderful company culture as well as the TODAY Show. Everyone is very encouraging. He explained they have a very “You’ve earned this, so do it” attitude. He often imagines “little Kevin”, his younger self, and how proud “little Kevin” would be of him.
He explained that every step in your career will circle back to your tangible experience. He said everyone should get real experience in the field you are interested in, even if it isn’t through an internship. You can create videos, work on projects and campaigns, write a blog, etc. He believes that passion and personality are the two main keys to success. You have to want it. He encouraged everyone to be excited and never be shy about communicating “this is my dream.” Employers want to see how excited and passionate you are, and you need to do your research and work as hard as possible to achieve your dreams. Personality is also very important. When you can stand out from the crowd is when employers interviewing you are most likely to remember you. The things that make you, you, are what you should communicate and be passionate about. Have the full freedom to be you and express what you love. Always think outside of the box.
One of the most important things Schatell wanted to leave us with is that curiosity is kindness and curiosity is love. Take your curiosity deeper because it is easy to tell when someone is not curious. Stop worrying about checking a box and do things because you love it and want to do it. Do the things you love and that bring you joy and ALWAYS be authentically yourself. You have way more time than you think, and it will all work out how it’s meant to.
We absolutely loved having Kevin and this meeting was so beneficial to us. Feel free to email Kevin, connect on LinkedIn, follow him on Instagram, or check out his blog.
A few reminders:
- Our next meeting will be on November 16th and will be one you don’t want to miss!
- Our last meeting will be on November 30th and will be a Peer Mentor Meet and Greet
- JOIN PEER MENTORSHIP!!
- Applications close on NOVEMBER 5TH at midnight!
- This is a great way to connect with members of E-board in small groups to network, ask questions and share experiences.
- And as always, be sure to follow us on our social media!