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Recent Journalism Alumna Shares Experiences from NBC Network News

Morgan Parmet Shares Stories from Her Fast-Paced Job, Gives Advice to Job-Seeking Students

by Olivia Peloubet (B.A. Advertising '10)
As the end of the school year quickly approaches, stress levels rise for job-hunting seniors. During these rough economic times it is always encouraging to hear about former SMU students beginning successful, fulfilling careers. Morgan Parmet, who graduated from SMU last May with a B.A. in journalism, is now working for NBC Network News in Washington, D.C., and loving every minute of it. Her position has allowed her to meet fascinating people like Jesse Jackson, Washington mayor Adrian Fenty, Howard Dean and Al Sharpton, and has given her the opportunity to watch history as it unfolds.

“Some days I feel as though I’m living a dream,” said Morgan. “My favorite moment so far was when I spent the day working at the White House. I was David Shuster’s producer and we were doing his show live from the north lawn. Then I was the producer sent to cover President Obama signing the health care bill in the East Room.” Morgan was responsible for taking in all that was happening, telling the cameraman which politicians to focus on, and reporting back to the bureau. “All of the politicians were acting like teenagers at a prom,” she said. “They were giddy and happy. Everyone was laughing and they were all taking pictures. Whether you believe in the health care bill or not, I was able to witness history.”

Another memorable moment for Morgan was being the MSNBC weekend producer when the Chile earthquake struck. “We shepherded a steady stream of guests in and out to discuss the earthquake, its impact, and the comparison to Haiti and then sat there waiting for the possible tsunami to hit Hawaii. Covering live breaking news is a rush. There’s no other way to describe it, but a heart-pounding, action-packed thrill. We want to be the first covering, we want to get out as much news as possible and we want to be the best at it.”

While Morgan’s job has been full of exciting, memorable moments, it also requires a great deal of hard work and dedication. “I’ll work 8- to 12-hour days, 11 days in a row with one random day off a week,” she said. Even treacherous winter weather could not keep her away from the office. “During the huge D.C. snowstorm I still went to work. They had a snow driver come pick me up every day. Yes, we were the only car on the road.”

One of the biggest lessons that Morgan has learned on the job is just how much work it takes to produce a show or to get the news out to the public. “You know the saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a child,’ ” she said. “Well, it takes a village to create a successful day of television.”

The young journalist offered some words of advice to graduating students and budding professionals. “When applying for jobs, try to meet with as many people as possible and always send a thank you note. Something as simple as a ‘thank you’ really can go a long way. Also, keep every single business card handed to you. You never know when you'll want to look back and get in contact with that person.” Morgan said the best advice she can give to students is to listen to their professors. “One day you’ll be out at a job interview or be three weeks into your job when that light bulb goes off and you think, ‘Oh! That’s what my teachers were talking about. I get it now,’ or you’ll be a little giddy one day thinking, ‘I learned this in school.’ ”

Morgan’s job with NBC clearly has its share of perks, but perhaps the best thing about her position is that she truly enjoys doing it. “I love my job. I go to work every single day grinning from ear to ear. I never thought you could love working or what you do as much as I do.”

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