Student, alums find that winning an Emmy is a whirlwind of its own.

A Résumé Booster with a Ring to It

April 30, 2014

From left, Michael Gomez, Anthony Tart, and Nickesha Johnson at the College Television Awards in Los Angeles. 

The Emmy-winning trio say thanks at the award show. 

 The Emmy-winning newscast.

It’s the kind of singular achievement that changes everything.

Senior Nickesha Johnson—a mother of two and a double major in broadcast journalism and psychology with a minor in human resources management—was thinking she’d end up on a practical career path, working in HR for some company somewhere.

Michael Gomez ’13, a former broadcast journalism major, was working full time for a non-profit that helps the homeless and was worried about how he would break into his field, partly because he had no internships under his belt.

Anthony Tart ’13, a freelance videographer for local news channel NY1, wasn’t sure if he would fulfill his dream of becoming a sports cameraman.

Now that all three of their names shall henceforth be preceded by the words "Emmy-winning producer," their phones–and e-mail accounts, text message caches, Facebook pages and various other media—are on fire with offers of congratulations, invitations to swanky parties and other networking opportunities, and potential job offers.

"The Emmy really does change everything," says Tart, who along with Gomez and Johnson, took home the prize for best broadcast at the 35th College Television Awards, presented in April by the Television Academy, which produces the Primetime Emmy Awards.

Fresh off that win, for which the trio flew out to the Los Angeles red-carpet ceremony, they found out that another production from their Summer Broadcast News Institute (a capstone course for broadcast majors) won the Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Award for the regional competition in the category of Best All-Around Television Newscast. (Another alumnus, Russel Midori ’13, won in the category of best television feature.)

Barbara Nevins Taylor, their beaming professor from the Department of Television and Radio who has some 22 Emmys of her own, said the pair of awards confirm what the college teaches: “You can achieve success through hard work, focus, and the pursuit of excellence," she says. "Winning doesn’t stop here.”

She says she encourages all of her students to apply for big awards because it’s important for them to see how they measure up against their peers. Taylor, in fact, pushed the students to redo portions of their winning broadcast, leaving them burning the midnight oil in editing booths so they could finish on time.

"She’s a relentless perfectionist," says Johnson of her professor. "She will come down on you pretty hard when you get it wrong but when you get it right, she’s really excited. Her tactic worked in our favor."

The three point out that their winning broadcast was a collaborative effort, with contributions from many people, including the other students in the class who reported segments, graduate teaching assistants who did the camera work, and another graduate student in the Compositional Studies Program who scored original music for the project.

"Adding this to my resume gives me a lot more confidence in applying for journalism jobs," says Johnson.

Tart, who has interned at the Wendy Williams Show and for Sportsnet New York, says he’s excited about what’s to come. "I’ve had some really good opportunities but winning an Emmy gives me a big lift."

Gomez doesn’t want to count his eggs before they hatch but he says some possible job opportunities have taken greater shape since the win. He says he wants to ultimately be a producer on a television show. 

"I’m not sure what exactly my future holds but it feels brighter now," he says. 

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