NBCUniversal partners with A&T

NBCUniversal and N.C. A&T have established a partnership to further develop initiatives to direct graduates of historically black colleges and universities into media careers.

The media and entertainment company donated $50,000 to the N.C. A&T department of journalism and mass communication to support such efforts. NBCUniversal will be a sponsor of this year’s National Association of Black Journalists Multimedia Short Course, held each spring at A&T. The short course program is a rigorous four-day seminar that allows HBCU journalism students to gain hands-on experience and a practical understanding of broadcast newsroom jobs.

Exposing students to real-world media environments and introducing them to industry professionals has been a hallmark of the program since its inception in the 1990s. A&T’s partnership with NBCUniversal will support such efforts to position HBCU graduates for careers in media, film and entertainment.

Journalism graduates have found success with NBC-affiliated organizations, including Anzio Williams, ’94, vice president of news at NBC10-WCAU in Philadelphia; Danya Baachus, ’04, an NBC 7 News anchor in San Diego; and digital journalist Kyle Harvey, ’09, music editor for NBCUniversal’s thegrio.com, a multimedia news community that focuses on stories and issues that affect and reflect black America.

A&T joins other HBCUs that have partnered with NBCUniversal’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion to bolster the percentage of graduates of color who enter industry jobs. The partnerships also help the media organization find talent for media-related jobs.

“Access is key to breaking into the industry, and this partnership will increase the number of talented, young and diverse individuals both in front of and behind the camera,” said Craig Robinson, executive vice president and chief diversity officer, NBCUniversal.

“NBCUniversal is thrilled to partner with North Carolina A&T State University on this exciting initiative,” Robinson added.

Salvador Mendoza, vice president of diversity and inclusion, says education and training are vital for landing jobs but the initiatives that sprout from partnerships with different universities are what help students grasp the keys to finding success in the industry. Those keys to success come in the form of internships, apprenticeships and interactions with professionals in the industry, such as the Page Program at NBCUniversal.

Gail Wiggins, assistant professor and internship director in the journalism department, is the organizer of the NABJ Short Course at A&T and initiated the partnership with NBCUniversal. “I am excited and extremely appreciative of the partnership we have established with NBCUniversal,” she said. “They are one of the world’s leading media and entertainment organizations that deeply values diversity and inclusion. I’m thrilled they are now looking at A&T students to fill that talent pool.”

The journalism department also will utilize NBCUniversal’s Campus 2 Careers internship program. The internship initiative focuses on linking students to positions under the NBC umbrella that include news, research, TV programming and public relations.

NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corp. It is one of the world’s leading companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, the Universal Studios Theme Parks and a suite of Internet-based businesses.