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An externship at NBC gave Brittney Rothweiler ’06 (Longmeadow, Mass.) and Catherine Miervaldis ’07 (Basking Ridge, N.J.) a remarkable look behind the scenes at the network.

Both double majors in economics & business and art, Rothweiler and Miervaldis shadowed William Wermuth ’98, who heads up the NBC Guest-Relations Page Program, for two days at the network’s mother ship, 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. They were among more than 275 Lafayette students who gained first-hand knowledge of the professional world during January’s interim session by serving externships with alumni and other experienced professionals in business, the arts, education, healthcare, law, engineering, science, government, non-profits, and other fields. The students observed work practices, learned about careers they may consider entering after college, and developed professional networking contacts.

Wermuth manages the renowned Page Program, which began in 1933, conducting interviews and holding workshops. The pages, all recent college graduates, are liaisons between NBC and the general public. In addition to public relations responsibilities, including conducting studio tours and performing various audience services for NBC shows, pages work in different departments within the company on either short or long term assignments. After a year, they are in a position to make informed decisions as to which area of the industry interests them most.

“It’s one of the best entry-level jobs in television, definitely something to look into for those interested in breaking into media,” Wermuth explains. “You can get into the company from the ground up. Many NBC employees began as pages and worked their way up through the ranks.”

Rothweiler and Miervaldis worked closely with the pages, touring the studios and sitting in on meetings. “The pages are so proud of their company,” Rothweiler says.

“I think the externs really do get a feel of what it is like to work here,” says Wermuth, who participated in the externship program while he was a student at Lafayette. “They get a ‘hands-on’ feel of what the job is really like.”

The externs also saw tapings of “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and the “Today Show” and spoke with network personalities, including Today’s Matt Lauer and Katie Couric and “Nightly News” anchor Bryan Williams.

“They were genuinely interested in us,” Rothweiler says. “They took time to sit and talk with us about our interests and give whatever advice they could.”

Rothweiler says NBC was her first choice for an interim-session externship. And she ended up loving it.

“I’ve always wanted to work in public relations or marketing and have had opportunities to intern in those fields in the past,” she says. “This opportunity to see what media relations and public relations are like at NBC was incredible. I was able to see so much and talk to so many people.

“I definitely want to pursue a career in public relations in the fashion industry,” she continues. “This externship allowed me to see a side of the media I hadn’t seen before.”

Rothweiler is editor of the yearbook and a writer for the College’s student newspaper, The Lafayette.

Categorized in: Academic News