05 Jan How I landed a job at TODAY: The powerful story behind the simple prayer
I had just graduated from Kent State. It was May of 2009. I was excited, passionate and ambitious.
My degree was in broadcast news. I wanted to be an on-camera reporter. It sounds glamorous, right? You wear nice clothes, sit under studio lights, read from the teleprompter, engage in some nice banter with your co-host.
Not so much.
For those who are unfamiliar with this business, let me fill you in. The typical path is moving to middle-of-nowhere small cities, reporting on city council meetings or other less-than-interesting topics and get paid pennies.
While thousands of media professionals have taken this route and ended up with successful careers, I had no desire to go down that path.
I spent two summers during college interning in New York City, the number one media market in the country, and that’s where I wanted to work.
Many well-meaning people told me this would never happen. They told me I’d have to go the traditional small-town route and have a miserable lifestyle the first few years of my career.
For me, I was simply going after a dream God placed in my heart.
I’ve always believed that nothing is impossible with God. It sounds like a cliche Christian phrase, and while some people treat it that way, my hope is that other people would see my life as an example of God’s goodness and grace.
After graduating, I applied for 130 on-air jobs all throughout the United States. Everywhere from Idaho Fall, Idaho; Eugene, Oregon; Billings, Montana; Lake Charles, LA. To be honest, I had never heard of half of the places I applied, and never wanted to visit them, let alone move there.
A station in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina offered me a job. It was a modest $8.50 an hour. That’s about $16,000 a year. I am pretty sure that qualified me for food stamps and soup kitchens. I politely declined.
I received 9 other job offers over a 9-month period. After each job offer came in, I’d pray about it. I let peace be my guide. If I didn’t have peace about taking the job, I wasn’t going to take it.
I ended up turning down those 9 other job offers. My situation was a little bit different from a lot of other college graduates. My parents are extremely supportive, and they never pressured me to get a job quickly. They simple encouraged me to follow the path I felt God was directing me to take.
I attended Faith Family Church in Ohio lead by Pastors Mike and Barb Cameneti. It’s a phenomenal church that’s centered around the power found when you put your faith in Jesus.
While in a Wednesday night church service, Pastor Mike was preaching about the big dreams God places in our hearts. It was one of the most powerful services I have never attended. You can tell the atmosphere was different that night. You could feel the presence of God.
Pastor mike felt God spoke to his heart to share these words with us.
“He [God] has put dreams in some of your hearts and they’re going to come to pass fast. There’s no time to play around. It’s going to be a quick work,” he said.
Pastor Mike continued.
“God puts something in people, to fulfill an impossible dream. This is just the beginning for some people. Some people are going have some things that are going to happen so quickly, some dreams they thought were dormant or maybe never going to come to pass or come to pass years and years down the road. It’s going to happen quick. It’s going to happen quick!
That night, I prayed a bold prayer. I asked God for a full-time job at NBC’s TODAY show where I’d have a chance to work on the broadcast and digital platforms.
The next day, I received an email from a senior producer asking if I was interested in a position working with the digital team at TODAY.
I never applied for the position.
It was only going to be a three-month gig with no guarantee of being hired full time. I knew I’d end up working there because that’s what God placed on my heart that night at Faith Family Church.
I moved to New York about a month later and started the temporary position at NBC.
At the end of the three months, they ended up creating a full-time position for me where I had a chance to work on TODAY’s broadcast and digital platforms.
About two years into working at TODAY, I had an opportunity to be an on-camera correspondent for about 15 stories that were seen by million of people across all of TODAY’s platforms
Some people in the media business wait 10 years for this opportunity. For most, they never make it to the network level.
Through this position, I had a chance to work with some of the most talented anchors, correspondents, broadcast and digital producers, editors and crew in the entire media business.
I think the scripture Ephesians 3:20 best sums up this whole story:
“God is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us.”
God did it for me. He’ll do it for you too.