By Haley Bianco
Kourtney Massa earned her electronic media degree from KU in Spring 2014. Since then, she has found success at her internship location and at her new job, “Sunny Side Up,” located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York.
During her last semester at KU, Massa held a 12-credit internship at News 12 New Jersey. During this time, she was able to work in two departments at the station: studio operations and editing. “In studio operations I coded rundowns, operated robotic cameras, rolled live prompter and eventually directed pre-recorded shows,” said Massa. “While working in editing, I retrieved and archived footage and cut it for numerous shows each day. I was even able to go out on shoots with reporters and photographers.”
Towards the end of her internship at News 12, Massa was offered a freelance position, which she accepted.
Massa believes that her involvement with her department at KU prepared her for the field of electronic media. She held leadership positions in KU-TV’s news show, “Newsbreak,” and KU’s chapter of the National Broadcasting Society. “Whether it was courses, organizations or collaborated productions with friends, each project improved my skills and I fell in love with it even more,” said Massa. “When you combine skill and passion, you’re unstoppable.”
Massa’s skills and passion helped her land her current job in Manhattan. She asked a connection at NBC if she could shadow someone working in the control room. Once there, she met with one of the managers and discussed her resume and her experience with automation.
After shadowing for the day, the manager mentioned that Sprout’s “Sunny Side Up” children’s show was being transferred from Philadelphia to 30 Rock and they needed a small technical crew. “They were using a form of automation that I had experience with,” said Massa.
Massa’s experience opened the door for this position in America’s top market. “I could see myself in that type of atmosphere, thriving off pressure and deadlines. It was what I worked so hard for,” she said.
“Sunny Side Up” is a live television programming block geared for preschoolers. The show moved to Manhattan with the hope that celebrities will stop by after appearing on NBC’s Today show.
Currently, Massa works as digital control room operator and does the technical director position. She is in charge of switcher, meaning she brings up graphics, videos and the program to air for “Sunny Side Up.” “We’re still in the startup phase,” said Massa. “We go live for the first time from 30 Rock on Oct. 13.”
Massa urges current KU students to get involved and to network while at school. “You will meet a lot of people with similar interests along the way,” said Massa. “These people are important. They could be your future business partners, or even the key to your next job or internship.”