As a marketing producer for the TODAY Show, NBC Nightly News, The Tonight Show, Saturday Night Live, Olympics coverage and more, Mariah Chinchilla ’14 has parlayed a summer internship her junior year at Dominican into a dream job at NBCUniversal in New York City.
“I’ve been on the NBC Affiliate Marketing team for the past five years and this opportunity presented itself at the crossroads of luck, hard work and persistence,” says Mariah, whose clients are NBC local news stations across the country. “My best piece of advice is to always put your best foot forward and treat everyone with respect, from the interns to the CEOs you never know who you’ll meet.”
Mariah’s road to an NBC internship started her freshman year at Dominican after graduating from Freedom High School in Oakley. She connected with Anne Nicholas, then Vice President of Affiliate Marketing, who flew to San Francisco for business and took a chance on Mariah. After a two-hour interview, she eventually hired her.
Mariah spent the first seven months at the start of her junior year at Dominican to work for NBC in New York. She was an intern for NBC Affiliate Marketing and worked on 2012 Election coverage.
“I was working at 30 Rock the first day and didn’t even take a tour,” Mariah says. “It was a whole new world that I had no idea about.”
Fortunately, her experience in the Department of Communication and Media Studies in the School of Liberal Arts and Education helped prepare her for the big time. In fact, Mariah helped recruit another Dominican student, Samantha Simmons ‘17, to intern for a semester at NBC Universal in NYC. Samantha is now a recruiting coordinator for the Alexa team for Amazon in Boston.
“Dominican exposed me to a diverse set of ideas and opened my mind to look beyond and dig deeper. I don’t think I would have received that depth anywhere else,” says Mariah, who was promoted to Associate Producer for Affiliate Marketing last January. “Dominican has been such an integral part of my life and it’s going to be with me for a very long time. I’m still close with friends who studied different disciplines and we all have a resounding opinion of what a great place it is, and we took it for granted. We didn’t realize then how hands-on and passionate all the professors are.”
Mariah remains a full-time student while continuing a full-time job. Thanks to letters of recommendation from Mairi Pileggi and Brad Van Alstyne, associate and assistant professors in Dominican’s Department of Communications and Media Studies, Mariah is now attending grad school at Pratt Institute for City and Regional Planning with the School of Architecture.