Internship Spotlight: Jackson Freed, NBCUniversal

Jackson Freed standing in front of Rainbow Room Observation Deck at NBC Studios.

Jackson Freed '23 (BSBA Marketing & Film and Television) is a Research Operations Intern at NBCUniversal.

What was the process for getting this internship/job?

Applying was really easy! I’ve wanted to intern at NBCUniversal since my Spring semester Freshman year, so I’ve always been on the lookout for opportunities. I found this internship on NBCUniversal’s Early Career page. A few weeks after applying, I received a phone call from a recruiter who told me that my hiring manager was going to reach out via email to set up an interview over Microsoft Teams. Additionally, she needed me to complete a pre-recorded interview for them to have on file. After completing both the pre-recorded and face-to-face interview, I was invited to interview with the Vice President that oversees my current team. About a week later, I received a phone call from my recruiter telling me that I was extended an offer for my internship!

What type of projects do you work on?

I work on a variety of projects. Each week, I link Bravo’s cable programming to Nielsen’s systems so that ratings can be accurately reported, and every morning I confirm that what was entered matches what aired the day before. Recently, I helped do the same thing but for the Olympics on Peacock. Additionally, I’ve been creating slide decks and email newsletters that highlight research and analytics conducted by the greater Analytics, Insights & Measurement department.

What is your favorite part of the experience?

My favorite part has been learning so many new things. Until my internship, I never fully processed that what my team does is a necessity for the television industry. It’s given me a whole new perspective on how this business works. Additionally, I’ve really enjoyed getting to sit in on meetings with executives and people across platforms. It has been incredibly beneficial to meet new people and hear their thoughts on the industry whether it's project-specific or just in general.

What do you find most challenging?

The most challenging aspect is that my internship is based in New York, so it runs on Eastern time. Prior to Daylight Savings, I would wake up at 5:30am so I could get ready before I logged in to work at 6:30am (8:30am eastern). Now that Daylight Savings has happened, my first alarm goes off around 4:30am so I can be ready to work at 5:30am. It’s early, but I am very grateful to have the opportunity to work for NBCUniversal alongside my classes this semester.

What are you learning?

Aside from what I’ve already mentioned, I’ve learned a lot about working in a corporate environment and how to communicate with people higher up than me. In college, it is very easy to get used to having a leadership role so it has been good to experience the opposite side of those coordinating responsibilities. Additionally, I’ve learned how to manage my time even more effectively than I already do because I have to balance my internship with my coursework.

What advice do you have for other students looking for similar experiences?

The best advice I have is to network, apply often, get involved and use your Career Coaches! My first look into the working world of NBCUniversal was when I participated in a remote Eller Externship (offered by our Career Coaches). This was an opportunity to network and learn more about NBCUniversal. From there, I kept in touch with the person from the externship, and she helped guide me through the application process at NBCUniversal. After applying consistently over four terms (including summer), I was finally able to land my current internship! Also, throughout college I have been a part of the Business of Entertainment Club and DKA (a professional cinematic society) where I’ve been able to network even more and build professional skills. Overall, regardless of your industry, I’d recommend reaching out to professionals, joining organizations that can help you grow, and using the resources provided by Eller to make yourself shine!

How has Eller prepared you for this experience?

Through Eller, I’ve been able to learn how to work in teams, use elevated critical thinking, and portray my professional self the way I want to be seen. While I’ve been able to build these skills across all my classes, the most significant in my professional growth has been BCOM 314 because of how it forces you to work your hardest and focus on many different aspects of a professional experience in such a short time frame.

Anything else you would like to share?

Follow your passions! If there’s something you want to do, work toward it as much as you can so you can set yourself up for success.