By Robert W. Dalton
A lot of people have had Zoom calls with the boss over the past year and half. Fadzai Mushayamunda ’22, is no exception.
As part of her internship with NBC News’ “TODAY” Show, Mushayamunda, a humanities major and Bonner Scholar from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, got to sit in on a call with The Boss. As in Bruce Springsteen.
Mushayamunda also has been on calls with Jennifer Lopez, actor James Michael Tyler (Gunther from “Friends”) and Brandon Flowers (lead singer and keyboardist for The Killers).
“Mainly I’m in charge of recording the interviews,” Mushayamunda says. “It’s a lot of fun.”
Because of the ongoing pandemic, Mushayamunda is working remotely. She was at first disappointed that she would be spending the summer in Winston-Salem instead of New York City. Once she got started, however, she appreciated the familiar surroundings.
“Everyone wants to spend the summer in New York and get that experience,” she says. “But having it be here opened up a lot of opportunities for me and made it easier to do the work. After such a tumultuous year, it was nice to be able to come home and get the energy I need going into my senior year. This is the last summer I’ll be able to do that.”
A lot of her days are spent doing research on people who are going to be interviewed on the show. She prepares detailed packages on a subject, such as what they’ve done in the past, what they are doing now, the last time they were on the show and any “fun facts.”
“It’s my job to make sure the person doing the interview has current information so they can ask good and detailed questions,” she says.
This past weekend, the staff switched to its Olympics schedule, and Mushayamunda is working overnight hours because of the time difference. She says it’s going to take some getting used to.
“There’s still a lot of adjusting I have to do, but we have more control over which stories air and some of the Olympians they choose to spotlight,” she says. “This is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of it.”
“I really enjoy shooting because they give you a lot of creative liberty,” Mushayamunda says. “I’m able to create my own set.”
Mushayamunda says the rigorous classes at Wofford helped prepare her for the internship. She also says the college prepared her in ways she didn’t expect.
“At NBC we work in groups, and you have to have a good attitude. That’s important at Wofford as well.”
Mushayamunda says everyone she’s encountered at NBC News has been welcoming and considerate.
“They are very good at giving credit,” she says. “They value kind people and creativity, and they try to make sure everyone at the company is comfortable.”
Mushayamunda has had a couple of opportunities to speak to Craig Melvin ’01, a co-host of “TODAY” and a news anchor for NBC News and MSNBC, as well as a member of the college’s Board of Trustees.
“He’s given me some advice to help guide my way after college,” Mushayamunda says. “That has been encouraging, and it has been so incredible to actually get to know him. It’s nice to have the Wofford College connection.”