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Technological Upgrade Leads to Surprising Career


Toward the end of her freshman year as she considered what classes to take in the fall, English/Communications student Veronica Colacurcio ’16 of Stamford, Conn., learned that MCLA had a television studio and decided to take a class in “Basic TV & Production Broadcasting.”

“The first day I stepped into the control room for class,” Colacurcio said, “I had no idea it would become my second home until the day before my graduation, three years later.”

From that point on, she worked in the television studio almost every day; directing the weekly sports show, assisting as a camera operator, and filming games for Athletics.

“There was always a sense that this studio was no different than a studio in the working world. For interviews we had to work with strangers in the North Adams community. We had to meet deadlines, edit for hours on end, and keep our composure when shows did not work out as planned. The grade meant as much as earning that next paycheck,” Colacurcio said.

When the TV studio got a technological upgrade she trained on its new Avid server and voluntarily put in many hours to learn how storage device cards and cloud servers work.

“I can’t tell you how many times I would rather hang out in my dorm or go to town with my friends rather than wake up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday to film a lacrosse game in the freezing rain,” she said, “but I pushed myself because I knew that this was a field I wanted to work in.”

Her time and efforts proved to be well spent: For the past six months, she’s worked as the assistant digital program coordinator for the Education and Academic Affairs Department at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, N.Y. There, she coordinates programs throughout the hospital that require live stream recordings of lectures and surgeries, and provides audio visual maintenance and support.

With a background in television and theatre production, a hospital was one of the last places Colacurcio expected to launch her career. During the summer between her junior and senior years, she landed an internship with NBC’s Steve Wilkos and Jerry Springer shows.

“Even though I did not gain much studio experience since filming was off for the season, it was great to experience all of the background, pre-production work that goes into making a show possible,” she said.

Colacurcio envisioned working as a production assistant or a film editor for big name companies like NBC. “What I quickly found was, to get into TV, you need connections! Television is all about who you know.”

Her work at the hospital; however, showed Colacurcio that she had limited her career options.

“The last thing I ever thought I would witness through a camera lens would be an elbow or knee replacement surgery,” she said. “The camera has become more of a teaching tool than simply a way to provide entertainment. It gives the world access to so much knowledge in a way that has never been possible before, and this job encourages me to learn all about it.”