If you've ever tuned into PBS's One-on-One with Steve Adubato or Life and Living with Joanna Gagis, you've most likely seen the work of Nicole Swenarton '16, a Visual and Sound Media alumna of the College of Communication and the Arts.
A Television Production major, Swenarton has been part of the broadcasting team at Caucus Educational Corporation, a nonprofit educational, multi-media production company based in New Jersey, since July 2016. With nearly two years of experience at Caucus, Swenarton embodies the phrase "working behind the scenes." As a Producer and Line Producer, she supports four main productions: Emmy Award-winning public affairs series, One-on-One with Steve Adubato, Caucus: New Jersey with Adubato, State of Affairs with Adubato and Life and Living with Joanna Gagis.
"As a producer, I help put together guest segments for all of our programs. I take charge of scheduling pre-interviews with invited guests so I can learn about them and figure out the best way to integrate their expertise," shared Swenarton. "For Caucus and Life and Living, I directly manage segment timing. Once the content is developed, I work with my team to edit the shows and deliver the finished product to the network."
Many of Swenarton's productions air on PBS's Thirteen/WNET, NJTV, WHYY, as well as FiOS. During a typical day in the studio, more than 20 individual segments can be recorded in a jam-packed session.
While looking at colleges, Swenarton wanted a curriculum that would give her hands-on experience and the opportunity to both sides of the camera. Pirate TV, with a distinct variety of on and off-camera positions, was the perfect fit. As a student, she found her niche as a producer, supplementing her in-studio experience with advanced curriculum and experiential learning.
"I loved Seton Hall from my first visit," said Swenarton. "Once I got involved in Pirate TV, I learned how exciting it was to be in the control room of the TV studio, calling the shots. I didn't know it as a student, but everything I was doing directly parallels my day-to-day responsibilities today."
Beyond the classroom, Swenarton strengthened her production skillset through media internships with Worldwide Orphans Foundation, New Jersey Motion Picture and Film Commission and New York City Reservoir Films, acquired with the help of the Career Center. As part of the production team for N.J. Motion Picture and Film Commission, she exposed herself to the business side of television and film, understanding what production companies need to do to film legally in New Jersey.
"The combination of Pirate TV and my internship experience was instrumental when narrowing down my career path," noted Swenarton. "Anyone interested in the media field should consider adding that hands-on element to his/her portfolio. That expertise helps distinguish you as a job candidate and even lead to a future job."
While spending hours in the studio may seem challenging, Swenarton loves seeing the culmination of studio-work come together as a finished, final product. She credits her resilience to the motivation she received from both her professors and colleagues who encouraged her to grow and refine her skills every day.
"At Seton Hall, no one ever told me it was impossible to get a job in the tri-state area, even being so close to the media capital of the world. I always heard 'if you work hard and create opportunities for yourself, you can get any job you want,'" said Swenarton. "I was prepared and given the confidence I needed. I could explore my passions in TV as well as in art, leading me to minor in fine art and graphic design. My Seton Hall experience shaped who I am today."
For more information on our Visual and Sound Media program, please contact William Pace at firstname.lastname@example.org.