Author Archives: Matt Murray
It’s a modern world out there, and in order to better (and more easily) document my time in the city, starting a tumblr, in addition to my already existing Twitter page. That doesn’t mean I won’t post here, but I will certainly post here less frequently. For the quicker, more byte-sized (see what i did there?) posts, follow my Tumblr here.
It’s been more than six months since I last posted, and that should say enough about how things have been going. I’m a firm believer in the ideology that if you are having a good time, or that you are happy, then you don’t have the need to go around telling everyone how happy you are. Instead, you soak it in, and enjoy it. Well such has been the case of the past half-year for me, and that isn’t to say that I’m checking in now because things have died down, but because I miss writing, not to mention having the medium to look back and remember what I was thinking in certain moment and what was going on at the time.
So here I sit, no longer an NBC Page. After 6 months in the program, I hung up the greys in order to take a position as the News Production Assistant for TODAY.
I left in pursuit of a job in News, in New York City, and while the Page program was the time of my life, I couldn’t pass up the first step in my dream career. Sure, I cut my time as a page short by 5 months or so, but I won’t remember the times I did have any less. They led me to where I am today, and the program blew the roof off of my expectations. You can’t ask for anything more than that. So while this blog will still center around my career (although legal issues will likely continue to prevent me from sharing too much detail), it will now serve just as much as a love note to this city as I continue to further root myself into it.
So here’s to more posts to come.
I know, I know. It’s been a long time. But that’s because I’ve been working 55-hour weeks and commuting 90 minutes to and from work each day. That doesn’t leave a great deal of free time. But that’s where the good news kicks in… I’m moving.
I got an apartment on the Upper East Side with two other guys from NBC. The place is great, especially for the location and the fact I’m going to be living in Manhattan. I would explain it to you, but why do that when technology allows me to take you on a virtual tour…
The final room in the video is mine, the one with the street view. Boomtown USA.
Sure, I’ll be back to sleep in my own bed plenty after tonight. But it won’t be the same. This was home, it’s where I grew up. A large chunk of the things that shaped me happened in this very house. But tomorrow morning I leave it. I don’t come home for summer breaks or extended holidays anymore. I’m moving, and unlike college, there’s no foreseen time that I’ll be back. In fact, chances are I’ll be missing Thanksgiving and Christmas here this year.
It’s sad, but only because we have an innate nature to try to hold on to things that we can’t have anymore. In reality, I’ll still talk to my friends and family, and see them about as much as a I did when I was away at college. In fact, on Monday, I’ll be meeting an entire new group of people that are going to change my life in ways I can’t even imagine yet. But for now, on this night only, I’m surrounded in a kind of melancholy of everything that was. This house saw the best and the worst of me in the story of my life. But thats just it. This was the setting for all of those events. And now I’m getting a set change. New York City becomes the backdrop for my story. And that’s where the smile comes back. Not because I’m moving to some city I love, but because I did everything I could to get there, and what I can do there makes me happy. And now I get more of that.
A new chapter in life always comes with this initial feeling of sadness when that moment comes to turn the page, but that’s because we spend all of our time looking backwards when those moments come. There’s nothing wrong with reflection, but it should never engulf the forward progress. I could stay in this room, in this house, on this street, in this neighborhood I’ve always loved with the people I’ve always loved. But the reality of it is, that would just mean I wasn’t giving myself room to grow. This place will always be here when I need it, and those people will always love me just like I’ll always love them. Those memories that wait around every corner of this home and neighborhood aren’t going anywhere, but will rather be accompanied by new ones that I forge on a road toward a path that I’ve begun blazing for myself.
My mom told me a story the other night that sent chills down both of our backs. She asked if I remembered our trip to New York when I was a freshman in highschool. I of course did, although I just barely recalled the detail in the story she was about to tell me. She said she could remember me looking up in awe at the sky scrapers, even after we’d been there for a few days, and she recalled seeing my sheer love for the city and the culture that surrounded my 14-year-old self. She said i stopped, and looked at she and my dad and stated: “I’m going to live here someday.”
Eight years later, I am holding true to that promise. Tonight may be a the last page of this chapter, but that only makes way for a first page in a new one.
New York, here I come.
So, in the excitement of my acceptance into the program, I’ve been browsing the history of NBC and it’s Pages and came across things like this quick video tour of NBC Studios as well as this great story about the program in the New York Times.
Naturally, things like this just have me counting down the days until that June 13th start date. Unreal.
My panel interview was April 18, 2011. I didn’t want to write a single word about how much I wanted the job or how I thought I did in the interview until I heard back out of some kind of irrational fear of jynxing it. But I finally heard, and I am moving back to New York on June 11th to be an NBC Page.
It was about this time last year I posted on this very blog about the position. I had learned about it from a handful of alums that had since moved on to bigger and better things within NBC, and the position had been on my radar ever since.
But lets rewind for a moment, shall we?
That day was nerve-wracking. I arrived to 30 Rock two hours early, only to wait outside the entire time. I’m not sure exactly how much I can say about the process itself, but I can tell you that you don’t interview alone, but rather with a panel of other finalists. The 11 others that were there with me that day were unbelievable people who had accomplished unbelievable things. Working with them became as much of a motivating factor as working at NBC or being in New York. But I was able to keep my focus and made it through the various stages of the day-long interview.
Then the waiting began. I didn’t hear a single word from NBC for three weeks, until I received an email. I knew it was bad news. Bad news always comes by way of email. No one wants to hear the voice of the rejected. But upon opening it, it simply asked when my potential start date would be. That was more frustrating than a rejection, simply because it meant more waiting, and for me, anticipation makes me more uncomfortable than anything else. I had another job waiting in the wings, one that would ship me out June 2nd, yet in the middle of May, I still had no idea where or when I was leaving.
But then, the morning of Tuesday May 24th my phone rang, waking me up. I opened one eye and glanced at the area code, only to see the 212. I sat up, cleared my throat and answered. The rest is history.
My first day as an NBC Page in 30 Rock, in Manhattan is June 13th. It can’t come soon enough.
I’m currently sitting at Gate B21 in the Delta Terminal of Cincinnati Airport. This flight is taking me to NYC for my final panel interview for the Page Program. It’s a surreal feeling, sitting here, waiting to go back and actually try for the Program. At this point, whether it happens or not, I’m happy. I did what I could. I am ready for the two minute presentation, I feel like I have the knowledge of the network that I will need, and now I’m just excited to see how the rest shakes out.
My next post probably won’t come until after the interview on Monday. Until then, wish me luck…
So my interview is in a week. I don’t know when I will know the result, but its relieving to know that in a few short days, I will have done all I can do to get myself back in NYC and NBC.
Butets not forget the smaller, more instantaneous reward- a brief return to the Big Apple.
PS- I got a new WordPress app on my phone and this is the first post from said app. Seems like it was a success, no? Hopefully the newfound ability to update on the go will help me stay a little more disciplined with this bad boy.
Last night I found out I was accepted into the Teach for America program. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and one I’m extremely passionate about. I would get to teach science out in Phoenix, and be guaranteed some good money coming straight out of college.
The problem is that it’s not the only once-in-a-lifetime project on my plate, and the two are finally colliding. Teach for America wants my acceptance or declination notice by April 15th.
My interview with NBC is on April 18th. I now have to either decline blind, request a defferal, or as recommended by a TFA representative, accept TFA and now that they are in the know, just tell them if I’m accepted to the Page Program.
Let me make one thing clear- I’m not complaining. I’m extremely grateful. But that doesn’t make handling this any easier.
When I first started this blog, it was warm out. I remember my very first post. It was written somewhere in those purgatory days between the end of the school year and my move to New York for the summer. It comes to mind because I sit here with my window open, iTunes in the background, writing. I haven’t done this since last year. I spent the last six months bottled up inside, away from the cold with everyone else. There’s something freeing about the warm weather.
I remember in the days leading up to that move last May, I was scared as hell. Sure I was excited- on paper at least. I was headed up to work for CNBC in New York city. It was a cool thing to be able to tell people, but when the number of days between you and that reality keep shrinking, it gets more and more real. You begin to wonder what the reality of that chapter of your life will be like.
I didn’t know what to expect from 10 weeks, and the first three days were terrifying. On tap of adapting to the work you have to adapt to the biggest city on the planet. But the overwhelming essence of it all quickly began to fade and it was quickly replaced with a love for a city and different side of a profession that I’d always loved. A side that wasn’t necessarily on paper or on a computer screen.
I’m still not exactly sure where I belong, but I know that the NBC Page Program is built around a pillar of belief that states that people should be able to try a host of angles at a profession of interest, and thats exactly what I need in my life. So with this renewed season, I hope comes a renewal in a willingness to try new things. Not to mention an introduction of the opportunity to do so. April 18th can’t get here soon enough.