When the School of Communication and Media was created, the central concept was to provide students in specific majors the flexibility to take courses in the school’s other programs. Public Relations majors could sample courses in the Television and Digital Media program. Filmmaking students could take journalism courses. Perhaps the best example of how exposure to this type of education helped one student land her dream career is Bianca McGuinness, a 2012 graduate of the school.
A Public Relations major, Bianca took advantage of internship opportunities and exposure to SCM professors in areas outside the PR concentration, which convinced her to pursue a television career, and, oh what a career!
As the Associate Talent Producer for the Rachael Ray Show, Bianca develops and produces segments that involve celebrity talent and musical performances. She writes scripts, plugs and teases; coordinates with the culinary, prop and graphic departments. She also researches guests and projects, prepares cue cards and the teleprompter.
But, it all began while Bianca was still a student. During her senior year, she interned at the Rachael Ray Show. “I interned for season six of the show during the fall and spring semesters.”
Obviously, the folks at the show liked Bianca’s work because after graduation she was hired at the show as the Production Secretary for season seven. After about three months, she was promoted to the Assistant to the Executive Producer, Janet Annino. Bianca continued her ascent up the Rachael Ray ladder. In season eight, she was promoted to Talent Coordinator, and in season 11, she became the Associate Talent Producer.
Bianca obviously flourishes in an environment that presents a different set of challenges every day. “You really never know what your day is going to be like. We film Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, two to three shows a day so my day can be pretty hectic. The days we are not filming I am usually preparing for upcoming segments for the following week. This job requires you to be creative and we strive to make our interviews with our guests fun and original!”
This segment from the show, featuring “Modern Family” star Eric Stonestreet, is a perfect example of how Bianca puts all the pieces together. Bianca has also produced segments featuring such celebrities as Regis Philbin, Tony Bennett and Caitriona Balfe.
So now comes the million dollar question that everyone asks — What’s it like working for Rachael Ray? According to Bianca, “She is such an inspiration because she is one of the hardest working people I have ever met. I have learned so much from her and I couldn’t ask for a better boss.”
McGuinness is clearly extremely grateful for the education she received. “I had some really amazing professors who were always willing to help me with whatever I needed. MSU was a great school to go to because it allowed me to be able to take on an internship for credit. It truly prepared me for the incredible career I have.”
Working in television was a dream of Bianca’s since her childhood, so it’s no surprise that her career ambition is to continue working for Rachael Ray, and Ray’s influence seems to have rubbed off on Bianca in another way. “I’m a big foodie. Rachael always cooks food on the show so I’m either trying out a recipe at home or going out to eat in NYC!”