Alumni Conversations: Dax Tejera ’07, NBC News Producer

Over the next few months, we’ll be featuring stories of Dartmouth alums. We kick off our series with this Q & A. (Hat tip to our intern Emily Fletcher ’12 for conducting the interview.)

Dax Tejera ’07

Position: Producer, NBC News
New York City

Short description of what you do: Produce a daily political news show for MSNBC, and travel around the country to cover breaking news events on a moment’s notice.

Major at Dartmouth: History/Government double major

1. What is most satisfying about your current work? 

My  colleagues and I are writing the first draft of history; we have a unique privilege to learn about things well before they become public.  The responsibility of getting it right and making it clear when it matters most is never lost to me.

2. What’s the best way to enter your field? Any essential elements of preparation?

You need to have some degree of experience before getting into the big leagues.  How that takes form is increasingly open-ended.  I tell Dartmouth students all the time that if they want to get into this business, all they need is a blog.  You need to prove you can tell a story. Obviously it helps if you get a real-world internship, or like me, work for The D.  But you can’t go into this cold.  You have to prove you are tough, and that you have the stuff.  If not, employers will move on quickly.

3. What advice would you give to others seeking opportunities in this field?

Talk to everyone even remotely associated with media. In the end, it’s a small world, and a conversation with someone you might not think is in the pipeline often leads you to exactly the right path. Keep up with the latest industry trends too. News and information are directly correlated with developments in technology — it affects how we disseminate the message. You have to stay current.

4. How has Dartmouth supported you in your career development?

Dartmouth connections got me my job and have fueled it along the way.  I got my foot in the door through a chance meeting with a Dartmouth alum who was a correspondent for NBC News.  After I joined the company, I had the opportunity to collaborate with him.  Life is a two-way street, and it doesn’t surprise me that Dartmouth features prominently along the road.

This photo of Dax at work shows him with anchor Tamron Hall in Cape Canaveral, Florida in 2011 for coverage of the final Space Shuttle Launch.

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