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Lights, camera, Co-​​op!

Jackie Rapetti

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This week, it was announced that Drew D’Agostino took first place in the 2013 Coolest Co-​​op Video Con­test, an annual event run by the Office of Stu­dent Affairs. Second place went to Jackie Rapetti, who worked at NBC Nightly News. Third place went to Ducky Visut­thithada, who worked on co-​​op in Naperville, Ill., at Gexpro, a global elec­trical distributor.

Watch the videos:
FIRST PLACE     SECOND PLACE     THIRD PLACE

On elec­tion night, Rapetti was sta­tioned in the con­trol room at NBCNightly News head­quar­ters in New York City as reporters and pro­ducers sur­veyed the state and national elec­tion results pouring in and forged ahead with the program’s news cov­erage. It was a night she’ll never forget—one of many from her co-​​op expe­ri­ence that pro­vided her an up-​​close look at how a TV news pro­gram comes to life.

“It was incred­ible to work in that envi­ron­ment,” Rapetti said. “I had no idea how much effort goes into pro­ducing a show like this. I learned so much about every­thing that goes on behind the scenes.”

Her July-​​to-​​December co-​​op over­lapped with sev­eral sig­nif­i­cant news events, including the Summer Olympics and the fiscal cliff crisis. During that time, Rapetti worked along­side pro­ducers to assemble the program’s daily news cov­erage by log­ging video­tapes, assisting on shoots in Times Square, and even serving as an extra on one seg­ment. The expe­ri­ence, she said, con­vinced her that she wants to ulti­mately work behind the scenes in TV news production.

“It opened my eyes to all the pos­si­bil­i­ties avail­able in broad­cast jour­nalism,” said Rapetti, whose pas­sion for the news industry began in ele­men­tary school when she would tune into news pro­grams as her friends were glued to morning cartoons.