Name: Dillon Andre Couvillon
Graduation Year: 2008
Degree/Major: Broadcast Journalism
Current Employer: ABC Daytime
Current Title: Senior Producer @ Tyra Banks’ FABLife
Hometown: Port Allen, Louisiana
Current Home: Los Angeles, California
Why did you choose to study at the Manship School of Mass Communication?
I chose to study at the J-School because it was the ONLY university I looked into and knew that I could get immediate job training and experience while pursuing an education. The student media affiliation and access immediately made the Manship School my number one choice.
You’re currently a senior producer for the FABLife. How did your education at the
Manship School prepare you for what you’re doing today?
Getting a textbook education is one thing, in my opinion it only gets you so far. The fact that I immediately had four years of studio work experience the day I graduated put me so much further ahead than any other graduates that were entering the workforce at the same time I was.
What led you to this job/career choice?
I first thought that I wanted to be an on-air talent. After taking producing classes and news writing, I knew that I was more attracted to a role that would have me creating, managing and presenting content that would make an impact in entertainment media and news.
What are some of your career highlights/accomplishments/achievements thus far?
I have been fortunate to produce shows for every major network, be a part of two Super Bowl’s, have a direct hand in the success of four major award shows, and have produced major concert events. It makes me stop and think how far I’ve come and how ridiculously undeserving but lucky I am. When you can look at all of your 75+ press badges and think back about a great memory from each one, I know I must have done something right, or made a good choice somewhere along the road.
What do you do on a “typical day” at your job?
There is never a typical day on a job when you are working in TV and with celebrities. On paper my job has me being responsible for producing two one-hour long nationally syndicated shows a week, in addition to booking guests, pitching segments, and coordinating props and graphics. I also supervise a team for a daily syndicated network talk show, and work with field departments, talent executives and show executives to develop content. However, when it comes down to it, it’s a blast running around a studio with Tyra Banks, Chrissy Teigen, creating games for segments changing the lives of talk show guests and enjoying every opportunity I am given each day when I punch the clock.
What advice do you have for Manship alumni and students interested in your industry?
Like I said earlier, a textbook is only going to teach you so much. THE REAL WAY TO MAKE IT IN THIS INDUSTRY IS TO HAVE EXPERIENCE. Freelance is a word that used to be foreign to me. It wasn’t taught in school, so to get hired in a job that only lasted for four months and is project-based seemed daunting to me. At the stage that I am at, having had multiple jobs, more diverse experience, and a network of co-workers and shows I have worked on, freelance is the surest way to make sure you rise to the top of the job pool. Granted your parents won’t like the lack of security of constant gainful employment, taking a freelance job gives you the ability to get your hands dirty in a variety of jobs, truly highlighting what it is that you are good at and should pursue as you climb the ladder.