By Mohammad Mujahed
Many students in college sometimes come in without a plan. Some goals and dreams just don’t pan out.
“Pizza with Pros” was hosted by the Department of Communication at Youngstown State University on Nov. 14. Lecturers Lisa and Doug Johnson spoke to students about their life stories and the struggles they encountered as professionals.
Lisa Johnson is a television professional with over 28 years of experience in live broadcasts and a two-time Emmy Award winner.
Doug Johnson, the vice president and executive producer at AT&T Sports Net and Lisa Johnson’s husband, discussed his 28 years of experience in sports broadcasting, 17 years of remote production experience and 11 years in managing remote and studio productions.
Lisa Johnson spoke about how she began her career and how she became a graphic operator.
“I wanted to become a news director,” she said. “That was the path that I wanted to go with.”
She said during college she got in contact with a graduate student who would broadcast Cleveland Cavaliers basketball games, and she asked him if she could come with him to these games and he agreed.
After this opportunity, she wanted to be involved in sports television, instead of becoming a news reporter.
Doug Johnson started off his career when he interned at ABC Sports during his college years, and said he had to face multiple obstacles to get where he is now.
“I was a 21-year-old kid growing in this business,” he said. “I got to see a lot of the world for five years.”
He said although he got paid little, he didn’t care because the job gave him valuable experiences.
Both Lisa and Doug Johnson said they struggled to get where they are now, even though they didn’t believe they would have took these paths.
Doug Johnson said students need to take advantage of internships and that many companies seek trust in an employee.
Lisa Johnson said working hard can take a person a long way.
“It’s not easy to, it’s a lot of hard work and low pay at first,” she said. “If you have a lot of passion in what you do, it will pay off.”
After college she moved to Seattle where she worked at a post production house, making commercials.
Years later she moved back to Cleveland and reunited with her sports crew. She learned how to to run a camera and other related equipment. Eventually she got into graphics, taking care of scores and highlights.
For many of the students who attended, these professionals gave them tips and information to absorb.
Desmond Ford, who is a senior graphic design major, said he wants to be a cameraman at first and later work his way up to become a graphic designer.
Ford said the information Lisa and Doug Johnson presented was helpful, and that he will try to follow their advice.