Day Three: Good Day Sunshine

Dr. Carol Lancaster – Director, Mortara Center
School of Foreign Service:
Georgetown
University
Mortara Center

Dr. Carol Lancaster – Intelligence and Care

This morning the rainy weather let up and we were able to experience our first beautiful sunny day in Washington, D.C. We left the William Penn House and rushed five blocks to the metro station. At DuPont Circle we caught a shuttle bus to Georgetown University, where we held our first interview of the day. Associate Professor Carol Lancaster, Director of the Master’s of Science in Foreign Service program is widely known for her work on the board of the Center for Global Development. Our group wasn’t sure what to expect from our interview with Dr. Lancaster, but what we got was a person who is a wonderful example of taking opportunities and running with them. Dr. Lancaster made us feel right at home with her no-nonsense attitude and quick wit.

Dr. Lancaster stressed the importance of community, which is often lost our somtimes self-involved lives. We spend so much of our time striving to fulfill our own needs, that we fail to see the need of others. She said, “why do we worry so much about what second car to buy when people are starving on the other side of the world?”

What I enjoyed about the interview was Dr. Lancaster’s evident integrity and devotion to her work. She told us that she did not want to live her life in a boring or constrained environment. In response to a question about important choices we make in life, she replied that her most important choice was to get herself an education. She encouraged us to travel and to live in other cultures. “Doing this will help you see yourself as others see you.” Traveling teaches values such as the importance of sharing, making adjustments, and realizing that personal relationships are a priority. At the end we asked her for advice on how we can prepare ourselves to go into the future as adults, she told us “if a door closes, find a window.”

-Rachel Sunberg

Michelle Jaconi
Producer: Meet the Press, NBC

Michelle Jaconi – Passionate Success

Michelle Jaconi is all smiles. From the moment she greeted us in the lobby, confidently dressed in a vibrant red outfit, we knew she would be an enjoyable interview. Her enthusiastic yet down to earth personality made our time with her more of a conversation than an interview. She encouraged us to look at the path to success not as steps on a ladder, but rather as a constant journey toward a goal. When we asked about bloopers that have happened on “Meet the Press,” she laughed and told us some of her favorite live on-air mishaps.

She advised us to recognize our interests and not stray from them. Michelle Jaconi worked her way from being an NBC intern, tirelessly working 7 days a week, to the producer of NBC’s “Meet The Press.” She showed us through her example that when you are passionate, patient, and consistently making advancements toward your goals, you can achieve them. Michelle Jaconi is the perfect example of persistence and a spectacular role model for young women everywhere.

-Camille Schwartz & Leah Nascimento

Michelle Jaconi is the producer of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the longest running show on TV now 60 years old. Going into this interview I was very excited. I couldn’t wait to hear what advice Mrs. Jaconi had for us. Digital Media, in particular television, interests me. To be able to talk with an influential television producer had my stomach doing summersaults.

I was quickly put at ease by Michelle Jaconi’s outgoing nature and contagious energy. She loves her job and it is apparent in the way she talks about her experiences producing “Meet the Press.” She recognized her passion for media when she was very small. Growing up, her father made sure there were always a variety of newspapers available to her. To this day she still reads multiple papers every morning. She is a great example of how doing what you love will lead you to success. This seems to be a growing theme of this trip.

At the end of our time with Michelle Jaconi she gave us a tour of the NBC studio. We saw the set on which “Meet the Press” is filmed. I felt the presence of the many famous and influential people that have been on that set. This was a perfect finish to a fantastic interview. Over the course of the day we had three interviews with three enthralling people, yet Michelle Jaconi stood out to me. Her vibrancy and enthusiasm will leave a lasting impression in my mind.

-Kai Buchanan

Tom Tucker
Chief Scheduler for Congressman Farr

Tom Tucker – Quintessential Congressional Concierge

As we went through the lengthy security check at the Longworth Congressinal Building, we felt we were getting closer to the “top guys.” When we arrived at our destination on the sixth floor, we crammed into a small room. Not quite the luxurious office we were expecting, but our company was nothing short of incredible. We sat down to speak to Tom Tucker, Congressman Sam Farr’s scheduler. For a hard working person who we learned makes a lot of decisions about who get pieces of the Congressman’s time, he seemed naturally humble and down to earth. He is very committed to the public political process, but he makes his contribution by working behind the scenes. “This job is not about getting credit for your work,” he answered when asked if he ever wished he got more recognition for Congressman Sam Farr’s success. “ I do get credit for qwhat I do but I appreciate this job for the experiences I get. If you are here just to get credit this is not the place for you.”

We asked Mr. Tucker how he got started in his career and he explained that he worked in the hotel industry for ten years prior to reaching capital hill. It taught him how to deal with people and to think on his feet to solve problems. He stated somewhat humorously that he “Went from being a concierge for many customers in the hotel business, to being a concierge of one person on Capitol Hill.” His job seemed to require an interesting mix of talents. He also told us to be successful in this kind of work on Capitol Hill that you, “had to be aware of the nuances, and develop your gut feeling about things.”

It was exciting to interview someone who supports one of the leaders of our country. People like Tom Tucker are the foundation that holds the pedestals for the “top guys” to stand on. They are just as smart, capable and clear as the people in front of the scenes. The work that Tom Tucker does is for a purpose greater than making a name for himself, he genuinely wants to support his boss and help in anyway he can to see that he has what he need to do the best job for the country. Our interview with Tom Tucker came at the end of line of interviews today, and we were all exhausted; but he still kept us awake and involved in the conversation.

-Shelby Botula

Video of Michelle Jaconi (Producer of Meet the Press)
  • Kathy Hansen

    Dear all,
    It is wonderful to read your very interesting and well-written accounts. Thank you for sharing them with us. Bodhi, hope you are feeling better – good luck tomorrow.
    Love, Kathy