Fantastic voyage

Emmanuel Ayisi's passion for journalism has led him from CSS to NBC

Doors keep opening for communications major Emmanuel Ayisi '18. From his initial acceptance into a high school exchange program — and subsequent journey from Ghana to the United States — to his prestigious internship in Washington, D.C., it seems his American experience has been rather charmed.

Ayisi's path to St. Scholastica was paved through his host family in Plymouth, Minn. In fact, they already had a CSS Saint in the house — his host mother. She spoke highly of the College, with its caring community, small class sizes and vast opportunity. He liked the sound of that, and made his way north.

A nose for news

Almost immediately, Ayisi was looking for opportunities to use and build on his skills at St. Scholastica. He worked with the Athletics Department to live-stream events and helped to produce "SaintsCenter," the St. Scholastica sports highlight show. He also worked in the Marketing Department as a web assistant. And he soaked it all in, letting each experience further refine his ability and shape his path.

Then, an even bigger opportunity presented itself.

"I heard about the part-time job at [Duluth's ABC affiliate] WDIO TV through a professor, and he said I should apply for it. I thought I had no shot," Ayisi said. "I didn't hear back right away, but the professor called, and then I got a call back, interviewed, and then got the position."

At WDIO, Ayisi handled a wide variety of tasks, from running the teleprompter and controlling the cameras to — at times — managing the studio during live broadcasts.

But Ayisi had to relinquish his position for the summer. Because that's what you do when NBC comes calling.

Summer in D.C.

With the prodding and support of his professors, Ayisi applied to the NBC internship program. To his surprise, he was selected, along with five others (out of 200) to spend the summer of 2016 in Washington, D.C., shadowing and assisting reporters. It was quite an education.

"Sometimes I'd go to the field with reporters and shadow them, or sometimes I'd sit in the courthouses or listen to police scanners to help find news stories," Ayisi said.

Ayisi believes he's brought a great deal of experience back home that he can use on campus at The Cable student newspaper, at WDIO, and in future professional work. But as far as the future goes — well, he's not committed to any one discipline just yet.

"Right now, I like everything that comes with journalism," he said. "There are so many things that people do before a single news story comes out, and I enjoy every little bit of that process. I'm still deciding which one to settle on."

He's still got a lot to learn, but Ayisi believes St. Scholastica is the right place for him, or for anyone, to explore and grow as a student.

"The one thing I'd tell someone about is the community at St. Scholastica," he said. "No matter who you are you fit in well."