News Sense

Charges of “fake news” notwithstanding, it’s important to remember that journalistic integrity is still the standard for most reporters – including the three University at Albany alumni profiled here.

Joelle Garguilo, B.S.’03
Multimedia Dynamo

By Claudia Ricci, Ph.D.’96
Stephanie Landsman

You wouldn’t expect a student who earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration at UAlbany to end up in a career as a multimedia broadcast journalist at a major television network.

Well, meet Joelle Garguilo, a dynamo in the modern world of multimedia journalism. She holds two jobs in Manhattan: one with NBC News’ “Weekend Today” show and the other with WNBC’s “New York Live.”

In addition to producing segments for these shows, Garguilo is often on air, sometimes as an anchor. She shoots her own segments, and she’s her own editor.

“I wear a lot of hats,” Garguilo laughs.

She learned something vitally important as a UAlbany student: “Business school gives you the discipline you need going forward. You can’t just roll through the business school. You have to work really hard, and that work ethic stays with you.”

Garguilo came to UAlbany as an accounting major, but junior year she switched to a concentration in marketing and finance.

After graduation, she finished her accounting degree at Hofstra University. Garguilo spent a year at a small firm, then landed a job at KPMG, one of the Big Four accounting firms. There, she audited Fortune 500 companies, including Mercedes-Benz and Omnicom. After two years, she decided not to pursue partnership at KPMG, so she went on the job market. Garguilo interviewed at seven firms and, within three days, she had seven job offers. She chose New Line Cinema and went to work in the finance department, which was run by women.

While Garguilo worked in the business world, she secretly wanted to become a journalist. When New Line folded, she decided to pursue her dream. Garguilo took a journalism class at NYU and enrolled in the New York Film Academy, where she learned the nuts and bolts of the trade. Soon she had produced a “reel,” a kind of broadcast-industry video résumé.

Joelle Garguilo

Garguilo’s first job at NBC was with NBC News Mobile. While there, she began contributing to WNBC and “Weekend Today.” Garguilo now works on the broadcast side of NBC News. Today, she says, the business is shifting back to mobile as young people rely more and more on Smartphones for news and entertainment.

Despite her hectic career, Garguilo says that mothering her 2-year old daughter is her top priority. “It’s kind of crazy,” she reflects. “You have to be a smart businesswoman to succeed” at juggling the competing demands of modern life.

Looking back at her University days, Garguilo says a favorite faculty member was Professor of Biological Sciences Dan Wulff; she took two classes in nutrition and biology with him. “He really hit a chord with me. In a big school, it was nice to have a teacher who really cared. He cared so much that you knew the material,” Garguilo recalls.

When Garguilo married in 2009, all her bridesmaids were UAlbany grads. Dan Wulff attended the wedding, too!