Mason Soccer Alum Lands Job at NBC 4 in New York City
Oct. 11, 2007
Three years ago George Mason alum and student-athlete Dianna Russini was competing on the soccer field for the Patriots, now she'll be using her competitive edge to beat her competition on breaking news stories as the new General Assignment reporter for News Channel 4, WNBC, in New York City. Russini landed the job recently at the network after working two years at News 12 Hudson Valley, a 24-hour news station in the greater New York area.
The Norwood, New Jersey resident credits both her coursework and her playing soccer at Mason for preparing her for a career in broadcasting. She parallels the mental and physical discipline, the recovery from a mistake on the field and the competition aspect gained in playing sports as the foundation of her career. A job where mistakes are magnified and the competition to beat others on stories is so much a part of the business.
"I cannot put a price tag on the experience I gained from playing soccer," said Russini. "Everyday I use a skill I gained as an athlete in my story telling. The ability to rebound from mistakes on the field I carry over to my job. It has helped me strive to become a better player and a better journalist. Several George Mason professors prepared me by pushing the importance of writing and now I realize how important that is to truly succeed."
In her short career as a broadcaster she already gained attention by winning several awards for her feature on the Orange County S.W.A.T. team. She put herself through rigorous tests that must be passed in order to graduate, a test that the cadets spent the entire year preparing to accomplish. "It was tough, but I put myself through the grueling physical obstacle course. I had to get dirty, run a mile with 60 pounds of equipment on my back, jump over fences, even carry a man twice my own weigh, to be able to experience and report on the rigorous training," said Russini.
The 2005 Mason graduate juggled playing Division I soccer, coursework and gaining invaluable experience interning in the broadcasting field during her four years at the University. Prior to her senior year, Russini got her feet wet in the business interning at WABC TV in New York during the summer. She was also selected for the Colonial Athletic Association sideline reporter program during her senior year and received key experience when she reported on both men and women's games on Comcast SportsNet.
The soccer player still can't get away from competition on the field. Dianna coaches two 10-year old soccer teams and plays on a New Jersey women's league.