Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Ayesha Kosaka Lands Dream Job with NBC’s E! News

2020 School of Theatre, Television, and Film Alumna reflects on her journey to NBC’s E! News

Ayesha Kosaka Lands Dream Job with NBC’s E! News

Ayesha Kosaka

by Gabriela Romero

March 4, 2021

“Don’t be afraid to live a dream, but be willing to hustle for it,” Class of 2020 alumna, Ayesha Kosaka, advises. Practicing what she preaches, Kosaka scored a career with NBC’s E! News, overseeing their department as Production Office Coordinator. Kosaka aids in their Daily Pop and Nightly Pop segments along with assisting in New York Fashion Week, dabbling with the Golden Globes, and currently, the Grammys.

With the help of the faculty production manager from the School of Theatre, Television, and Film, Jay Sheehan, Kosaka got her foot in the door with NBC.

Sheehan reflects, “Ayesha walked into my office by accident basically ... we started talking and right from the beginning, I knew she was extraordinary. She had that type of passion in her voice that was powerful.”

Kosaka’s aspirations impressed Sheehan, prompting him to hire her as assistant production manager for a rock and roll concert series, that happens every summer in Northern California.

While taking Sheehan’s THEA476 Event Coordination and the Entertainment Industry class, Kosaka shadowed a number of the guest speakers who visited. Sheehan also connected her to Dr. ‘Niyi Coker, who gave her the chance to direct and lead SDSU’s MLK Legacy film The Blackprint.

“Needless to say, I really owe the bulk of my knowledge in production to Jay; the experiences I gained from sophomore year ‘til now are invaluable,” Kosaka says.

Furthering her film production journey, Kosaka and two of her peers established their company Plugged Productions. Then she was invited to attend SDSU’s LA Regional Council, where board members, Mr. John Wills and Michelle LaGrandeur, encouraged Kosaka to connect with alumni Mort Marcus. Marcus helped Kosaka land her job at NBC.

Kosaka recalls, “I shared with him that I applied for a [production assistant] position with Access Hollywood, and he got me connected with an executive for the show.”

Kosaka had an informal interview, where she was told that the position had already been filled.

“The interview worked in my favor, though, because he said he’d share my resume with another department that would be having an opening soon. A month later, I got a call and joined the E! News team that following week.”

Recalling times in search of direction, Kosaka says “Dr. Bonnie Reddick [Director of the Black Resource Center] would tell me that no matter what, always hold true to my core values. Professor Delores Fisher [of Africana studies at SDSU] pushed me to always dig a little deeper to find my truth.”

Encouraging students to pursue their dreams, Kosaka says, “I had to find myself, again and again. Their reminders and affirmations guided me to opportunities that remain in tune with my spirit, and I encourage others to be bold with the direction they choose to go in.”

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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