"This is a full circle moment," said Mitchell Rissmiller, a producer for TODAY.com, the digital and streaming platform of the "Today Show," as he motioned to his former ETSH English teacher, Mrs. Lisa McCoy. "I took this class, and I simply wouldn't be the writer I am today without her."
Rissmiller, a 2015 grad, returned to Exeter today to inspire juniors and seniors (and field a couple of fun questions about celebrities) in Mrs. McCoy's Publications & Media class as they listened to his journey from Exeter, to college, and then to the red carpets of Hollywood as a Production Assistant for the "TODAY Show" and later as an Associate Producer for the "Drew Barrymore Show" before recently returning to NBC to produce segments for TODAY.com. Students soaked up his stories of the behind-the-scenes work that he coordinates to research celebrities and prep on-air talent and acquire the b-roll footage and graphics to accompany interviews. "Three months of work can go into a three-minute segment," he said, as he showed students a YouTube clip of a kitchen makeover he was in charge of producing on "The Drew Barrymore Show."
Although his discussion was mostly lighthearted, Rissmiller kept returning to the more serious theme of perseverance. Rejected twice by the "TODAY Show" for an internship, he finally landed with the network on his third attempt. "Rejection is going to come--and it sucks--but I use it for motivation. When you get rejected, you have to ask for feedback. Between that and a lot of hustle, it's how I got to where I am."