Chicago native and alumna Allyson Byers (BSJ13) studied journalism at Medill and is a Casting Assistant for Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC. In her role, Byers casts up and coming actors for sketches, manages contracts and paperwork, inputs headshots into the system and escorts talent to appropriate locations. She credits the Northwestern alumni network for helping her secure her first big job after graduating.
She credits The Northwestern News Network, which taught her about the control room and allowed her to have a great leadership role as a news director during her senior year. “Working at Jimmy Kimmel is similar to the News Network just on a larger scale.” Medill’s Journalism Residency program helped Byers who went to Wisconsin’s NBC affiliate to learn how to cope with being thrown into different situations as a journalist. “It was a great experience,” she says.
As a Chicagoan, Byers says she overlooked studying at Northwestern based on its close proximity to her home. She says it was only when her mom urged her to take a tour and compare it to her east and west coast prospective schools that she fell in love with the campus. She thought, “This is where I want to be. The residency program stood out to me and I did a lot of internships.” Byers also completed the IMC certificate program at Medill. Byers interned for Weber Shandwick, a public relations firm, after graduation and said her employers were really impressed with her certificate because social media and digital classes are important for any job and the certificate holds a lot of value.
Finally, she hopes to stay with Jimmy Kimmel Live for as long as they want her. Ultimately, Byers would like to become a television producer, write for a comedy or produce her own show.