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Bright lights, big city … and a cool job

Meet alumnus Robert Dominguez, award-winning production manager for ABC’s “Good Morning America" and Dolly Parton fan.

February 4, 2015

Alumnus Robert Dominguez in the "Good Morning America" control room at Times Square Studios in New York City. PHOTO: Courtesy of Robert Dominguez
Alumnus Robert Dominguez in the "Good Morning America" control room at Times Square Studios in New York City. PHOTO: Courtesy of Robert Dominguez

Talk about cool jobs. Hanging out in New York City, rubbing elbows with celebrities and working on America’s top-rated morning TV program.

Meet Robert Dominguez (B.A. speech communication ’04), production manager for ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

He readily admits it’s a sweet gig but it’s not for slouches. “Honestly, I forget what day it is half the time because I exist inside a production vacuum thinking about the next show, the next week and the next project,” Dominguez says.

On any given day he’s working with segment producers to secure permits and props, dispatching crews for breaking news, handling special entertainment events, coordinating hair, make-up and wardrobe, and attending lots of meetings and conference calls.

Evidently he’s good. He’s taken home an Emmy for his work on GMA and a Peabody for Hurricane Sandy coverage.

But his personal favorite moment on the job was meeting superstar singer Dolly Parton.

“I’m rarely star struck, but when it comes to a legend like Dolly, well, the Colorado kid in me was in awe,” he says. “She was gracious, kind and charming. We had our picture taken together and I had it made into Christmas greeting cards. Friends tell me they kept it and use it in their annual holiday décor.”

Dominguez credits MSU Denver for much of his success. “I remember the day one of my professors put it to me bluntly and told me that what I wanted to accomplish in TV wasn’t going to happen in Denver. I needed to think big, as in New York or Los Angeles, and that would require me to make the jump.”

So in his senior year he blanketed production studios and networks with resumes for any entry-level job he could find. Eventually producers from the TV hit, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” called and that was the break he needed.

“I appreciate that conversation to this day, it encouraged me to open my mind to larger opportunities,” he says. “But networking is key too, and it begins in the classroom. Many of my internship and career leads were from classmates.”

He recalls another professor’s influence, too. “Paul Reinertson encouraged all his students to show up, knock on the door and ask ‘What can I do to help?’ — those six words have had a greatest impact on my career path.”

Dominguez’s advice for today's students: “Acknowledge the good days and learn from the bad ones — that’s how you grow. And don’t compare your career path to others around you. You’ll go insane. Acknowledge their strife and accomplishments, but understand over the course of a lifetime it’s all a fluid situation and everyone is on their own journey.”

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