Villanova On Set: Scene 1 – NBCUniversal


Jan. 5, 2015:

Villanova On Set, the brand new entertainment industry immersion program for Villanova students in Los Angeles, began today at Universal Studios where we met our primary host for the week Jerry DiCanio, Executive Vice President of Production Operations for NBCUniversal Television. A Villanova alumnus, Jerry played a key role in organizing the first-year program along with our program directors Professor Hezekiah Lewis and II Luscri. Jerry sat down this morning with our group of 12 graduate and undergraduate students and 2 graduate assistants, joined by our Villanova Career Center rep Kevin Grubb, to kick off the program.

Jerry spoke candidly with us about his work at NBCU as well as his journey into the television industry. Although he was an accounting major at Villanova and went on to earn his MBA, Jerry knew very early on that he did not want to be an accountant; however, he values his business education for the opportunities it’s provided him in finance positions first at Viacom Productions and later with NBC Studios. Allowing our questions to guide the discussion, Jerry related to us the importance of relationships, work ethic, and luck to succeed in the industry.

He told us stories of how his membership on Villanova’s rugby team scored him his first job and how other connections opened doors for him into the entertainment business. Jerry described himself as a workaholic, and his passion for his job and desire to be a good boss shone through in our conversation. Though networks and hustle are necessary to achieve anything in Hollywood, Jerry expressed the equal necessity of being in the right place at the right time. In the first half of the morning that he spent with us, Jerry also conveyed his eager willingness to provide opportunities for us to explore our interests in the industry at NBCU and beyond.

After concluding our first session with Jerry, we were given a V.I.P. tour of Universal’s lot. Our first stop was in a sound-mixing studio where we were given a dubbing demonstration for an episode of NBC’s hit crime drama Law & Order: SVU. We proceeded onto Universals historic and expansive back lot and finally toured their immense prop, costume, and set decoration department. After a tour through the long aisles of their inventory and a casual encounter with Paul Rudd at the elevator, we concluded our first site visit. After an exciting morning, we are all looking forward to returning to NBCUniversal throughout the week to continue to learn from Jerry and to enjoy all the great things that he has in store for us.