Patrick Rogers was 8 or 9 years old when he made his first visit to a television studio in his hometown of Fort Smith, Ark., to visit his brother who worked there.
"I think I decided right then that TV broadcasting was what I wanted to do with my life," said Rogers, a 1996 University of the Ozarks graduate who returned to his alma mater on Feb. 5 to talk with students in the university’s radio/television/video program. "I just fell in love with the fast-paced environment and excitement of television. I was hooked."
Rogers, who earned a degree in communication from Ozarks, has thrived in the TV broadcasting profession since graduating. He is currently is a broadcast engineer for NEP, a Pittsburgh-based international provider of outsourced teleproduction services. NEP owns the largest fleet of mobile production trucks in the world, including over 40 HD production trucks and 3D-dedicated production trucks.
Patrick Rogers (right), a 1996 Ozarks graduate, recently spoke to RTV students about his career as a broadcast engineer with NEP, one of the world’s largest providers of outsourced teleproduction services.
Rogers, who recently moved to Dallas from Chicago, travels up to 300 days a year with a mobile production truck covering mostly sporting events and music concerts. In recent years he has worked professional football, baseball and hockey games, professional golf tournaments, the Bonnaroo Music Festival, Austin City Limits, the Coachella Music Festival and Tyler Perry productions.
Following his short visit to Ozarks, he was headed to Daytona Beach, Fla., for a month-long assignment covering NASCAR.
"This job isn’t for everyone because there is a lot of travel involved and a lot of living out of a suitcase," he said. "My office moves every day. But I’m having a blast. I’m seeing the country, working in television and I get to be around sports and music. What could be better than that?"
As an engineer in a mobile production truck, Rogers is responsible for most aspects of what he calls "a TV station on wheels," including cameras, audio boards, graphics, and instant replay machines.
"You really have to be well-versed in a lot of different areas and be ready for anything," Rogers said.
Rogers is quick to praise Ozarks for his success. After graduating from high school, Rogers, who has a diagnosed learning disability, failed at his first attempt in college at a large public university. A family member steered him to Ozarks and the Jones Learning Center.
"I was just an average high school student and I failed miserably at my first attempt at college, but luckily I found Ozarks," Rogers said. "I really needed the help from the JLC as well as the small classes and one-on-one attention that I got in my classes here. There were many times where I was struggling in a class and the professors would see that and would work with me and make sure I got it. They truly cared about my success. I owe so much of where I am today to the education I received at Ozarks."
After leaving Ozarks, Rogers worked for 14 years as an associate producer for Walmart headquarters, producing such things as corporate meetings and training and product videos. He was with the company when it began producing post-production packages as well as HD video.
"I was able to really learn and be a part of some advances in technology at Walmart," Rogers said.
He left Walmart in 2010 to begin working for TriVideo in Chicago, which was bought out by NEP last year. Rogers said among the highlights of his career have been working a concert by rap and hip hop performer Jay-Z and being a part of a production crew taping shows by actor and screenwriter Tyler Perry.
"I remember watching a Tyler Perry movie with my family when I was younger and then a few short years later I’m working with him. It was kind of surreal," said Rogers. "And when I was working with Jay-Z it was like one of the ‘ah-ha’ moments in your life: Here I am, a kid from a small college in Arkansas, working with Jay-Z and helping broadcast his music around the world. That was pretty amazing."
Rogers advised the U of O students in RTV instructor Susan Edens’ class to have a strong work ethic and to be open to continued learning after college.
"If you’re not continuing to learn the latest technology in the field, then you will be left behind," he said. "It’s your work ethic and your ability to learn all you can about the latest technology that will set you apart in the job market."
Topics: Communication Studies