CREATIVE – This spotlight series features T. Howard Foundation (THF) alumni working in creative roles.
Isaac Ahn (THF ‘09) (THF ‘10)
Director of Unscripted Development, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming
Please describe your role.
As the Director of Unscripted Development (Lifestyle, Crime, and Documentary) for NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, I create, evaluate, and identify upcoming programming across the company’s entertainment platforms, which include Bravo, E!, NBC, Oxygen, USA, and Peacock.
What do you enjoy most about your company?
I enjoy the collaborative nature of the team I work on. Everyone I work with is super helpful and is willing to work together to make great shows.
In what way did this type of work interest you and how did you get started?
I’ve always been a fan of reality TV and was intrigued by the idea of being behind the scenes of some of my favorite shows. I managed to get an internship at VH1 while I was in college through my T. Howard Foundation mentor and have been able to use that opportunity to jumpstart my career in the industry,
How has your affiliation with the T. Howard Foundation influenced your career?
T. Howard Foundation gave me all the building blocks early in my career. The foundation taught me everything from how to behave in a big corporate office to how to network.
What personal attributes have been essential to your career success?
Being resourceful and being nice to everyone has been very essential to me. People want to work with people who are kind and have a positive outlook on the work ahead.
If you were entering this career today, how would you prepare to facilitate entry?
I would do what so many T. Howard interns are already doing: network. I’d do my research on different jobs and meet with executives who reflect the kind of job I want to have one day in order to figure out the best career path.
Are you extroverted or introverted? How does this show up in your professional life?
I am a true extrovert. I enjoy interacting with people, which helps given that relationship building is a key skill in the TV industry.
Do you have any of the following at work? a mentor, mentee, sponsor, work BF or work spouse? If so, which one(s)? What are the advantages of having these relationships?
I have all the above. I’ve always made it a priority to build relationships with colleagues based on trust and mutual respect. I rely on these relationships for advice and insight on my current development slate.
How do you re-charge at work?
I like to recharge by developing my own ideas to farm out to production companies. I love everything I work on, but the projects that start with one of my ideas always have a special place in my heart.