Big Impression on the Small Screen

Baruchians Ready for Prime Time

Gomes photo courtesy of Rich Caplan Photography

Being on TV is a dream come true for many people. In Amanda Wallwin’s case, it was realized last spring, when she appeared as a contestant on the long-running game show Jeopardy!

“I’ve watched Jeopardy! since I was like four years old,” said Wallwin (MPA ’11), an Illinois native who also dreams of working in public education policy when she graduates in December. In order to make the cut as a contestant, she had to pass two tests. She prepared for the show by reading books written by two prior Jeopardy! champions, and she listened to some seven hours’ worth of factoids that she recorded and downloaded to her iPod—although “very few of them appeared on the show,” she said. Still, she won the first show (but lost the second) to earn a total of $20,000. Said Wallwin of her experience, “It was the most fun I’ve ever had.”

Aside from the potential bragging rights that go along with being on the small screen, the visibility alone can lead to great things. Just ask John Gomes (MBA ’02), an executive vice president at the Prudential Douglas Elliman real estate firm, who said he got “tons of business and lots of new Facebook friends” after appearing in the first season of Selling New York, the HGTV reality series about real estate agents selling multimillion-dollar apartments. Gomes said that it could take as many as 15 hours, shooting over a few days, just to film one 22-minute program. “I’d go on an apartment showing, but I’d have a camera crew in tow,” he said, adding that the entire process is “very time consuming” but a “great learning opportunity.”

—Barbara Lippman

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