Julia Jester is currently a TODAY Show researcher at the NBC News bureau in Los Angeles, where she helps produce news and entertainment segments for broadcast. She is an alumna of Georgetown University, where she majored in American Studies with a double minor in government and journalism, merging her passions for culture and politics. Born just outside of Baltimore, she was raised with a love for birds — Ravens and Orioles, to be exact. She recently completed the renowned NBCUniversal East Coast Page Program.
As an NBCUniversal Page, Julia gave NBC studio tours and worked audience services for shows like The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and Saturday Night Live. Julia was selected as the inaugural member of the Page Program's reverse mentorship initiative, in which pages are matched with senior executives for 1:1 mentoring sessions in various areas of the digital technology and social media landscape. Her assignments within the page program included: CNBC Long Form Production (Production Associate), MSNBC's "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell" (Assistant Booking Producer), The TODAY Show Plaza (NBC News Marketing), and NBCUniversal Corporate Social Responsibility (Digital & Research).
Before joining the program, she worked as an Engagement Intern and Community Manager at Vox.com, working closely with the digital analytics and editorial teams to establish and promote the growing brand. Julia gained experience in broadcast journalism as a news intern for Al Jazeera America, where she worked on America Tonight, the network's flagship program highlighting current issues through in-depth human interest stories. Her first internship with Blue State Digital sparked her interest in digital media and how innovative technology and writing can merge to tell fascinating stories.
While in college, Julia sold her soul to the Georgetown Voice and held the positions of editorial board chair and news editor during her time with the weekly newsmagazine. She also tutored struggling elementary-aged students through the non-profit organization DC Reads and danced with Groove Theory, Georgetown's premier hip-hop dance team.
Julia designed the logo, website, and advertisements for PowerUp Dance Center when it opened in August 2013. She still choreographs for the award-winning PowerUp Dance Company, acquires talent to teach master classes, and helps with its social media and marketing strategy.
In 2012, she founded Everything Dances, a project infusing journalism and social media designed to bring exposure to talented dancers through interviews and sharing their dance photos and videos through social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
Julia's vast array of interests — from social justice to the performing arts — are a true revelation of her fascination with people and what makes them tick.