Meet Kelly Nyberg '09
Los Angeles, California area
— communication studies & business major
Q. How did you choose Augustana?
A. Deciding to attend Augustana for college was never a tough decision for me. Growing up in Sioux Falls and having family members who attended Augie, I had always been around Augustana events and considered the school a part of my life. I was confident in my decision to attend college here not only because I knew of the fantastic education the school provides and the awesome reputation it has, but also because of the values one can gain while attending here. Sure, there are times when I asked myself if I should have gone to a bigger college away from my hometown. But I quickly reminded myself: “Where else can you go where all of your professors know your name and where you aren’t just a number?” I will always be proud to say I went to Augustana, and I don’t know if I would be where I am today in Los Angeles if it weren’t for this institution.
Q. Favorite class and why?
A. My favorite class I took would have to be International Public Relations in Norway and Germany, over interim. Not only have I always had a passion for PR, but I am also Norwegian and German, so this was the perfect opportunity for me! It was fun to tour many parts of each nation and to learn along the way.
Q. Best Augie memory?
A. A favorite memory at Augie occurred freshman year, when I was on the dance team. We were in a cheer/dance competition on a cruise line, and got to visit the Bahamas! Also, being a cheerleader for three years provided some amazing memories and provided me with a few of my closest friends today!
Q. Tell us about your journey after graduating from Augustana – first job, grad school, travel, etc.?
A. During the beginning of my senior year at Augustana, I suddenly had the idea that I wanted to move out to Los Angeles immediately after graduation and hoped to intern at “Entertainment Tonight.” I wasn’t sure where to begin in pursuing this endeavor, especially since I only knew one person out there. However, my amazing connections at Augustana provided me with a great start in acquiring a summer job.
During my internship at ET, I was able to work alongside Augustana’s own Mary Hart '72. It was so amazing to discuss her admirable career and also get some great advice on how to pursue my own hosting career in Hollywood. As my internship neared an end, I was fortunate enough to be asked to stay on as an employee for "Entertainment Tonight" and its sister show, "The Insider." I landed a job as the personal assistant to the head wardrobe stylist for both shows.
Eventually I decided to pursue other opportunities within the industry, and almost six years later, am still residing in Los Angeles. Since Entertainment Tonight / The Insider, I have had some wonderful experiences. Some of the highlights include: being a body double and stand-in for Actress/Singer Selena Gomez on Disney’s “Wizards of Waverly Place,” and having a guest star role on the Nickelodeon TV show “iCarly,” where I also was the lead actress (Miranda Cosgrove’s) stand-in for six months. Following that opportunity, I was lucky enough to acquire another speaking role on the “iCarly” spin-off show “Sam and Cat” and also landed a role as the lead actress in a Mike Posner and Cris Cab music video for the song “Colors.” Other fun gigs include hosting a Nickelodeon Webshow, standing in for the lead actress on “The Mentalist,” appearing in commercials, modeling, and working on over 350 TV shows/movies alongside some of the biggest names in Hollywood.
Some of my favorites include the Oscar winning film “The Artist,” (Best Picture of the Year) “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Glee” and “Water for Elephants.”
Q. Greatest professional accomplishment thus far:
A. My greatest professional/personal accomplishment so far after graduating at Augie is moving out to Los Angeles by myself, having amazing opportunities in the extremely competitive entertainment industry, advancing my career, and just growing as a person. I attribute this to working hard toward big career steps, taking chances and having fortitude, and trusting myself with my Mid-western morals and values, which have also been a great asset.
Q. What’s next for you professionally?
A. My ultimate career goal is to be the host of a television program. I am currently writing, producing, and hosting my own web show, which I hope to debut soon. I have a wide variety of interests, but like the idea of working for an entertainment news program such as “Entertainment Tonight.” What I love about hosting is that it allows me to just be myself, work with and learn about others, and it provides me with some fun adventures along the way.
Q. If you could offer a prospective or existing Augie student some advice, what would you say?
A. If I were to provide any advice for upcoming Augustana graduates, I would first recommend that you be involved as much as you can throughout your college career. There are many great groups and events to be a part of, and there is definitely something for everyone. My time as a member and president of PRSSA, Cheerleading, Dance, and the Career Center Advisory Council not only provided me with some great friends, but some awesome networking opportunities as well. Always try and keep those connections alive, even after graduation. Remember that people at Augustana, whether friends, professors, staff members, coaches, and so on, will always enjoy hearing from you. They are willing to provide advice, networking tools, or even just friendship.
Another piece of advice for upcoming graduates: Don’t stress out too much if you don’t get your ideal job right after college. It does take time and you can’t put a time limit on your dreams. Enjoy being young! And finally, always remain confident in yourself and your decisions. This will take you further than anything.
Q. Tell us about your family
A. My father was the first member of our family to graduate from Augustana, followed by my aunt. After I attended school here, I thought it was cool that my brother and two sisters also attended after me. We have a lot of love for Augustana! It is hard to be away from family, especially since they are my best friends, but I am lucky enough to travel home a few times a year to visit them.