Shaniece Cole, KLN ’13, spent her childhood obsessed with television and 80s and 90s pop culture, and knew she wanted a career in entertainment. Now the LA-based Cole works as a producer for NBC Universal and as an actor.
Given her career aspirations, when it came time to apply for college, the choice for Cole was abundantly clear.
“Temple chose me,” she said. “Any time I was Googling media programs or success stories, I saw Temple people.”
As an undergraduate at Temple’s Klein College of Media and Communication, Cole was kept striving toward her goals by the culture of community and the encouragement of her professors.
“I had the greatest teachers of all time,” she says. “They took the time to mold us, give us advice and really hone our skill sets.”
Live from LA
A major turning point for Cole was going to Klein’s study away program in Los Angeles for a semester in the spring of 2012. A lifelong fan of iconic sitcoms like The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Martin, Cole was thrilled to live and study in the heart of the entertainment industry.
“I knew if I was able to survive those four months, that I would make it in LA,” she remembered. “I wasn’t scared when I eventually moved here because Temple laid that foundation.”
A series of internships further helped Cole make career connections. She interned with Radio One Philadelphia, where she met some of her hip-hop heroes like Kid N Play and Salt-N-Pepa, as well as at BET, MTV and Fox29. Working on a news program clarified Cole’s next career step.
“I realized I did not want to do hard news … I am a happy-go-lucky person!” she said. “But I enjoyed my work on The Good Morning Show, and unknowingly that was a precursor to what I’m doing now.”
That’s a wrap
Today, in addition to finishing up her work on Netflix’s Family Reunion and playing the role of Denise in the CBS sitcom The Neighborhood, Cole works full time as a producer for Access Hollywood and Access Daily, and regularly interviews celebrities at red carpet events. Her positivity and genuine love of pop culture sets her apart from other interviewers.
“There are interviewers just trying to get a sound bite, but I want the celebrities I interview to feel the love that we fans feel for them,” Cole said. “I honestly feel like my purpose on this earth is to be a light and inspire.”
When she has the chance to produce full segments for Access, Cole prioritizes representation.
“I always look out for people of color because we often don’t get those big opportunities,” she said. “Sometimes when people get jobs, they become gatekeepers, but what good is that? It brings me the greatest joy just seeing people shine.”