Faces of NPR: J.C. Howard

Oct 9, 2018

Faces Of NPR is a weekly feature that showcases the people behind NPR, from the voices you hear every day on the radio to the ones who work outside of the recording studio. You'll find out about what they do and what they're inspired by on the daily. This week's post features How I Built This' News Assistant, J.C. Howard.

The Basics:

Name: J.C. Howard

Twitter Handle: @TheJCHoward

Job Title: News Assistant

Where You're From: Oakland, CA (The Town)

An Inside Look

You're a News Assistant for How I Built This. What does that mean? What does your day-to-day look like?

It means I assist the news! I wake up in the morning and I tell the news where it's scheduled to be for the day...usually it's scheduled to be on the internet.

You know, it's kind of a cool title in that it is kind of nebulous. That allows me to get into all kinds of cool things. Right now I'm helping with some of the things surrounding the How I Built This Summit in October, but that's mostly been watching an amazing team do amazing things so this thing looks seamless.

How did you get started here? What advice do you have for someone who wants a job like yours?

I started as the How I Built This intern during the summer and tried my best to blend in with the furniture so no one would kick me out. If someone wants a job like this, I'd say be open to trying things. Learn anything someone offers to teach you and if you get an opportunity, take it seriously, without taking yourself too seriously.

What are some cool things you've worked on?

One of my favorite tasks was producing the "How You Built That" segment for the show. Producing a segment like that from the ground up is a lot of work, is arduous throughout, and then absolutely thrilling at the end. Some of my favorites include Abby Better, ReGrained, and Final Straw, but they were all amazing people to talk to.

Favorite entrepreneur interviewed on How I Built This?

C'mon, you can't make me choose! Stacy Brown? James Dyson? Ben & Jerry? Daymond John? Carley Roney & David Liu? Haim Saban?

What's on your desk?

My water bottle (40.oz insulated), like three different Post-It notepads, a package of PopRocks, and an unattributed quote: "The creative 'act' is a process, not a moment."

Favorite podcast?

Again, too many to choose...other than How I built This, I'd say, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, More Perfect, the Serial/S-Town family of shows, and Ian Chillag's new show Everything is Alive.

Favorite Tiny Desk?

I have to say Harmonicist Frédéric Yonnet, Yo-Yo Ma, and, of course, Oakland's own: Tower of Power.

Favorite places in Washington D.C.?

I like walking around Adams Morgan and the Logan/Dupont Circle areas. Also the Shakespeare Theater is pretty cool!

What do you love about public radio?

It has the capacity to be the voice of an individual, the voice of a people, or the voice of a nation. From small community stations, to member stations, to here at NPR, public radio is not any one thing, and that versatility makes it really cool.

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