Linda Corsey DeYampert knows how to tackle a challenge. The California State University, Dominguez Hills alumna (Class of ’99, B.S., business management) took on a traditionally male-dominated industry when in 2006 she stepped into the role of manager of scheduling operations for one of the fastest-growing cable networks in the country – the National Football League (NFL) Network in Culver City.
She is the first African American woman to hold a management position at the company, and in June she was promoted to senior manager, overseeing the production facility, scheduling personnel, and a staff of 25 direct reports and 250 freelance employees for all studio operations and some remote productions.
“It felt really, really good,” the Gardena resident said of securing the job title and being able to bring diversity to the workplace. “It was a milestone for me, growing up in a community where people who look like me typically don’t have success stories. It’s tough for a woman. It’s tough for an African American woman. You come with a skill set, you come with an education, but still…. you can’t be good, you have to be great.”
A challenge posed when DeYampert was a student at CSU Dominguez Hills may very well have been the impetus for the development of her drive and determination.
“One of the instructors who [was] very instrumental was Dr. Robert Dowling. He said, ‘Everyone receives an F. If you want to be in management, you have to pass my class.’ The competitiveness [in me] made me think, ‘There’s no way Dr. Dowling is going to get to me.’” DeYampert remembered.
While working in a full-time entry-level position in the treasury department at NBCUniversal and raising her daughter as a single mother, she did complete the class. And after many long late-night study sessions that followed full workdays and tending to her daughter’s needs, she earned her degree with the help of NBC’s 100 percent tuition reimbursement program.
“I was determined to obtain my degree, no matter what, because I wanted to be in a management capacity. I wanted to be competitive. ” DeYampert reflected.
With her diploma came not only a suite of skills, but increased confidence.
“Dr. Robert Dowling made me believe in myself and feel like I could do anything,” she said. “When I received my degree, it motivated me to further my education.”
At the top of her game at NBCUniversal – she was by then the manager of production scheduling in the Media Works division, overseeing staff and payroll for all technical positions for the “Tonight Show,” “Access Hollywood,” and “Days of Our Lives” produced at the Burbank facility – DeYampert interviewed for a management position at the NFL Network. The next business day, a FedEx package containing an offer letter was waiting on her doorstep.
Being recruited may seem to be the dream scenario, but it didn’t come without some regret.
“I was employed with NBC for 24 years. …I was leaving a family at NBC. I was leaving a place where I grew up,” DeYampert reminisced, “However, I wanted to grow and what better way to take advantage of all of the opportunities with a brand such as the NFL.’”
DeYampert said through her education at CSU Dominguez and at the University of Phoenix where she earned a master’s degree in business administration she acquired management and leadership skills she has utilized at NBCUniversal and at the NFL Network.
Well into her career at the NFL Network and a long way from her days as a college student, she periodically teaches five-week accelerated management and human resource management courses as an adjunct professor for the University of Phoenix John Sperling School of Business where she encourages students to share their work experience in the classroom and helps them to recognize their potential.
Both as a teacher and TV executive, DeYampert offered a game plan to those just entering the workforce, “You have to get in wherever you can; [take on] internships, network opportunities and build relationships in any industry. Once you get in, then that’s when you start proving yourself, obtaining a mentor in the area of your preference. Then you start progressing.”
The Los Angeles native has built a groundbreaking career, but still maintains ties with her community.
“I’ve made a conscious effort to give back to the community, because I’m so proud of my accomplishments, successes, and educational experience at CSU Dominguez Hills,” the former Toro said.
She volunteers for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles and has served as a motivational speaker for “Career Day” held at various area inner-city schools. She is a member of the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications, Women in Sports and Events, and has served as chairperson of membership for the National Black MBA Association and recently was elected to vice-president of administration.
On a recent visit to her alma mater, DeYampert was guided by director of alumni and family programs Gayle Ball-Parker, who pointed out some new features on campus.
DeYampert recalled, “When I attended CSU Dominguez Hills, I took classes at the Small College [Complex]. The campus didn’t look anything like it does now. The campus library, Home Depot Center, the new Student Union … I was so impressed with the improvements that have been made to the campus. It literally almost brought tears to my eyes, because I know where I started and where I am now.”
However, there’s no crying in football, so instead, Dr. Gayle Ball-Parker said, during her campus visit, “DeYampert did a sales pitch to a group of high school students who were on a tour of the campus.”
Of today’s students, DeYampert said, “They can be whatever they want. And, they have a university right here in their community. Why not? I did it.”