National Geographic doomsday show crazy experience for UHV senior

Amber Machacek

There’s no shortage of theories surrounds the world’s end – when it will happen, what will take place. The list goes on.

And, while no one has the answers, one thing is certain: Amber Machacek is better prepared than she used to be.

The University of Houston-Victoria senior recently took a three-day production assistant job with National Geographic’s “Doomsday Preppers.” The show features people readying themselves for the end of the world.

Her short-term role took her to Port Lavaca, where a family constructed a bomb shelter.   “I didn’t know what to expect, since I’d never done anything like that before,” Machacek said of the job, which she snagged through UHV Career Services. “I thought this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I went for it.”

The Yoakum native’s role was to help keep the shoot running smoothly, which meant retrieving items, picking up lunch, taking notes and whatever else needed to be done for the on-site skeleton crew.

“It was a crazy experience,” she said with a laugh. “We were out in the middle of nowhere; it was hot; and we were constantly on our feet. But I’d definitely do it again.”

While Machacek, 26, enjoyed the shoot, her lifelong passion is in the world of business. A woman with an affinity for fashion design and marketing, she has long harbored dreams of opening a boutique to sell handmade clothes and jewelry.

“I’ve always known how to sew but needed to know the other things, too, like how to manage people and do the books,” the marketing major said. “That’s why I chose the major I did. It’s been a good fit.”

Machacek said it’s been a long road to graduation. With a full-time job and hopes of maintaining good grades, it’s been an eight-year journey.

“It takes a lot of A’s to raise your GPA if you slip,” she said, explaining she limited herself to two classes most semesters. “I wanted to take it slow and do it right. My grandma always told me, ‘It doesn’t matter how long it takes you, as long as you finish.’”

Machacek plans to graduate in December. In the meantime, it’s homework, her job and occasional visits with friends that fill her time.

“It would be nice to be out partying every night but, No. 1, that’s expensive, and I would rather spend my money on fabric,” she said as she laughed. “No. 2, I’m focused on school. I can party once I’m done.”

As for that television career? It was fun, she said, but she’s happy with her chosen path.

“I’m excited,” Machacek said. “I’m ready to finish up with school and see where life takes me.”

I am a Jaguar is an online feature highlighting the exceptional students who attend the University of Houston-Victoria. To nominate a student, contact Paula Cobler, UHV interim director of marketing and communications, or call 361-570-4350.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Allison Miles 361-570-4342