Hoda Kotb Shares Her Career Lessons While Celebrating 25 Years at NBC

'You just have to keep evolving,' Kotb shared.

Hoda Kotb reflected on her biggest takeaways after 25 years at NBC this week, sharing her favorite lessons with Today show co-host Jenna Bush Hager

"If you've ever been one of those people who's been put in a box, and I was because I only covered hard news … when the lighter fare came up, like this show, the bosses were very, early on, sort of against me getting it," Kotb shared. "They were just like, 'Not her. She's boring. Don't pick her.'"

Kotb added that TV producer Amy Rosenblum was the person who ultimately pushed her toward more lighthearted work. "I had one person who fought for me," Kotb said, remembering that Rosenblum told her: "I want you to be like the person you are in my office, not the boring one on TV." 

Kotb said the advice helped her feel free to be more authentic on camera. "I was so busy trying to be right," Kotb said. "I was trying not to mess up, trying to be perfect. I didn't realize, imperfections are actually what makes something work better." 

Kotb and Hager both reflected on how her insight applies to far more than just work. "In any relationship you have, whether you're in a relationship with a friend, or boyfriend, or even a job," Kotb said, "you wonder, 'How does it not feel like all those years? And I think it's because it kept changing."

As she and Hager continued their discussion, Kotb's advice crystallized: "You just have to keep evolving...I went from Dateline to this hour, to the earlier hours, and as you're doing it, you work new muscles." 

Before moving on, Kotb also shared that her alma mater, Virginia Tech, had honored her with their Distinguished Alumni award to celebrate her 25 years, and gifted her a basketball with the signatures of the school's women's team that made it to the Final Four in last month's March Madness competitions. 

"It was so cool," she said of the experience. "Sweet, sweet, sweet."