The Sports Media Flash internship influenced me and my goals in ways that I was not expecting going into the internship. Prior to the internship one of my goals was to keep an open mind, especially when it came to the production side of sports broadcasting. I have always been set on being on-air talent and did not want to disregard all things production potentially limiting myself during the internship. However, after completing the internship and openly learning about and experiencing the production aspects of sports broadcasting, I realized that I still want to primarily focus on reporting and being on-air. This is not to say the entire experience was a waste. I believe it to be quite the opposite. Recognizing what I do not want to do is just as important as finding what I do want to do. If anything, it reassures me of my aspirations and career goals.
Many of my other key takeaways from the flash internship came from the alumni panel. Being able to pick the brains of some of the best in the business was such an incredible and special experience that cannot not be matched. A few things that stood out to me during the panel centered around the idea of building relationships, getting your foot in the door, and unabashedly putting your career first. The alumni honed in on the importance of making new relationships and maintaining old ones. It was stressed that these relationships did not have to be strictly in the sports industry, in fact they encouraged us to build relationships with people from different industries, careers, and backgrounds. This is a key takeaway for me because it is something I can start working on immediately. The alumni also stressed that simply getting your foot in the door at a company or network is the first step toward your dream job. Adam Schefter went on to say that getting your foot in the door gives you the opportunity to impress the higher-ups at the company, a position you probably would not have had before. Lastly, nearly all the alumni agreed that to make it in the sports industry it is necessary to put everything you have into your career, especially when just starting out.
Reflecting back on my own role in the flash internship, I would have done a few things differently. First of all I would have researched the alumni a little more thoroughly so when I saw them prior to the alumni panel I would be able to approach them and make a connection that was relevant to their job or career. I also would have been more forward about asking for contact information from the alumni I made good connections with. I had several alumni tell me to reach out anytime, but realized I did not have a way to reach out to them. Lastly, I would have asked more questions specific to the career path I am interested in. Overall, however, I gained plenty of knowledge from the experience and am even more excited and motivated to pursue a career in sports broadcasting.