Production Assistant, NFL Network; Incoming Blue Chip Participant, NFL Corporate
Grad Year: 2006
From my very first class in Freshman English, I knew it was for me. I enjoyed the curriculum, the discussions, the teachers and the atmosphere. I also noticed that I was able to grasp concepts that were taught in my English classes and apply them to not only other courses within the discipline, but across my studies. I felt confident in my English classes and my enthusiasm for the material was met with a grade point average in my concentration of which I was particularly proud. It was absolutely the right choice for me as a major and I will always be grateful that I stuck with the program. Since I was in high school I worked in television. We started producing, directing, and anchoring the morning announcements at Lake Orion High and that was really where my career path started to take shape. My television production education continued at Michigan where I worked extensively at WOLV TV, the University's only student-run television station. I started as a freshman crew member at WOLV and graduated as the General Manager, a three-year Producer/Host and former Sports Director. My work with WOLV coupled with my internships (at WDIV Sports in Detroit, FSN Detroit in Southfield and Best Damn Sports Show Period during Super Bowl XL) led me to my current position at the NFL Network in Los Angeles. As my first job right out of college, I couldn't have asked for a better experience. I have really enjoyed my time working here and have learned so much about television production and how a major network operates. I have gained valuable experience both in-studio and on the road as I have gotten to travel and cover NFL Training Camp in cities across the country, including Green Bay, Seattle, St. Louis, Nashville, and New York. I have had the privilege of traveling to Super Bowl XLI in Miami and to the 2008 Pro Bowl in Honolulu to work on our network coverage of these major NFL events. It has really been a remarkable first 18 months in the working world. Starting in July of 2008, however, I am transitioning into a new position in the League's Blue Chip Program. It is a three-year management training program in New York at League headquarters. I will be working in multiple departments on project-based assignments. Every six months or so, I will move on to the next department, giving me a broad knowledge-base as to how one of the most successful sports operations in the world conducts its business. I was one of 16 accepted out of a pool of 700 applicants and I am very excited about the opportunity. It is a drastic shift from the television industry, but I am really looking forward to the challenges of the business world.
Value to my career
A huge part of television is writing. Whether it is the graphics on the screen, the ticker scrolling across the bottom of your monitor or the words that the talent speaks, writing, grammar, and creativity are paramount to getting the best possible show on the air. I have been involved in all of the aspects of television listed above and I have relied heavily on the concepts that I learned during my four years in the English Department to guide me through the workday. I have to interpret as much information as I can, as quickly as I can and make decisions and connections at the same time. That is just a reality in the live television industry, something that was difficult to learn at first. It is a constant challenge, but one that reminds me at times of reading six books simultaneously while trying to make it to class after class, adding in extra-curricular activities, exercise and some intramural sports for fun, in addition to trying to maintain your sanity while staying organized and on task. Working in this kind of environment, at times, needs to be tackled like a writer would an essay: think it out, write it out, review it, and be confident in your arguments and ideas. In meetings, we often discuss the topics of the day, brainstorming and challenging each other to come up with ideas and solutions; this all reminds me of my English classes. A great deal of my day, although not always directly, relates to techniques and training that I picked up in my classes as an undergraduate English concentrator. My advice to English concentrators is to enjoy the literature. Read as much as you can and keep doing so after graduation. Take advantage of the wonderful resource that is the English Department. Use their advice and work with them to succeed in your internships, classes, and career planning.
Charles Aldrich, Jacquelyn Dekker, Amy Glezen Simpson, Neal P. Goldman, Chris Hall, Robert Kleinberg, Neil Rao, Elizabeth Bender, Faith Adler Brown, Jennifer Conlin, Vanessa Febo, Lawrence Landman, Amanda Richardson, Lisa Vandenbossche
Related Career FieldsBusiness/Administration, Communications/Marketing