As I walked out of the facility for the final time last week, I was filled with relief and gratitude. I consider myself blessed to have had such an amazing opportunity and to be able to spend my summer doing what I love to do. While this summer was in no way easy, it was worth it. Here are a few takeaways from my summer with the Redskins.
- You’ve got to start somewhere. I can safely say I worked my absolute hardest this summer and I know to get where I want to be, I have to be ready to make sacrifices. I worked 50-60 hours a week this summer on average and often found myself working outside of the office a bunch as well. Not all of this work was done for the Redskins, but between two video production internships and continuing my job with CNU’s Athletic Department, it took a lot out of me.
- Internships are invaluable but use your time on campus wisely. Being that we’re at a DIII school, sometimes the world doesn’t see our degree the same way they see a degree from schools like Virginia Tech, University of Alabama, or the University of Southern California. What you do have in your favor at a school like CNU is the opportunity to get hands on experience that those DI schools only typically offer to seniors and graduate students. Going into my third year as a broadcaster, I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter what level you’re calling games for, it’s all the same sport. Much like in a science lab, it doesn’t matter what school you’re doing the research at, but that you’re doing the research and might have an extra few years to get your hands dirty here than anywhere else. Make the most of the undergraduate opportunities that you have while you have them.
- Never stop expanding your network. I spent most of this summer talking to people who are in the business of sports reporting from my own organization and others. While being able to talk to reporters from TV stations all around the state and country, I realized the importance of the relationships you have. Take advantage of career and grad school fairs, because that’s where these relationships start.
I believe this internship was invaluable to my success as a sports journalist and broadcaster. Getting into the business is the hardest part about broadcasting and this internship has gotten my foot in the door. While there is still plenty of work to be done, I know that having the name of a professional sports franchise like the Washington Redskins is a good start to get me where I’m trying to go.