1Tell us about your role as BTN Production Manager for the Ohio State University Department of Athletics. What does a typical day look like for you?
As the BTN Production Manager here at Ohio State, I am the liaison between Big Ten Network and Ohio State Athletics.
I also oversee the BTN Student U Internship Program. Through the Student U Internship program, students are given the hands-on opportunity to learn what it’s like working in production. BTN Student U covers most of Ohio State Athletics and what I mean by cover, we stream most of OSU sporting events.
A typical day for me changes every day.
One day I can be preparing for our stream later that day by setting up equipment and moving the necessary equipment to different venues, and other days I could be mic-ing up a player or coach for an interview with BTN.
There are so many parts to my job, which is why I simply tell people I am the liaison for BTN and OSU whenever I’m asked what I do.
2Did you always want to be in this field? When did you decide sports media was your career focus?
Yes, I forever want to work in sports media.
I love sports and working in the media industry, so to be able to combine the two things I love can’t get any better that!
My senior year in high school was when I knew I wanted to pursue a career in sports media. I was a part of my high school’s news station.
I loved every bit of it and knew I wanted to pursue a career in it. When I found out I could pursue a career in sports media and not just news media in general, I was even more excited to pick sports media as my career choice.
3Due to COVID-19, a variety of collegiate fall sports have been put on hold. How has your role changed and evolved during this time?
Now that football is back, all of my attention has been strictly on football whereas before during this time, not only would I be focused on football, but I would also be focused on men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey, and women’s volleyball.
Also, once the winter sports begin, my focus would also be on men’s and women’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s basketball.
BTN Student U also does not stream football like the other sports listed, so as of now I am not preparing for any streams.
However, for football, I am responsible for sending football press conferences during the week and post-game interviews to Big Ten Network. So that part of my role has not changed.
4 In your role, you oversee the BTN Student U Internship Program. We know your job is to teach and encourage students interested in sports media but, is there anything these students have taught you? What have you learned from them?
Oh yes, for sure!
They have taught me patience and have taught me that every student learns differently. You can’t approach every student the same way. Some students may learn faster than others, but it doesn’t mean the student that learned the fastest is better than the other. It just sometimes simply means that one student’s learning style is different than the others.
My students have also taught me to have fun while working. Yes, working in production can be very fast-paced and a lot of things may be happening at the same time. However, it’s okay to laugh a little because working in sports media can be stressful if you let it be, but there are times where you have to just laugh or smile and learn from your mistakes.
I can honestly go on and on about what my students have taught, but one thing I want to say is that I always want to remain teachable. Whether I’m learning things from my coworkers or students. It doesn’t matter how young or old a person may be or how experienced or inexperienced a person may be. We can always learn from each other.
5Also, your role entails being the liaison between the Big Ten Network and Ohio State Athletics. How do you ensure everything the Big Ten Network asks for is fulfilled by Ohio State? What is your method to delegating tasks, staying organized and working under pressure?
The biggest thing with being the liaison between Big Ten Network and Ohio State Athletics is communication. I have to make sure I am clearly communicated with everyone. Through simple communication I am able to fulfill most, if not all, everything BTN asks for.
Of course, there are times where things simply cannot happen, but I just make sure I clearly communicate why a certain request cannot be fulfilled.
As far as staying organizing, every year I buy a planner and always write down anything important in my planner. Whether it’s an interview, press conference, sporting event, etc. I always write it down in my planner. There is something about physically writing things down that helps me stay organized.
Working in sports, you’re always under some sort of pressure. Especially when working in sports media. You never know if your equipment will malfunction or you never when a breaking news situation may occur that causes you to go and shoot a last-minute press conference.
However, one thing I always do is to remain calm. I try not to let situations stress me out because if allow situations to stress me out I won’t be able to think clearly.
I also make sure I plan, plan, plan! I learned the hard way one time when I did not do enough planning, but I learned from that incident and now I plan, plan, plan!
6In production, you broadcast all Ohio State sports, edit videos, write, create content in multiple formats, oversee students — how important is it to be versatile in the sports industry?
I would say it’s pretty important to be versatile in the sports industry because it creates more opportunities for you.
However, it’s okay to have some weak spots, but where you are weak is where you have to take the necessary steps to become stronger. Whether that’s reaching out to others who are strong in the area in which you are weak or finding conferences that will help you grow in those weak areas or just simply doing your research.
There is never a time where you won’t stop learning, but you have to be willing to want to continue to learn so that you can be more versatile and grow and go wherever you want in the sports industry.
7Finally, what advice do you have for those looking to find their passion and pursue it with everything they have, particularly angled towards the sport industry?
The advice I would give is to take every opportunity given to you. Take both the paid and unpaid internships. You want to simply get your foot in the door and use those opportunities to make a lasting impression.
Find you a mentor in the industry that can walk with you and help guide you in the direction you want to go. I was blessed to have such an amazing mentor of my own, which you guys interviewed as well and her name is Stacy Kelleher. Without her mentorship, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
I would also say to be patient and don’t get frustrated when the opportunities you want don’t present itself right away. Speaking from experience, I thought I would be where I am today right after college, but that did not happen. However, I never gave up and I took those small opportunities that led to bigger opportunities which led to me being the Ohio State BTN Production Manager.
This may sound a little cheesy, but you have to “trust the process” and I did not realize that saying was true until I had to go through my own process to get to where I am today, which is working for a Powe