ESPN NEXT participant spotlight: Anissa, content associate

When you are part of The Walt Disney Company, your career can take many different directions. From being an intern at National Geographic to pursuing the ESPN NEXT program, Anissa has developed a passion for production and sports media in her early career.

After completing her degree in media and journalism from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Anissa decided to join ESPN NEXT to tap into multiple areas of production. “The program promoted opportunities to work on various sports like the NBA, March Madness, NFL and everything in-between.”

Anissa is currently pursuing the Accelerator portion of her program as a content associate. In an environment where stories and sports news develop quickly, Anissa plays an essential role in the features department pulling video footage, assisting with pre and post production for several media pieces, and even pitching new stories.

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ESPN is taking sports entertainment to new heights through innovation, but it takes people like Anissa to make it happen. For “sports fans, by sports fans” is a popular saying at the company, it demonstrates that there are committed employees applying their skills to fulfill ESPN’s mission of serving sports fans anytime, anywhere. “Sports have always been a huge part of my life, so to be able to work on and produce content for ESPN was an amazing career path discovery.”

As part of her role, Anissa is involved with the NBA and WNBA production where she helps produce segments like the “Sounds of the Game” during the 2023 playoffs. “I got some of the best sound pieces in the broadcast and got to attend my very first WNBA game within seven months of being at the company!”

What has been Anissa’s most memorable moment at ESPN? During proud Women’s History Month in March, she pitched a features idea surrounding young female athletes in the Women’s Super League and received approval to produce the entire piece. “I was not only passionate about the story, but also excited to work with a new team and meet new people who were just as passionate about getting this project off the ground.”

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Throughout her program, Anissa has been shaping the future of her career by gaining expansive production experience and exposing herself to a large network of professionals. The next step for Anissa came through the NEXT Accelerator, an extension of the NEXT program allows participants to develop their career through mentorship and exclusive development opportunities. “I’ve been able to connect deeper with my assigned mentorship and career coach pairing Celia Bouza has been my rock through the process of growing as a creator and I am eternally grateful to have met someone like her. I think about development in a whole different light because of the opportunities like the business project and the stretch assignment that we are allowed to participate in”

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Anissa has made the most out of her program so far, and she recognizes that ESPN fosters an environment of collaboration and talent development. She invites people to pursue the ESPN NEXT program. “I never thought I would be producing graphics for a summer league game or shadowing a video shoot to interview Sue Bird. This program is a great place to start if you want to pivot your career or develop your skills set as a creator within production.”

To learn more about the ESPN NEXT program and other career opportunities at ESPN, go to Disney Careers!