Remember the first time you scored a goal, won a race or hit a homerun? Those moments in sports are something you’ll never forget. The main reason for this isn’t the triumph of winning, but instead the meaning behind the journey, the hours of training and the support of the team it took to get you there that garner those feelings.
Rather than just remembering those moments, Tyler, an ESPN Broadcast Production Intern from Gardner, Kansas, captures those moments and feelings through the power of video and broadcast. Tyler’s journey to becoming a Professional Intern with ESPN was much like preparing for a big game or race and required diligent training, listening to his team and taking a few fearless risks to get there.
Passion and work are synonymous in the eyes of Tyler. Broadcasting and sports have been two major factors in driving his passion, and when you add Disney into the mix (which includes the many years of making memories with his family in Disney Parks), his internship makes for the perfect combination. Tyler’s internship began this past January after graduating from the University of Kansas where he pursued a major in journalism with a specialization in strategic communication, with the goal of someday working in a role with a focus on storytelling and marketing development. The bulk of Tyler’s training and preparation came from working on ESPN3 shows throughout his college experience, which made his position at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex a natural fit for him. In addition, the position offered to delve deeper into the broadcasting world with the largest sports broadcasting network.
With many new and exciting things happening at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, describing a typical day for Tyler is nearly impossible as each day is completely different. On a regular basis, though, Tyler updates graphics broadcasted on the many television channels throughout ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and Disney Resorts. These channels keep viewers up-to-date with what is going on in the sports world, as well as the operating hours of ESPN Wide World of Sports. He updates the “bottom line” (normally referred to as a “ticker”) that scrolls game announcements, as well.
While he performs routine duties, Tyler also works on the planning for a wide variety of upcoming shows. Each week he assists in producing weekend shows to wrap up all event coverage of the week. One of his favorite shows to work on is “Gruden’s QB Camp” which features a former NFL coach, Jon Gruden of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who interviews top quarterback NFL draft picks during the show. Each show is an immense production involving partnerships with many different teams which allows Tyler to network with full-time ESPN employees. While working on these shows, Tyler says, “My leaders allow me to take advantage of my time here by giving me high-level responsibilities such as acting as the assistant director, which also allows me to learn at a fast pace and put my skills ahead of the game.” Through these high-level responsibilities, Tyler states that, “finding the story is the most important thing.” Relying on communication with ESPN’s partners, Tyler works to find potential interviewees and content that will be compelling to an audience. Tyler recalls a project with a partnering marketing team when he was required to dig deeper into a coach’s experience in order to create a video of how kids could condition for sports without the use of professional-grade equipment.
Tyler applied what he learned in college to build a new skill set at ESPN. During his college experience, he had taken time to learn different programs and technical abilities and was easily able to catch on to new programs and skills needed for his current role. He explained that this was an easy transition, and that “A tool’s a tool! Once you know how to use one, you can learn them all.” Since the start of his internship, Tyler has been developing skills in a variety of areas including editing, technical broadcast operations and many types of broadcast graphics. These skills are essential to his job because he says, “In the end, it all goes back to how well you can tell a story.” This is much like in any athletic event: working hard to develop your skills goes hand-in-hand with your success.
Tyler adds, “You can always, always be better at what you do.” He feels his journey to learn is never-ending and his internship is a chance for him to hone his current skills and build new ones. A skill he is hoping to build is leadership; in cultivating his own style of leadership, he hopes to facilitate teamwork, but also be able to produce seamless broadcasts by knowing all the ins and outs. In order to do this, he is working on methods of troubleshooting and innovative problem-solving abilities. From his experience working with his team, Tyler has come to appreciate the support he receives from his leaders and their constructive but also kind feedback, which is especially true in cases when mistakes have been made. His leaders have advised him not to dwell on it and remember that mistakes are opportunities to learn. Being surrounded by interpersonal styles of leadership, Tyler emphasizes he wants to someday be a leader not a boss. He describes, “A boss is someone who sits behind a desk and watches, whereas a leader is out there doing it with his or her team.”
As he continues in his internship through January, Tyler will also focus on personal development and learning from those around him. Tyler says, “I want to be a leader in pushing out content that promotes a sports team in a positive light.” He advises anyone doing a Disney Internship to focus on what you want to learn, what skills you want to hone in on and not stress yourself out. Oh, and of course, lastly Tyler advises, “Go to the parks!”