When I found out that I had been chosen as a recipient of the Association for Women in Sports Media Scholarship and a summer internship at my dream company, ESPN, I was convinced it was too good to be true. After spending 10 weeks at the ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, I still feel that way.
The ESPN internship program is incredible. As a production intern, I was treated exactly like a full-time production assistant, with the same responsibilities and tasks. My daily responsibilities included watching and logging games — mostly baseball, with a little basketball and football sprinkled in — creating a highlight for SportsCenter and/or Baseball Tonight from the game and writing a script for the anchors to read. I also worked on the set of SportsCenter running the prompter, sorting and delivering scripts and helping in any capacity needed. I also was working at ESPN during the transition and eventual launch of the brand new SportsCenter set, which was so exciting.
The most surreal moment of the summer was when I watched my first highlight air on SportsCenter. I’ve grown up watching ESPN religiously, so to see content that I created and produced air to thousands and thousands of viewers was a feeling I’ll never forget. If someone had told me three months ago that I would be the brains behind Johnny Manziel’s first highlight in the NFL (the first pre-season game), or cutting a near no-hitter for the Padres (would have been the first in their franchise history), or the record-shattering WNBA All-Star Game, there’s no chance I would have believed them. But ESPN equipped me with the tools I needed, and no one doubted my ability as an intern to get the job done.
While working at ESPN, I had the chance to both meet and work with many people I had grown up idolizing, like Lindsay Czarniak, and observed the production of some of my favorite ESPN shows, like “Outside The Lines.” As an intern at ESPN, we were encouraged to reach out to anyone and everyone we wanted to, and to absorb as much experience as possible. I even met ESPN President John Skipper. Many companies preach having an open-door policy but not actually meaning it, but that was not the case at ESPN.
I would recommend an internship at ESPN to anyone with passion for good journalism, a drive to be the best every day, unending curiosity, and, of course, a love for sports. ESPN’s motto is “Serving sports fans. Anytime. Anywhere.” And they truly live it.
Healey is majoring in journalism and human health at Emory University. Follow her on Twitter at: @brookehealey