By Vinny Asito
This past week at ESPN Rochester was my last week interning for the summer. Today was a wrap of about 12 ½ weeks of interning and I can honestly say I am so happy I chose this internship even though it was unpaid. I have learned and grown so much over the past couple months. I will take things with me from this internship that I know will last a life time and be valuable to me down the road.
Throughout my time at ESPN Rochester I was able to encounter plenty of work and not only do a variety of different things, but learn a variety of things as well. Going into the internship I wasn’t really sure what exactly I was going to be doing, or even how much work for me there would be to do. But, week in and week out, my bosses, Mike Danger and Gene Battaglia, pushed the other intern and I and made sure to keep us busy. Every day we got the studio and hour early before the show started and went upstairs to check in with them to see what they needed. Sometimes they needed an interview cut up that maybe they heard on a sporting event from the night before. So, I would go find the clip, cut it up, mix it down, then send it over to the studio and have them get that audio bit ready for them so when they were ready to use it on the show later that day, they would. Another example is one week a former MLB MVP was rehabbing for the Boston Red Sox farm team and they were playing our local farm team (the Rochester Red Wings) and their stadium is right around the corner from our office so they send me out to the stadium with a credential and had me sit in on the press conference with the player before the game. I then went back to the studio, pulled some good quotes from the interview, cut them up, and had them ready to be used on the show later that day. Also, Mike and Gene would always have weekly guest on the show, so as an intern there were times it was my responsibility to reach out to people via Twitter, Facebook, Email, text, phone, etc. and tell them who I was and if they would be willing to come on the show. I was able to pull a decent amount of guest throughout the summer which looked good for me as an intern. Also, there were times when Mike and Gene would get a guest and actually have them come into the studio instead of calling in, so when that happened I would have to go to the lobby and greet these people and bring them down into the studio. Some of these people were pretty high up professionals such as the owner of the Rochester Red Wings, Formers Buffalo Sabres players and even former local athletes that made it big time elsewhere. So, for me it was a good chance to interact with people like this and get my name out there. Lastly, like I have mentioned before, the most productive thing I did all summer was work Buffalo Bills training camp. I pretty much got to play the role of a sideline reporter and cover the team for about two weeks. I did things such as live tweeting, player audio and interviews, sat in on press conferences, etc. Mike and Gene got myself and the other intern full access media credentials so I was right down on the field with all the other news outlets and reporters, which for me was a first and a great learning experience to see the ins and outs of this business.
I guess if there was anything I wish I had known prior to the internship, it would be just familiarizing myself with the company as a whole more and being more prepared coming in. I didn’t really have any issue finding “my role” as an intern, but it did take a couple weeks to settle in and start feeling comfortable and I think that was because I was so unsure of what to expect. So, I would definitely say I will remember to do more research on the internship itself down the road so I am readier when the internship first starts up.
As far as any advice I would give to a fellow SOJ student about an internship like this, I would simply say, do it. If you are a sports guy or girl and have the opportunity to intern or your local sports station (radio, paper, TV, etc.) do it. You will learn so much and it helps you become well rounded in the industry, which is what a lot of people look for. I can honestly say that radio never was and still isn’t my number one passion, I still want to be on TV broadcasting but this opportunity came about for me and I was able to learn the perspective of a radio station worker and take things I learned from here, with me down the road. I can truly say that I got everything out of this internship I was expecting and more.