First-Hand Account of the ESPN Experience

Posted on: November 6, 2013

From the Point-of-View of:
Junior Advertising student and CAS Intern, Elizabeth Izzo

As a CAS student and intern, my experience with high profile events is a little different than the average students. Here is my perspective on meeting and networking with ESPN representatives on Monday (Nov. 4):

Sunday night I stayed up later than I planned. I realized I was nervous for the career conversations with the two ESPN reps that were visiting CAS the next day. I tried on four different outfits before my roommate decided on my red pants, black shirt and black sweater. I wrote, edited and rehearsed my two-minute "about me" speech while I waited for my nail polish to dry, and at around 2:00 a.m. I finally decided to go to bed.

Catch ESPN - IzzoJump ahead to 9:00 a.m. I arrived at the CAS communications office, took off my coat, and immediately reached for a camera. I knew it was going to be a busy day, and having a camera in my hands was not only going to be productive, but also a way to keep my nerves calm. I took photos of students mingling while we waited for ESPN representatives Jill Ann Bouffard and Chris Maier to arrive. When they did, our welcome reception started, and people enjoyed coffee and doughnuts. I talked to Chris about his experience in the basketball student section before the Izzone existed. There's a chance he was the spark that lit the match that started the fire that is now called the Izzone. While we were talking, Sparty stopped by to surprise Jill Ann. She is quite taken with Sparty, and he seemed to be smitten with her as well. We gathered the group together to get a picture with Sparty before he left, and I ran up to the Comm. Team office to edit some pictures for our social media accounts.

DSC_0370_editI returned to Craig's Room to snap some photos of the first few career conversations. While doing so, I ran into a friend who mentioned to me that our two-minute "about me" speeches got cut to 30 seconds. It wasn't what I was expecting to hear, but luckily I could rework my speech during lunch before my career conversation was to take place. Lunch felt like a tailgate: we had hot dogs, brats, asian coleslaw, watermelon, cookies and chips. It was delicious, and was the perfect break from taking photos. Nobody wants their photos taken while they're eating anyways, right?

During lunch I overheard Chris talking to Dan Dickerson, Tiger's play-by-play announcer and journalism professor L.A. Dickerson's husband, about his favorite baseball stadiums. Being from the Milwaukee area, my ears perked up when he mentioned Miller Park. Of course, it's my favorite park since it's home, but I was surprised to learn that it's one of the only stadiums where people tailgate before the game. My jaw dropped, and I couldn't pick it up off the floor! Tailgates and baseball to me are like peanut butter and jelly: they just go together.

DSC_0486_editAfter my shock wore off, I tuned towards Jill Ann who was telling a group of students how important it is to be a consumer of any company you want to work for. I thought it was excellent advice, especially for a company as large as ESPN. They have so much going on in every type of media, it's imperative to know as much as possible.

After lunch, Jill Ann and Chris visited Sue Carter's Sports Media I class, allowing me another short amount of time to relax. When my scheduled time came for a career conversation I went in, sat down, listened to my fellow students introduce themselves, and then explained myself in 30 seconds. I asked Jill Ann what her favorite part of her job was. She said she loved the opportunity to come to schools and give advice. I think it's my favorite part of her job, too.

Catch ESPn - Izzo 4The career conversation was quick and painless, and before I knew it I was back at work editing photos and starting to write this post. Again, time passed quickly and I headed down for the information session with Jill Ann and Chris in WKAR Studio A. It was 5:30 p.m. and I was feeling pretty drained by this point. Staying awake however was easy compared to the challenge of trying to walk around a quiet studio in high heels. I'm a loud walker, and I know it. In high school my theater director taped fabric to the bottom of shoes so I wouldn't walk so loud on stage. Monday night felt just like that. It was especially difficult when I needed to move quickly to get the angle I wanted for a picture.

Loud-shoe challenge aside, I got some great pictures. Jill Ann and Chris had a ton of great information to share with students, and the students in turn asked insightful questions. It was a long day, but definitely rewarding! I cannot thank the college, the dean, L.A. Dickerson and her team, and of course Jill Ann and Chris enough for such an amazing day and would recommend the experience to all interested students in the future.

Images Taken By: Elizabeth Izzo

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