Hanna Sprague ran out to her car after work one day during the fall of her senior year to complete a phone interview with PRO Sports Communications in Los Angeles. In just a matter of weeks, she was offered an internship with the company and enthusiastically accepted.
“I knew, sitting in my car, only 5 minutes into the conversation that this company embodied everything I wanted in a career,” Sprague said.
Sprague was the president of the Association for Women in Sports Media (AWSM) group at Michigan State University and said joining the organization gave her so many opportunities in college for her future career.
Every year, there is an internship pool for AWSM. Sprague applied in the public relations category in the fall of 2015, which is how she got connected with PRO Sports Communications.
“The process went by quickly, but also seamlessly,” Sprague said. “I remember I just kept thinking, this is going to be my path.”
She moved out to Los Angeles the second week of August 2016, after graduating in May and spending the early part of the summer participating in the School of Journalism’s first-ever sports journalism study abroad program in Europe. At PRO Sports, she was told right away that she would never have an intern title.
“My internship actually turned into a full time job and I already have a manager title,” Sprague said. “To see how far I’ve come both personally and professionally is just absolutely incredible.”
Before Sprague moved out to LA for her internship with PRO Sports Communications and prior to being promoted to, now, a senior manager, she worked for the athletic office at MSU – a position she was offered even before starting her freshman year.
“This shaped every experience I had at MSU,” Sprague said. “There were some amazing opportunities that I was lucky enough to be exposed to.”
She also had a job with the Detroit Tigers Foundation event staff.
“At MSU, I worked more on the PR side and being the liaison between entities,” Sprague said. “With the Detroit Tigers, I was raising money for certain causes and tasks similar to that. So, in a way, they were the same experiences, just a different skillset.”
Now, Sprague works a lot on the social and digital side of public relations.
“It’s great using social media to promote change and using it for a bigger purpose than I am used to,” Sprague said.
One of the great aspects about working at her company is that PRO Sports Communications emphasized that titles don’t matter in regards to responsibilities and open communication.
“From day one, I have sat in on every meeting and phone call,” Sprague said. “I never felt like an intern. I knew at that point I wanted to be a part of this company, because of how their management team ran internal processes.”
Half of her responsibilities include client work and the other half working on new sales pitches.
“We try to set up meetings with places we can help create an impact with,” Sprague said. “Working with different athletes and organizations has been incredibly beneficial to me.”
Sprague’s advice is to focus on getting experience in college, and not so much on the paycheck, even though sometimes it can be hard to do.
“The paycheck doesn’t matter as much at this point in your life, so focus on doing everything you can to get that great experience,” Sprague said. “Treating people right is also so important. Stay in touch with people and get to know who they are, and don’t only reach out when you need something.”
Sprague also discussed how being a Spartan gives you connections and friends all over the world, which helps when moving to new places.
“When I moved out to LA, I didn’t know a single person,” Sprague said. “But for the first football game, I thought, I am going to go to an alumni restaurant. I walk inside to the fight song playing and it was all decorated in green and white. Not too long after, a few fellow Spartans invited me to their table – it was incredible.”
By Meg Dedyne
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