Taking The Last Train Out of Chicago and into The Dream

Link to Actual Work

Note: I am beginning my professional blog with this post. I’m intending to use this platform to update folks on my career, my observations on sports media and related topics.

ST. CHARLES, Ill. – Watching my fair share of HGTV over the past couple of weeks has affirmed two things.

One: I definitely made the right career choice. I have zero ability to be an interior designer – among several other professions.

Two: Taking a small break after the fast-paced, football-filled past year is fine, but I wanted to jump into the workforce probably three days after being home.

I became so accustomed to meetings, giving departmental tours and writing everyday that I felt like I had something, probably homework to do, the Sunday after graduation. For the past three years, I knew my summer job plan no later than April.

This year, it was different. I forgoed looking at internships, as I had done three in my collegiate career already. It was time to job search.

Roughly two weeks following the completion of my Digital Sports Production degree from the newly-appointed third-best sports broadcasting school in the country, Ball State University, I officially secured my first job.

I will be working part-time and returning to Comcast SportsNet Chicago as an editor. After interning there the previous summer, I was able to earn my way back into the city that is home to our beloved World Series Champion Chicago Cubs.

As a broad overview, I will be working with associate producers on crafting together game highlights and smaller packages for our lineup of shows. Essentially, I will be paid to watch sports and tell the story on the field in two/three minutes.

Talk about living The Dream, or at least another step toward it.

(Thank-you, Sports Link)

It’s true what they tell you Day One in the sports media industry: Be ready to sacrifice your weeknights, weekends and holidays. I’m slated for primarily working weekends moving forward, and taking the last train out of the city. Home by 2 a.m.

Roughly 15 job applications later – a significantly small number by most standards – I have some initial clarity on my professional life moving forward.

No immediate talent jobs yet, but I know I have to respect the process. It’s not often many 22-year-olds can begin their media career in the third-largest city in the country. I’m lucky, I suppose.

Nonetheless, because of my experiences with Sports Link, our student-run radio station, WCRD, and Pro Football Weekly, I’m ready to get into the batter’s box with some of the city’s best.

I completed my part-time work with PFW officially in March, once the first NFL Draft magazine was finished. I conservatively estimate I wrote over 600+ articles and made an appearance on WGN during my tenure.

I owe a great amount of gratitude to Hub and Arthur Arkush, Kevin Fishbain, John Sahly, Dan McCaleb, Jon Styf, Nate Atkins, Mike DeFabo and Dan Mott for their respective impacts on me.

To represent and contribute to one of the most highly respected professional football media providers in the country meant a great deal to me. They are all first-class people.

I’ll never forget the feeling knowing my first ever NFL game I attended was as a credentialed media member, not a fan. Seeing my byline won’t ever get old, either.

Thank-you to everyone who read my stories and interacted on Twitter. I gave that job 100 percent, as I will CSN.

I am eager to return and work for an Emmy award-winning television station. I met some of tomorrow’s network sideline reporters last summer, and look forward to asserting my Sports Link training on Chicago sports media consumers.

A quick story: As most are familiar, Facebook has a feature that highlights what its users had posted on x years to the day, called “On this Day”.

Last week, five years ago, I tweeted CSN sportscaster David Kaplan something – which he responded to. It made an impact on me so many years ago. His job represented something that seemed far away as a senior in high school.

Prior to my senior year in college, I interned there and got to know Kap a bit. On my first night, I had told the guy running the teleprompter I ultimately wanted to have a role similar to Kap’s one day. He then promptly told him I was coming for his job.

“Bring it on,” Kap responded with a smile on his face.

I’ve got a long, long ways to go for that; but, this represents another step towards The Dream.

I’ll be sure to update when/if more arises.

Thank-you, all, for your continued support on this journey. I hope to continue making you proud, and representing my family, CSN and Ball State the best I can.

To borrow from Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon: “Don’t let the pressure exceed the pleasure”.

That’s (part) of The Plan.

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