Four students traveled last week to Bristol, Connecticut to take in the full ESPN experience.
Randy Buffington, Scott Carpenter, Geoff Helms and Mallory Paul are all WHEI-TV 10 anchors. The group at WHEI-TV 10 produces “Live at 5,” a weekly newscast Tuesdays at 5 p.m.
All four students along with Robyn White, media producer and coordinator, made the trip to the ESPN studios to job shadow ‘Berg alum and SportsCenter host John Buccigross, ‘88.
While Nathan Cutietta, director of the Media and Communication Center, helped to coordinate the job shadowing with Buccigross, students met with other anchors and producers along the way. Randy used LinkedIn connections to set up several meetings before the trip.
“Everybody has been in our position before so they wanted to help someone who is in that same spot,” Randy said. “I reached out, made some connections at ESPN and everyone was really helpful. No one was ever ‘too busy.’ A lot of them wanted to meet up and give us any advice they could offer.”
The advice was plentiful during their trip. Mallory was the lone freshman of the group. For her, the message was how to get started in the industry.
“The internship thought is embedded into my head now,” she laughed. “Since I started so early in media, it will hopefully help me in the future to have these experiences.”
She found some relatability in Robyn Neal, an associate operator at ESPN.
“She just graduated college and wants to be on-air eventually,” Mallory said. “She gave me a lot of examples of what I need to do to work my way there. It really opened up my eyes to figure out what I want to do in my career.”
Randy, Scott and Geoff are all seniors. They were ecstatic with the experience and advice they received during the trip.
“Everyone really pushed to be be persistent when applying for jobs,” Scott said. “They preached to know your worth, your value and not be afraid to be bold about it. With that we can really accomplish anything in our field. We felt inspired to have that confidence after the trip.”
We can’t be quiet,” Geoff said. "If we want to advance in the field, we can’t be quiet about what we want. If we really want to be something, speak up, have a plan and the aspirations to go get it.
The group felt the staff at ESPN could relate to their position as college students.
“I think John (Buccigross) and everyone at ESPN just saw themselves in us,” Scott said. “They’ve all been in our shoes. They got to The Worldwide Leader in Sports but all stayed so humble. You’d never have any idea who is on-air or behind the camera. No one acts like they’re above anyone else.”
The students all thoroughly enjoyed their time at ESPN and noted the hospitality shown by not only John Buccigross but the entire staff.
“Everyone showed us around and wanted to know more about us and what we do,” Scott said. “They didn’t have to do that but everyone went out of their way to make us feel welcome and get the full experience at ESPN.”
John Buccigross will return to campus to deliver the commencement address on Sunday, May 14.