Alex Tekip’s excellent ESPN adventure…

ESPN signBy Alex Tekip, JRN ’15 graduate

If someone had asked me this time last year what my plan was following graduation in May 2015, I would have answered with something along the lines of…

“Well, I want to work in sports media, so let’s help that works out.”

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would be answering with, “I’m going to be interning at ESPN.”

But guess what?

That’s exactly how I was able to answer any questions about my post-grad plans following the news, on Christmas Eve of all days, that I was one of the Association for Women in Sports Media’s (AWSM) national scholarship/internship winners and would be spending my summer working at the Worldwide Leader in Sports.

Interning at ESPN was everything I could have asked for and more. I created highlights for SportsCenter on weekly basis, edited video for digital platforms and got an on-air shout-out after producing the Web Gems segment for Baseball Tonight. I even helped shoot interviews of the U.S. Women’s National Team days after they were crowned World Cup champions. And I still can’t believe I just typed those words.

I was able to do some pretty awesome things while I was at ESPN, but the best part was gaining incredible new friends and connections. I lived with other recent graduates, juniors and seniors who were passionate about sports media and understood the nature of the business. I connected with AWSM members and MSU alumni who have made a lasting mark at ESPN.

As a student, I would hear that Spartans are everywhere.

At ESPN, I found out that was no lie. I met multiple people who told me how much they loved Michigan State and its journalism program. Many of them were former students or colleagues of sports journalism professors L.A. Dickerson and Joanne Gerstner. Here I was, working at a company of 4,000-plus employees, able to make instant connections simply because I was an alumni of Michigan State and a member of AWSM.

I would not have been afforded the wonderful opportunity to intern at ESPN if it hadn’t been for the training I received as a sports journalism student at Michigan State. The skills I learned both in and out of the classroom helped me gain the confidence necessary to be able to come into ESPN on a mission to show I was worthy of working at the Worldwide Leader, instead of sitting quiet and doing only what was asked of me.

Michigan State’s sports journalism program gave me a comprehensive education, teaching me the essentials of writing, broadcast, social media and the web. I cannot speak highly enough about the amount of personal and professional growth I experienced because of the dedicated faculty, supportive classmates and fellow AWSM members that became family, encouraging me to take risks and push the limits of what I believed I could do. I am so proud that I was able to represent Michigan State at ESPN.

Spartan sports journalism made an impossible dream possible. I cannot wait to see this program
grow and impact future alumni like it has me.

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