Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Life of a Mentee Part 5

Getting your dream job is all about whom you know—plus initiative, timing, hard work and luck. Of course talent helps too. But having someone in your corner can influence where your career ultimately leads you. Over the past two years, I immersed myself in “getting ahead” with the help of several other people.

Perhaps the biggest help thus far has been my mentor, Joel. (SOC alum Joel Goldberg is senior vice president of station operations at WCSB, the network’s New York City affiliate.) Not only has he given me great advice, he has also introduced me to people in the sports journalism industry. Tim McHugh of Comcast SportsNet is one of them. We talked about the industry for a half hour, he asked me to come in for an interview, and now I freelance part-time for Comcast SportsNet.

Before I had a mentor, I had to make connections on my own. My first attempt to launch my career in sports journalism was a flurry of e-mails that asked sports radio hosts around the country for advice. Andy Pollin, who works for DC’s Sportstalk 980, told me that the station might have summer internship openings, but I would need to e-mail the head of the station to see what was available.

That was in March, 2006 and there were not many internships left. I called 980’s programming director twice a day, for two weeks, from London. After finally reaching the assistant programming director, I got an internship. When it was over, I was able to hang on and get a job. If you work hard and people in the organization like you, you will go far and people will help you in the future. However connections will only take you so far, you need to prove yourself on the job.

With the addition of 980 to my resume and the help of an AU alumnus who works for the Washington Redskins, I was able to get an internship this semester with the ‘Skins. Now, before I walk across the stage on May 13th, I will have worked for two big names in the sports world – putting me ahead of many people with whom I will compete for future jobs.

I am currently working for three great organizations: Comcast SportsNet, The Washington Redskins, and Sportstalk 980. Without the contacts that I got from work or from those who are willing to help a fellow Eagle, I would not feel as confident of my future as I do now. While contacts help immensely, the old adage that “knowing someone will get you in the door, hard work will keep you there” is as true today as it ever was.


Ana said...

Hi Jordan, I just read your blog entry. You are very ambistious and are working hard for your dream, that's amazing!I followed a similar path with yours and I have a job I love as a reporter and producer. I just graduated SOC at AU in 06 and Joel Goldberg was also my mentor. I even went up to CBS in NY to meet him and interned there for one day. I think I was the first mentee he had at AU. He suddendly stopped communicating with me though last spring. I called and emailed many times,never heard back. It was awkward to say the least and left a bad taste in my mouth. You may want to be careful too. If you see him please say Ana says hello and is wondering why he behaved like that???? Thank u, Ana

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Jodi said...

Hey Jordan...I am an old friend of Tim McHugh and trying to reach him. If you see him, please tell him that Jodi Paulovich asked for him and my email is jodi@thejoshow.com Thanks!