Andrew McIntyre ’09 and I crossed paths through our Alumni Discovery Initiative program this summer. Andrew works in production with the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins, on the show, In the Room. He follows Penguins players through their season, capturing lifestyle, practice and game footage.
Andrew and I love hockey, and we’re hoping for a Ducks vs. Penguins Final for 2018! In this interview, I chat with him about his great insight for Chapman students and alumni, how his life has been shaped by our alma mater, and filming hockey.
Garrett Aanestad ’16: What does a day on the job entail?
Andrew McIntyre ’09: During the National Hockey League (NHL) season, I produce, shoot and edit the behind-the-scenes show, In The Room, which follows Pittsburgh Penguins players throughout the course of the hockey season. Every day, my job can have a bit of a different flavor. A day in the office will usually entail some editing and planning of the current episode. A day at the rink will usually be spent filming players or coaches practicing and working on their game. Off-ice segments can be anything from following a couple players with their dogs to a dog park, or hanging out with a player and his family. During games, we shoot lots of slow-motion footage of the action on the ice, and often mic up players during games.
GA: How did your time at Chapman fuel your passion for hockey?
AM: I specifically remember sitting in my room at Henley Hall as a freshman in 2005 and contemplating what path I wanted to pursue with my career. I thought, Man, I love everything I’m learning in the film program and I’m such a big hockey fan—I wonder if I could ever find a job that brings these things together…
I used to walk or take the bus to the Honda Center in Anaheim with Andrew Gabell ’09, and we’d score Ducks tickets for under $20. Having such easy and affordable access to the Ducks throughout my time at Chapman without a doubt played a part in feeding my love for hockey. So, despite my lifelong loyalty to the Penguins, there will always be a special place in my heart for the Ducks.
GA: What was the process like in landing your current job?
AM: Interestingly, I had a couple Chapman connections that without a doubt helped me get my foot in the door with the Penguins. A good friend of mine from Chapman has a father who played in the NHL and still works in management with an NHL team. I know he picked up the phone for me at least once to call the Penguins on my behalf, and I’ll never know just how important that was, but I never doubt that it played a very important part in me getting my job. The other main connection I had was that my best friend at Chapman, Colin Sander ’11, grew up around Pittsburgh and went to the same high school as the original producer of the show I work on. Going through the process of getting this job really opened my eyes to just how important every single connection can be in the professional world. Any kind word in your favor from anyone close to the situation, no matter how insignificant-seeming, can give you just enough of an edge against other potential candidates that are just as qualified as you.
GA: What advice do you have for current students who want to make the most out of their time at Chapman?
AM: There’s without a doubt a strong need to push hard and make the most of your time when you’re in class and working and studying, but something that can be hard to keep in focus when you’re deep in the grind of a semester is that you need to have as much fun as you can while maintaining a focus on your studies. Being in college is a short-lived and unique time of your life, and making sure to enjoy every part of your experience will give you so much more from your time there.
GA: What Chapman faculty members that played a role in your success?
AM: It’s hard to single-out any one faculty member because I had so many who played a major part in my education. I was constantly blown away by how knowledgeable and accessible my film professors were. But something that has really stuck with me since graduating is how significant some of the general education classes were that I wasn’t even necessarily very interested in before starting them. I had an Asian art and religion course taught by Ed Fosmire, which ended up being one of my favorite classes I had at Chapman. Ed is an amazing instructor who made a subject I knew nothing about really come to life. I’ll never forget realizing how classes like that, which may not initially seem to have much practical application to your life or career, can really plant a seed in you, which can open your mind to new possibilities and help make you aware that there’s always a reason to be hungry to learn as much as you can.
GA: What were your most valuable takeaways from your time at Chapman and how did you apply what you learned after graduating?
AM: The ability to balance your hard work in your education with your ability to have a good quality of life away from work is so important to me. Have fun all the time! One of the great things about Chapman’s undergraduate programs is that you get to take so many different classes. They always stayed fresh and interesting to me. Even if you’re not enjoying a class that much, you’re going to take something away in the end, so just try to be in the moment and appreciate everything you can. Once you get out of school and start engaging with the “real world,” it can be really challenging. I learned how important it is to always stay positive and keep the ultimate focus on your bigger goals. Then there’s more room to enjoy all the small things along the way.
GA: What are you most passionate about?
AM: I’m really grateful to have such an incredible group of family and friends. For me, everything really revolves around them. You can go through a lot of ups and downs, and if you’re lucky, the people closest to you can transcend all the daily worries and can keep you centered on the things that really matter.
I’ve always loved music. Going to Coachella for the first time in 2007 when I was a sophomore at Chapman really ignited my passion for music. I think if I had another dream job besides what I’m currently doing, it would be filming some element of the music world, either documentary-style or highly produced music videos.
GA: What advice do you have for current students regarding finding a passion and sticking to it?
AM: There can be so much pressure once you’re done with high school to have something that you’re specifically and actively pursuing, but my advice is to not try too hard to force something; let it come to you. If you have a good idea of something you want to work towards, that’s an incredible gift, and the harder you work toward your goals, the easier it’s going to be to achieve them. I think it’s really important to trust in the fact that if you really work hard enough to get what you’re seeking, you will get it. On the flip side, don’t be discouraged if there isn’t something specific that’s grabbing you right now. Some people will have the chance in their education and careers to get to experience tons of different things that may be totally unrelated to their current interests, and that’s perfectly fine. It might not seem that deep, but one of my favorite quotes ever is from Conan O’Brien when he signed off The Tonight Show: “All I ask is one thing—and I’m asking this particularly of young people who watch—please do not be cynical. I hate cynicism. For the record, it’s my least favorite quality—it doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen. I’m telling you, amazing things will happen.”
GA: What is your favorite thing about being a Chapman University alumnus?
AM: There are so many ways that Chapman has linked back into my life since graduating. My job is a daily reminder of how important my education was for my career. Some of my best friends are people who I met at Chapman, and those people will always have a huge impact on me. Chapman itself does a great job of making you feel connected to the school as an alumnus, and it’s always a reminder to me that I have a home away from home in my Chapman Family.
GA: Any additional advice for current students?
AM: It’s reassuring to know there are so many of us out in the world. Speaking from personal experience, you can’t even imagine the ways that Chapman will continue to have an influence on your life. Always keep in mind that you’re forever tied into something bigger than yourself when you graduate. Never hesitate to use your Chapman Family as a resource in any way.
GA: Ducks vs. Penguins Stanley Cup Final for 2018?
AM: I thought for sure we were headed for a Ducks vs. Penguins Final this season, so I’m already hungry for a match-up of the two teams that have meant the most to me! If so, I’ll see you in Anaheim in June 2018!
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