Passionate about both sports and comedy, it has been a dream of mine to one day land a career where I held true care and interest in my work. This past summer, I found myself working ringside at a world championship boxing fight at the MGM Resort in Las Vegas, living out that dream…
This year has been an exciting transition for my professional career. After interning for Conan O’Brien’s late-night television show, CONAN, I knew that I enjoyed television production, but had also long-desired a transition into the sports industry. By keeping in touch with a stand-up comedian named Sean Green who I had met during my freshman year, I was able to bridge the gap and make the transition from comedy to sports when I landed an internship for the Sports Gambling Podcast, a popular sports betting website and podcast hub.
My time interning for the Sports Gambling Podcast was amazing, as I learned about the world of sports blogging and worked directly with sports content that I was truly interested in. Towards the end of my time interning for the podcast, the hard work I had put in to form professional relationships in the industry as well as produce quality sports content paid off even further with a bit of luck.
Steve Pratt, a member of Brener Zwikel & Associates, a Sports Public Relations & Marketing Firm in Los Angeles, had come across a blog of mine on the SGP website while conducting media research for a Showtime documentary on sports betting. When Steve Pratt and Steve Brener, President of BZA, reached out to me about applying for a position with the firm, I was thrilled.
After conducting some deeper research on the firm, I noticed MGM Resorts International was listed as one of the many high-profile clients. After noticing this, I reached out to fellow Chapman SoC alumni Allyson Wadman, whom I had stayed in touch with following her impressive presentation in my Strategic and Corporate Communication Senior Seminar course last semester. Allyson, who works as a Public Relations Specialist for MGM Resorts International, had nothing but great things to say about BZA and their staff. It was awesome having access to standout alumni like Allyson, who granted me great insight into Entertainment PR and has always been there to answer questions along the way.
Fast-forward to July of 2019, I embarked on my first trip with BZA to work in the media center of a championship boxing event between Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman. Throughout that amazing fight week, I found myself working often with Allyson, who was an insightful and resourceful contact who went above and beyond to help a fellow panther learn as much as possible. I very much look forward to my next opportunity to work with Allyson for a fight week in Las Vegas in the near future. Since that great trip, I’ve continued to enjoy my time with BZA, transitioning into a Jr. Account Executive role and working with clients like Showtime Boxing, World TeamTennis, MLS, Breeders’ Cup, and more.
On top of the great lessons that my internships in the entertainment industry have taught me individually, the overarching lesson I have learned is to make and maintain contact with those with positions that you look up to, make yourself available and visible to potential hire, and lastly always stay eager to learn and grow professionally.
I never would have imagined that I would be working with a Chapman alumni whose professional career I looked up to so much (like Allyson’s) only a few months after her great presentation. I also never would have imagined that an internship with a sports gambling site would lead me to a position in sports PR where I have the privilege to work across several sports, leagues, and events. I look forward to continuing my work with BZA through my final semester at Chapman University, and with the takeaways I’ve gained over the last year, the sky is the limit!