Finding a job after leaving school can be a daunting task for any recent college graduate.
However, for Emerson alumni Carlos Negrete, Marcus Garcia, and Pat Giguere, the chance for a full-time job at ESPN after graduation was too good to pass up. The three, who are now working as production assistants for the ESPN program SportsCenter, are only a fraction of several Emerson alumni working within the network.
“I was searching and applied to tons of places,” said Negrete, who graduated in May with a degree in broadcast journalism. “I sent in an application. Two days later, I got a phone call for a quick interview over the phone. I exchanged a couple of emails back and forth for, like, a month, and officially found out on August 2.”
Negrete said that his job requires him to do a large number of tasks, from setting up for the first show of the day, to cutting and editing highlights for specific games, to printing scripts for anchors and making sure they’re up-to-date after they are tweaked by editors and producers.
Negrete, who was a four-year member of the Emerson men’s basketball team, said that his favorite part of the job is interacting with current and retired athletes.
“It’s kind of like what you see in the commercials, where everyone is just walking down the hallway,” he said. He said he has seen celebrities at ESPN such as Jerry Rice, Michael Vick, Manny Pacquiao, and Snoop Dogg.
For Garcia, who also graduated in the spring with a degree in broadcast journalism, the job was a chance for him to return to the ESPN campus. After interning there for three and a half months over the summer as a production assistant for ESPN radio, he has now moved into the role for SportsCenter.
Garcia noted the different ways that his education at Emerson has helped him with his career.
“We used a lot of the same video editing tools [at Emerson] that they do at ESPN,” Garcia said. “We learned about writing packages and editing scripts, and we had to work under pressure.”
Negrete said that ever since he began at the college his interests lied in working in sports media.
“While I was at Emerson, the number one goal was sports television, being an announcer for a specific team,” Negrete said. “Right behind that was ESPN. It’s a dream come true for a lot of reasons. The job market is not so hot, so having a full-time job right out of college is a huge blessing for me. It’s still bizarre that I work there.”
But according to Negrete, he was a fan of the sports network long before he stepped foot in its Bristol, Conn. studios.
“When I was a kid, instead of watching cartoons, I would watch SportsCenter,” he said. “My friends would be like, ‘Did you see that episode of Ninja Turtles and I’d be like, ‘No, I was watching play-by-play on ESPN.’”
Giguere, also a 2012 graduate who majored in visual and media arts, said that as a huge sports fan, he was also happy to work in an environment where he could watch sports and see famous athletes. He credited his fellow Emerson graduates with helping him get the job.
“Without alumni, I don’t think we would’ve gotten the job,” he said. “There are thousands of applicants a year. [The alumni] were emailing people. I know of at least 20, 25 who work at ESPN.”
Giguere mentioned Al Jaffe, ESPN’s vice president of talent negotiation and production recruitment, as a particular help. Jaffe graduated from Emerson in 1968.
According to Giguere — who worked as an executive producer for Unsportsmanlike Conduct, a sports debate show on Emerson Channel, and as a member of WEBN Sports Network — connections made during a college career are worth the expense of an Emerson tuition.
“The community is very helpful and has made my transition really easy here,” said Giguere. “At Emerson, there are so many opportunities. Be as involved as possible, stay in touch with people at school. Don’t hesitate to break out of your comfort zone and talk to people.”
For Negrete, the realization of how much impact his college education would have on his career did not come until he graduated.
“You always hear about how Emerson will help you after school,” Negrete said. “The name Emerson has great weight on a resume. It’s real life, and I’m a true believer.”
Grady can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.