By Sara Thornhill
SAN MARCOS, Texas – The Texas State School of Journalism and Mass Communication kicked off their 29th annual Mass Communication Week Monday. On the first day of the five-day conference, three alumni discussed their roles with the San Antonio Spurs organization.
The panel consisted of Avery Schneider, broadcast assistant; Taylor Hair, producer; and Kyle Spencer, producer. They gave advice for college students and people wanting to go into the sports media career field.
The panelists started the session by giving advice about how to take advantage of your time as a student as Texas State. Spencer said you can’t enjoy something when it’s already happening.
“When I look back on it, I wish I would’ve been a little more in the moment,” Spencer said. “I was always trying to find what I was going to do at my internship and work, and my grades would fall. I wasn’t being present with that and I never fully enjoyed it.”
In addition, Hair stressed the importance of learning organization and prioritization.
“In sports, you wear so many hats. You’re not just doing this; you have 20 things you’re taking care of over a week,” Hair said. “So, learning how to be organized and take classes seriously was really big.”
When asked about how to get your foot in the door for a career in sports media, Spencer said knowing your coworker and boss goes a long way. He also said to put yourself out there and make relationships, doing so will make them remember you more.
“It’s not just what’s on your resume, that might get you in the door some but it’s the relationships,” Spencer said. “It’s not all about what’s on paper, it’s putting who you are out there for them to see.”
Senior electronic media major, Makenzie Harrison, said that the panelists advice about getting started in a career in sports media gave her a path to follow during her final year at Texas State.
“I am a broadcast engineer for Texas State Athletics, so their advice gave me an idea of how I can start my professional career in sports media,” Harrison said. “I spoke with Hair following the panel and he encouraged me to build connections with people who work in the field I’m interested in.”
Hair said that what is most valuable to building connections and relationships is saying yes to everything. Getting in where you can doesn’t mean that’s where you’re going to end up.
“Even if it’s not what you want to do, you’re still doing that for someone, and that work is appreciated, and they remember you,” Hair said. “Sports media is one big web. It’s all kind of connected in one way or another.”