Like most students gearing up for graduation, CSUB's Celia Kelly had a dream of where she hoped to work one day. She never imagined it would come true so soon.
On June 13, the day after she graduates with her communications degree in hand, Kelly will jump on a plane and move more than 3,000 miles east to Bristol, Conn., for a seven month stint in the Production Assistant Trainee Program at ESPN. That's right, ESPN!
With encouragement from CSUB communications professor Judith Pratt, Kelly originally applied for an internship with ESPN through the Association of Women in Sports Media last October.
"In December, I received a phone call from Joe Franco, the director of College Relations at ESPN. He informed me that I was in the top seven in the nation still in the running for the internship," she said.
A month later, Kelly found out she had not been selected. Not to worry, another opportunity was a mere 24 hours away.
"I received an email the next day from Paul Dunn, a manager in the screening department at ESPN. ~He was forwarded my resume and wanted to know if I wanted to interview for the Production Assistant Trainee Program, she said. "I had a phone interview three days later and then received the phone call that I got the job."
Initially Kelly wanted to be a sports writer. But when the economy tanked and newspapers starting cutting staffs across the country,~she opted to try her hand in TV. She ended up loving it.
She landed an internship at local CBS affiliate, KBAK, and under the mentorship of sports director Greg Kerr, started to amass invaluable real world experience. She shot high school football games in the outlying cities of Kern County like Boron, Mojave, California City, and Rosamond. She even had an on-air segment on the station's weekly hour-long football program "Hometown Sports."
"Last July I was able to go to the Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Luncheon in Los Angeles at the ESPYs. That is where I did my very first interview - with Stuart Scott from ESPN," she added.
In addition to her experience with KBAK, Kelly is quick to attribute her success to the education she received at CSUB.
"I can honestly say I've taken something practical from all of my communications courses that will help me once I get to Bristol," she said. "I know that I was able to get this position at ESPN because of the help of my professors and the support from my fellow students."
When asked what advice she would give to underclassman in regards to preparing themselves for their first job; Kelly's advice is simple - get an internship!
"I cannot stress that enough. My resume would not be as strong without the experience I gained at KBAK," she affirms. "I believe the experience you receive and the contacts you make while participating in an internship are invaluable. A lot of internships are unpaid and if you can survive without the income for a while - the experience is worth more than any amount they could ever pay you."So, what's next for Kelly?
Her new gig starts on June 28. In addition to learning the production ropes, Kelly will be tasked with cutting highlights for all shows across all ESPN networks. She jokes that at the end of the seven months she will either get a pay raise and a full time position, or be shown the door.
Let's hope it's the former.
For more information:Rob Meszaros
Media ContactColleen Dillaway, Director of Public Affairs & Communications