Read about Kaylee Herndon’s Internship with the Reading Royals hockey team! For more information about the internship process, check out the MU Internships webpage.
I am currently in the middle of spending the hockey season with the Reading Royals hockey team in Reading, PA. As one of their media interns for the season I am getting to use my Journalism and English experience in a career path that many people do not regularly consider when getting their degree.
Working in media relations for a sports team is extremely similar to working in a newsroom, except that you know what your writing will focus on each day that you go into work. There are daily deadlines, social media updates, live tweeting, and other aspects that go into promoting a team and covering their games.
I have been using social media, Photoshop, and Adobe Premiere in addition to traditional writing at this internship (see the above graphic made using Photoshop). Premiere is something that I thought I would never need to learn, but it turns out the journalism professors are right: you need to be able to take and edit your own photos and videos to make it out there.
Another skill I was surprised that I needed to use is my phone photography. It is the easiest and fastest way to get photos up on social media, i.e. an Instagram story. I found out that there are settings within the camera that makes capturing quick movement, like skaters or pucks, easier, but it is still a skill to be learned.
The most interesting concept of the job for me is that I went from being an athlete to covering the athlete. Having been on the opposite side of the job definitely provides me a different perspective. It creates some barriers when it comes to what I expect to be true and what reality is. This includes willingness of participation of athletes in team promotion activities and fan engagement and the accommodation (or non-accommodation) of the coaching staff. It also has helped me create some unique ideas, such as a player blog where a player gets to discuss their experiences in the local area and on the team. It was a large adjustment in terms of expectations when I found out that the media for a team does not regularly interact with its player-members of the team that they promote. While from the athletic view it makes sense, at least while in college, it would produce more interesting and engaging content if players were more actively involved with the media being put out about them.
Overall, this internship has been an incredible experience so far in terms of preparing me for my future career whether I go into sports or traditional journalism. Without the real-life experience, I feel like I would be under prepared for the fast-paced world of sports journalism.