Written By: Emily Barker | @empbarker
Producer/Editor for Arkansas Athletics, SEC Network
2014 Ball State Sports Link Alumni
This time last year I was sure of two things: 1. my four years at Ball State were coming to an end, 2. I really needed to find a job.
I knew I wanted to find a career in live sports production, but I wasn’t really sure what to do about finding that first job.
I had written off working for a university athletic department because in my head, “universities don’t do live broadcasts, they just do stories for the internet.”
Little did I know, in July 2014, I would be the new TV Producer/Editor for the Arkansas Razorbacks.
I met my future employer at the Sports Video Group College Sports Summit conference in June. My boss had come to the conference solely to find someone for the new position at Arkansas.
After our short conversation, I was sure Arkansas was somewhere I would like to work. With the launch of the SEC Network coming up in August 2014, the university invested $7 million into a state of the art communications center for the Razorback Sports Network (RSN).
When my now boss, Michelle, told me those control rooms would be used to broadcast games for Watch ESPN and ESPN on national television, I knew Arkansas was at the top of my list. I even called my parents that night and said, “I think I’m moving to Arkansas.”
After the interview process, after scrambling to find a place to live, sight unseen, I moved to Fayetteville on July 25, less than a month away from the launch of the SEC Network. Talk about being thrown right in!
On August 14, RSN completed its first broadcast on Watch ESPN with some live look-ins the first night the SEC Network was on the air.
In December, we completed our first linear broadcast on ESPNU. Needless to say, my mind was blown. I just graduated a few months ago! How in the heck did I just work on a national TV broadcast!?
It took a little while for it to sink in, but once it did, I knew how it happened. I am a CCIM grad, and a Ball State Sports Link alumni. The experiences I had at BSU and in Sports Link propelled me to a level I didn’t even dream was possible so soon out of school.
From August 14 to May 10, I will have worked on 135 live broadcasts as a producer, technical director, graphics operator or camera operator. If you would have told me that a year ago, I don’t know that I would have believed you.
Not only did RSN have a great year, but we witnessed and told the story of the Razorbacks. The football team defeated Texas in the Advocare V100 Bowl, both the men’s and women’s basketball teams made it to the Big Dance and the women’s track team won the Indoor National Championship, just to name a few.
It is an amazing feeling to be out in the real world and know that my Alma Mater really did prepare me for the future.
Throughout this past year, I have looked back at my path to Arkansas several times to remind myself how I got here. Without CCIM, without Ball State Sports Link, without the guidance of CT and Alex, I would not be here living out my dreams.
I am incredibly grateful to have a degree from Ball State.