You know what they say: Life never really tends to go as planned. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I entered my third year of college with my future all mapped out, I would crank out two more semesters in school, weigh my options of doing grad school or looking for a job, and graduate a year early.
I sat down with Sports Link director, Chris Taylor (CT) and explained all that was going on in life and my plans to hit the road earlier than both of us expected. He agreed that I need to do whatever I felt was best for me, but that didn’t stop him from passing along opportunities for internships.
Applying left and right to positions I never saw myself getting, I told myself ‘If I get it, we’ll figure life out then’.
As the days clocked by and fall semester trickled down, my life seemed to be all set in stone. Then my phone buzzed.
I got a text from ESPN telling me to schedule my interview and though I was filled with anticipation, the pessimist in me kept saying ‘eh that’s never gonna happen’.
Sure enough, another couple weeks passed and my little hope faded.
CT kept telling me “It’s gonna happen, you’re gonna get it,” but I never really believed it. Until my phone buzzed again telling me to schedule my second interview.
The pessimistic side of me suddenly turned optimistic. The interview went really well and I thought it would be a couple weeks until I’d hear back. But it wasn’t.
The next day I headed home for Thanksgiving and my mom yelled while I was in the shower that my phone was buzzing, so I scrambled out and answered it on the last ring.
An offer. An internship with ESPN. A childhood dream come true. But quite a change of plans.
As I walked into the office in Charlotte on my first day, immediately I knew this was where I was meant to be. Welcomes chimed from everyone, sports debates rang throughout the office, and ESPN played on a TV in every direction I looked.
Though overloaded with information, I was thrown right into everything. Sitting in on production meetings quickly turned into me bringing topics for the show.
Looking-over-the shoulder of a production assistant quickly turned into me editing together elements for The Paul Finebaum Show.
Watching basketball games quickly turned into finding storylines and cutting highlights for SEC Now. But I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
The first game I was assigned to for highlights was LSU vs. Missouri. A simple game that was all normal, until LSU stormed back from down 14 points with two minutes left. I was left in a scramble, editing every play together and writing out my shot sheet for the show airing five minutes after the game. But I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
As a kid that loved the Florida Gators, now I find myself editing together videos of my favorite team to run during the SEC Tournament. I wouldn’t have that any other way, but this time I think that’s pretty obvious why.
It was just three months ago when I thought I would graduate college in three years, enter the real world and hope for the best going forward.
Now I get up every day with excitement and anticipation for what’s in store.
Now I walk the halls with the faces of ESPN and edit together the things I’ve watched on ESPN for the past 20 years.
I never expected I’d land an opportunity with the Worldwide Leader in Sports, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Besides, the 8-year-old me would hate me if I passed this up.