Alumnus talks about transition to life in work force

By on November 14, 2006

He is being paid to feed his addiction, and although he may not stay there for his entire professional life, working in the world of sports has always been his dream job and ESPN is certainly filling the void for now.

This past July, just two months after graduation from Quinnipiac with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism, Kevin Stewart of New Milford began his days as a production assistant for ESPN, which is located in Bristol. This past week, the Quinnipiac Society of Professional Journalists chapter sponsored Stewart to speak to a class of Quinnipiac’s aspiring journalists about how they could have such success for themselves.

Chapter president Tanya Lagatella, a senior communications major who is in the midst of the job search, found reassurance in Stewart’s story.

“It was encouraging to hear how he found a job so quickly, especially with his ‘dream company,'” Lagatella said.

Now a production assistant for ESPN shows like Sports Center, Baseball Tonight, ESPNEWS and NFL Live, Stewart finds himself more than content with his profession, which requires him to live and breathe the active world of sports.

“Every day is different; I wouldn’t want to go otherwise,” Stewart said.

Stewart told the students “build your resume,” and stressed the importance of internships.

Cindy Dowd, a sophomore communications major who listened to Stewart’s audience, shares the love of sports and was very appreciative of his talk.

“It proves my decision to transfer here this year can be very beneficial to me,” Dowd said. She hopes to intern and one day work for ESPN herself.

It was the internship credits required for Quinnipiac communications students that got the ball rolling for Stewart. During the summer before his senior year, Stewart completed his internship credit hours at ESPN. The sports fanatic found it a perfect fit and went back for a second internship during the spring of his senior year.

“What you get out of the internship experience all depends on the attitude of the student,” Stewart said.

After graduation, Stewart took part in the typical post-grad procedures, flooding prospective job locations with his resumes and cover letters, but none of his options seemed to catch his eye. With his foot already in the door with one of the famous sports networks, Stewart also applied for a job at ESPN, and no sooner was working on sports highlights. It seems his internships put him above the average ESPN job applicant.

“At this point they already knew what I was capable of as worker; they just double-checked my knowledge of sports,” Stewart said.

In July, Stewart returned to ESPN as an employee. The transition from college life to the professional world was not all that difficult for Stewart, as the last hour of his workday is often sometime around 2 a.m. and very similar to the late hours demanded by his college social nightlife.

However, the lack of time for a social life is one thing to which Stewart has had to adjust. With a workday typically starting at 4 p.m. and ending at 2 a.m. and with Monday sometimes being his day off, his unpredictable schedule rarely matches up with those of his friends, but with career goals now his top priorities Stewart is willing to adjust.

“It’s a sacrifice I have to make now, that I know I will benefit from later,” he said.


About Erin Elfeldt