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Intern of the Month

March 2020

Samantha Casano

Photo of ABC7NY Sports News Intern Samantha Casano (left)
Major: Communication, Journalism/Public Relations

Minor: Sports Communication

Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2020

Internship Title: ABC7NY Sports News Intern

Employer Name: WABC-TV

Employer Location: New York, NY

Internship Dates: January 10 – May 8, 2020

Describe your role or a typical day.
WABC (ABC7NY) covers nine professional sports teams and five colleges in the New York/New Jersey area, so there’s almost always at least one or two games on any given night, but sometimes there’s as many as five or six. When I get into work, I will write down any games that we have to cover that night. During pregame, I’ll research the probable starting lineups, game previews, and any storylines that might come up. Once the games start, my job is to log all the footage, and record all the big plays and important moments. It sounds easy, but it’s definitely a challenge to keep your eyes and ears on the screen at all times during the game and ensure that you have record of everything that might be shown on the newscast. Once all of the games are finished, I sit down with my producer and anchor and we’ll decide what highlights we want to focus on. Since we only have 3-4 minutes per show to cover all the games and any other sports news, we have to figure out a way to provide all the information in a quick, but fun and exciting way. After all, it’s not hard news, it’s sports!

How did you hear about or obtain this role?
I came across the posting on the Disney Careers website a few months ago. I had originally applied for the fall semester but was rejected a week later. I reapplied once the position opened up for this spring. To my surprise, I got a phone interview and then had an in-person interview at the station a few weeks later. I thought that they both went really well but knew how competitive the position was and didn’t want to get my hopes up too much. But a week later, I got a call from the recruiter offering me the job. I was so shocked that I actually cried!

What were your major responsibilities at the internship?

  • Choose highlights to be shown on the 5, 6, and 11 p.m. Eyewitness News broadcasts.
  • Log game footage for the nine NY/NJ professional sports teams and five colleges.
  • Conduct research and assist in script writing.
  • Shadow our sports anchors, Sam Ryan and Ryan Field, in the studio and out in the field.
  • Learn the behind-the-scenes duties of producers and editors.

What interested you about it?
When I originally read the job description, I immediately recognized that it was exactly what I wanted and was looking for in an internship. I had completed internships in both the sports and television industries but wanted to marry those aspects and gain experience specifically in sports broadcast journalism. Through my previous internship, I learned how things work at a small TV station, but I wanted to translate what I learned there and see what it’s like working at a large major network station. The television industry has over 200 markets, and New York is #1, so I knew that if I could learn how to work at the very top, it would make it so much easier to work anywhere else.

What did you learn through your experience? How can you relate this to your future career goals?
I have already learned so much through this experience. Whether it be logging game footage or writing scripts for the show, it has been an incredible opportunity to see firsthand how the biggest TV station in the country operates. Everyone is so friendly and willing to answer any questions or give me advice. Getting to work directly with our incredible sports anchors, Sam Ryan and Ryan Field, who have been some of my biggest role models in this industry for as long as I can remember, has been a dream come true. I get to shadow them in the studio and out in the field, going to games and interviews, and they are truly some of the best mentors I have come across. As an aspiring sports reporter, I can honestly say that my internship with WABC has helped me feel prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation.

What advice would you give to other students about the internship experience?

  1. Connect with people on LinkedIn!
    • I actually landed one of my previous internships through the site, because my former boss saw I was looking for a summer internship. I’m not the first person to say it, and certainly won’t be the last, but networking is crucial in any industry!
  2. Reach out to people for informational interviews and job shadows.
    • Industry professionals love sharing advice and information about their journey, especially with college students. I’ve heard so many people that get offered internships this way, because it shows their ambition and initiative.
  3. Intern as early as possible as often as possible.
    • Your first internship probably won’t be your dream internship, but it provides invaluable experience and connections that will help you get exactly where you want to go. The job market is so competitive nowadays, and it’s so important that you stand out as a candidate. The best way to do so is showing that you have a demonstrated history of professional experience.