Nick Alfano: How Career Development Helped Me Work at the Olympics

There is no hiding as a student in Annenberg, especially when it comes to career advising. An email with a lengthy list of available internships and jobs is sent to every Annenberg student daily, and constant email reminders about visiting professionals like Lester Holt and career treks to companies like SONY flood student inboxes. As overwhelming as it may be, you cannot ignore anything because an opportunity exists in each one.

In January of 2017, I received a mass email from Annenberg Career Development announcing that NBC Sports was coming to interview students for internships at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in 2018. Due to the strong relationship between NBC and Annenberg, they offered 20 on-campus interview slots. Any Annenberg student could submit their résumé to the Career Development Office for consideration. I was lucky enough to be given one of the interview slots and was keen to capitalize on the opportunity. After the initial campus interview and follow-up Skype call, I was offered an internship as a Logger for the NBC Sports Production Team covering the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics!

Before I could accept, there was one big problem to solve. The Winter Olympics are in February…during the spring semester. Questions immediately started running through my head, “Can I do this and graduate on time? Will I still be able to take classes? How will this affect my course of study in my Business Finance minor?” Since I was only given 48 hours to accept the offer, I had to act fast. Thankfully, I had the cell phone numbers of Jabari Brown, my academic advisor, and Suzanne Alcantara, Annenberg’s Director of Career Development. I contacted them both, explained my concerns, and they were both on it. It is a luxury Annenberg students have to be so close with faculty and staff that they have their cell phone numbers. It is a very common occurrence.

Within 24 hours, Suzanne had gotten my acceptance deadline extended by a week. Within 48 hours, Suzanne and Jabari had worked together to create a schedule that would allow me to participate in this once in a lifetime experience and graduate on time with a major in Broadcast and Digital Journalism and minor in Business Finance.

The connections that Annenberg Career Development has, combined with the care that Annenberg advisors give each student, has allowed me to achieve a childhood dream of being a part of an Olympic Games. Yet, this story is not unique to just me. There are at least seven other Annenberg students traveling to South Korea to participate in the games and another cohort is going to NBC Sports headquarters in Stamford, CT to cover the event as well. Annenberg is a special place and this is just one of many opportunities and resources that I found here. 

Nick Alfano