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Sport Communication Students and the Unique Opportunity of IUSportCom

By Jordan Jackson

Perhaps one of Indiana SPH’s most unique majors is the sport communication program.  It is one of only a few undergraduate programs in the country focusing on sports media, and is also among the largest. When I realized that I wanted a career in sports media and began researching universities and their programs, Indiana University’s quickly emerged as the program of my choice.

Now, as a sport communication — broadcast major here at Indiana University, I see how the field is growing in popularity and thus competition; it is imperative that a student get involved during their college career with sports media companies and organizations via internships, volunteering, and networking opportunities like career fairs. For me, one such organization was IUSportCom—a student-run sports media website under the direction of Dr. Galen Clavio.

IUSportCom began in 2009 as a way to afford students a way to gain experience in sports media. They offer in-depth coverage on all Indiana University sports, as well as professional, and even some high school sports. They have departments in print, video, audio, and business/marketing. Most importantly though (for me in my experience), they are also very beginner-friendly.

I was an out-of-state transfer student, and in my first year at Indiana (my junior year, 2011/12), I had a difficult time finding ways to get involved with sports media. In retrospect, I don’t know why I had such trouble—the opportunities are myriad—but my experience was minimal; I had no idea how to properly cover a sports event, conduct an interview, or produce a video column when I first got here, and I was overwhelmed by the apparent notion that this knowledge was expected of me wherever I went for amateur work experience.

One thing that a student of any major needs to remember is that some opportunities are never going to materialize—emails don’t get answered, positions get filled, or you simply find that something is not for you. I certainly went through my share of extracurricular sports media opportunities that, for reasons like those mentioned above, did not work out.

In the Spring semester of 2012, however, Dr. Galen Clavio guest-lectured in one of my classes, and told us about IUSportCom and the invaluable extracurricular opportunities it affords students. I remember distinctly how he described frantic students who come to him in October of their senior years and ask how they can get involved (because they had not been involved up to that point), and I thought, “That’s almost me. I don’t want to be that student.”

Dr. Clavio left the class his email address, office hours and location, and the next week would find me in his office receiving my first assignment for IUSportCom (a 1000-word article on the origins of the music used in NFL Films). Within the next two weeks, I was published for the first time on IUSportCom. As quickly as that, my résumé had dramatically improved.

As the Spring semester came to a close, I received an email announcing available editor positions for IUSportCom. I was in the midst of seemingly endless internship and scholarship applications at the time and I thought, “What’s one more application going to hurt?” With my résumé handy, I applied for the Associate Copy Editor position. A week or two and an interview later, I had the position.

Since arriving in Bloomington for my senior year, my position with IUSportCom has been the primary consumer of my time. I have stayed busy going to meetings, recruiting more media contributors, and, of course, doing what I love: covering sports. All while building my résumé!

The experience, skills, and knowledge I have acquired from my short time with IUSportCom have been truly inestimable. I can say with utmost sincerity—and from personal experience as a student who once felt overwhelmed and lost—that it is a welcoming and easy way to get involved with sports media on campus, and I’m enjoying every minute of it.

Jordan Jackson is an undergraduate intern with Indiana University School of Public Health Career Services. He is a senior majoring in Sport Communication – Broadcast, and minoring in Telecommunications. His interest in sports media emerged from an innate love for sports, and a comparable passion for writing. He now writes a weekly NFL preview column for and also regularly covers Indiana University volleyball, and men’s and women’s soccer. He is from Boone, North Carolina and intends to graduate in Summer, 2013.



Categories: Career Advice Internships Sport Marketing/Management

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IUSPH Career Services

Job opportunities for Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington majors are diverse and expanding as the emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle grows around the world. Career Services experts in each of our academic departments will provide one-on-one counseling and career building opportunities throughout your academic career, from choosing the right major to developing a strategy to find a job. They can assist you with:

•career counseling
•job placement
•volunteer opportunities
•resume and cover letter preparation
•interview skills
•graduate school preparation

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