Athletes, stats experts, sports purists, fanatics.
They’re all around the ESPN campus, and most of the summer interns here fall into one, if not all, of those categories.
One such individual also counts beauty pageant contestant among her interests.
Candice Cruz is a former Miss Teen United States and an entrant in the recent Miss Kentucky contest. The 21-year-old is an intern with Media Technologies.
Her job at ESPN consists of ingesting video feeds to be archived on the server and on tape.
“With this particular position I have learned a lot more of the behind the scenes aspects that go into helping the network run,” said Cruz, a native of Brandenburg, Ky. and a senior at the University of Kentucky.
“I have a larger understanding and respect for everyone that works in television, regardless of the department.”
A previous internship with CoachCal.com — a web site run by Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari — was also beneficial. It was almost a pre-game warmup for what was ahead of her at ESPN.
“CoachCal.com was an amazing experience that I had as a freshman at UK,” she said. “I learned a lot about working with a flip cam, documenting, researching and interviewing — all skills that are very important for my future with television.”
In mid-July, Cruz returned to her ESPN internship after a week of competition for Miss Kentucky honors, the official state preliminary event for Miss America.
While she did not win Miss Kentucky, she did earn a $1,000 scholarship.
Pageantry has given Cruz a platform to hone the skills that may one day land her an on-air job, which would be a dream opportunity for her.
“It really helps with your people skills and interview skills,” she said. “You really have that connection with individuals and you also learn how to answer questions in the spur of the moment. In order to be a good interviewer, you have to be able to be interviewed yourself.”
Since starting her summer at ESPN, Cruz has enjoyed working on Wimbledon and meeting interns from different departments.
“I would tell anyone interested in an internship here to absorb every minute, shadow as many different departments as possible and just get here,” she said. “Being here has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.”
Editor’s note: Front Row’s David Scott was editor of CoachCal.com before joining ESPN in 2011