In January of 2008, ESPN and ESPNU decided to bring more campus life into their college sports programming.
They launched the Campus Connection initiative. Campus Connection provides viewers a snap shot of campus life through the eyes and voices of the students.
It gives current college students the opportunity to be a representative of their school as an ESPNU correspondent.
ESPNU calls on its campus representatives throughout the school year to report on a variety of sports.
The expansion of ESPNU programming over the last few years has been paralleled with the growth of Campus Connection.
Some of these alumni have been fortunate enough to join ESPN full time as employees, in a wide range of positions. There are around 25 Campus Connection alumni (including myself) currently working for the World Wide Leader.
Acie Wyatt, Senior Production Manager for Campus Connection, believes it will continue to be a recruiting tool for ESPN.
“Campus Connection is a great opportunity for students to get exposure to ESPN while they are still in college,” said Wyatt.
“A resume can only say so much, so if we can work with someone while they are still in college, then we can see their abilities firsthand.”
Cassidy Caukin joined ESPN full-time in August 2010 as an Event Production assistant, just a few short weeks after graduating from Auburn University.
She spent her senior year as a campus reporter for ESPNU Campus Connection, and feels that experience played a prominent role in her becoming a full-time employee.
“Being a part of Campus Connection opened my eyes to a number of opportunities within ESPN and live sports broadcasts in general, especially event production,” said Caukin.
Laura Goldman, a production assistant, also used her Campus Connection experience to help her land a job at ESPN.
“I did Campus Connection my senior year at the University of South Carolina, and it really beefed up my resume,” Goldman said.
“Campus Connection is great, but most importantly, though, Campus Connection is really just that — a connection from students to ESPN. I met a lot of great people, kept in touch, networked, and now I’m here.”
Wyatt couldn’t be more proud of the product Campus Connection has produced and the people who have stayed with ESPN after graduation.
“I think our willingness to try new things has directly translated into growth for ESPNU and ESPNU Campus Connection,” said Wyatt.
“The [Campus Connection] initiative is a great way to find talented people.”
Students have the opportunity to experience sports broadcasting, both on camera and behind the scenes, working hands-on in event production, editing, live broadcast and more.
Working for ESPN is a dream for many people, but making that a reality is not necessarily an easy task.
Having a link to the company always can help, and Campus Connection does just that.
Caukin added: “I think once the students who really want a career in this industry get a taste of what it would be like and gain experience working for Campus Connection, it makes them work harder to reach their goal– and staying involved with Campus Connection is a great way to do just that.”
For more information, email [email protected].