Rows of tables lined up in a gymnasium with info packets; a recruiter stopping by the student center to meet students; or a video of some random company playing at the career services office.
If those are the images that come to mind when you hear the phrase “college recruiting tour,” then you haven’t been on a campus tour with ESPN’s Joe Franco.
ESPN’s Manager of University Relations, Franco works with a small team of individuals in Human Resources focused on developing ways to engage students in learning more about the company.
Franco’s team will inform students about ESPN’s internship program, job application process, entry-level opportunities and other training programs across the company.
One of the ways they do this is by providing information sessions at various institutions each semester.
I had the opportunity to join Franco as he embarked on his Fall-semester tour which began Sept. 14 at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Conn. (This fall and winter, Franco will travel to 12 different universities across seven states in the U.S., including New Mexico, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, Pennsylvania and California. View the full calendar available at ESPNCareers.com.)
In true ESPN fashion, Franco and his team approached this stop like every university they visit — as an all-out event aimed at serving fans. Or, in this case, potential future employees.
On a typical university stop, he might meet with 8 to 10 different classes, play host to an open-forum Q&A session; and have discussions with various student clubs and/or faculty groups.
The day starts at 9 a.m. and might continue nonstop for the next 12 hours.
“It could easily be 8 or 9 p.m. before it’s over,” Franco said. “We make a commitment to not leave until every student who wants to speak with us has had the opportunity to.”
On this day, we were joined by more than a dozen other ESPN employees.
Like myself, many are CCSU alums.
Franco knew he would be meeting with classes from CCSU’s Communications, Journalism and Marketing departments.
As a member of ESPN’s Corporate Communications team, I was able to share first-hand experience with students planning to enter the field.
Other colleagues answered questions relating to creative services, sales and marketing, production, programming and even global security, to name a few.
“Employees who have a connection with the university often join me for these information sessions,” Franco said.
“I serve as a company ambassador, but having alumni with me helps students make the connection that it’s possible for someone to go from where they’re currently sitting to being employed at ESPN.”
As students prepare to enter a very competitive job market, it is imperative they are aware of the qualifications needed to work or intern here, as well have an idea of who their competing against.
At a company like ESPN, the number of applicants often exceeds the number of positions.
For example, there were close to 14,000 applications for only 88 summer internship positions at the company last year.
“At ESPN, we’re looking [to hire] the best and the brightest,” Franco said.
“If I can advise students on what skills and qualifications we’re looking for, and help them prepare to become a top candidate, I’ve done my job.”
For more information about working at ESPN, visit http://espncareers.com.