Editor’s note: Front Row’s Intern Chronicles series showcases ESPN’s summer interns. This installment is written by communications intern Jordan Thomas.
For a while, it seemed more likely that University of North Carolina senior Madison Way was headed to the stage instead of the studio.
“I was a ballerina and hated sports growing up,” said Way, who is winding down her summer internship at ESPN as an event production intern. “I actually didn’t even know I wanted to do sports journalism until I was a rising sophomore in college.”
In her senior year of high school, Way injured her achilles tendon and had to quit ballet. Shortly after, Way decided to attend UNC and began working for the women’s basketball team. That year, she traveled to the ACC women’s basketball tournament. While there, she discovered what she ultimately wanted to do.
“One day, the Sports Information Director took me to the media room just to check it out and I realized that these were the happiest people at the tournament,” Way said.
After the tournament, Way decided to switch her major to journalism and dedicate herself to pursuing a career in sports journalism. At UNC, Way is a reporter, producer and anchor for the student station’s “Sports Xtra” show. She also writes sports for the student paper, The Daily Tar Heel.
Her ESPN internship has only solidified her belief that she’s on the right career path.
“I think I have the coolest internship at ESPN,” Way said. “I’ve helped with segments on X Games Munich and the NBA Draft. Sometimes, I actually cannot believe that people get paid to do this stuff. My job is to watch sports and create things for my favorite channel.
“I don’t work specifically on a program,” she said. “Instead, I work on events, and because I work in different sports, I get to do different things every day.”
Although Way is no longer a ballerina, she has managed to stay on her toes working every event ESPN throws her way, from the X Games to the NBA Draft and more.