Every year, all ESPN summer interns gather for the Intern Symposium at corporate headquarters in Bristol, Conn.
This year, interns traveling from Los Angeles, New York, and Washington D.C. came to share their experiences and learn from company leaders including a panel of executives, Outside The Lines anchor Bob Ley – also known as “The General” – and ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro.
The day began with a question-and-answer session with a panel of executives featuring SVP, College Networks, Programming, Rosalyn Durant; SVP Global Data Officer & Ad Platforms, Vikram Somaya; SVP Office of the President, Tina Thornton; and Senior Director, Platform Engineering, Sujal Shah.
An eager group of interns did not hesitate to ask questions about topics including making an individual impact, the influence of technology in the workplace and finding full-time jobs after school.
The executives shared their career journeys and struggles. They advised students to manage strengths and weaknesses and to keep an open mind about first jobs.
The panelists encouraged interns to branch out and learn about all departments of the company because this will create a better business with smarter employees.
Introduced by VP Talent Acquisition, Tracey Pass, interns networked with recruiters and former interns who are now full-time ESPN employees.
Following the networking session, the former interns shared insights on their internships and advice on rejoining the company.
Stage manager Anthony Barney, a former ESPN intern, encouraged the 2018 class to email former leaders and others once a month to strengthen their networking skills. Barney also advised interns to conduct proper research before meeting with full-time employees or executives.
After lunch and networking, the interns worked together to paint six Disney-character-themed canvases, creating one large mural for a children’s hospital.
Later that afternoon, Ley spoke to interns about the lessons he’s learned in his 39-year ESPN tenure. He offered practical tips such as sending handwritten thank-you notes.
SVP Human Resources, Paul Richardson, introduced the marquee event: a sit-down with Pitaro. The ESPN President spoke about his career, fielded questions from interns and gathered feedback about company initiatives and programs.
Social content production intern Julianna Clipson (Arkansas, broadcast journalism major) and International MBA intern Zachary Garcia (Dartmouth) shared their thoughts on the day in the video below.
Paul Herlihey and Shelby L. Lacey produced the video.