Have you ever wondered, "How’d they land that job?" or "How’d they get into the sports biz?” Well, you’re not alone. I’ve been asked a dozen variations of these two questions more times than I can count.
And, guess what - there are as many different paths to a career in sports and television as there are folks in the business. No two stories are the same, but I have found the common denominator in most success stories include setting your goals high and relentlessly pursuing them.
So, in short, here is the story of my path to this TV gig.
Sports and competition are just in my blood and I can’t imagine life any other way.
In Texas, where I grew up, Friday Night Football is practically a religion and Sundays were dedicated to church and more football. It went without saying, that from the beginning of August until the end of the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl, Sunday mornings would be spent at church followed by everyone piling into the living room, flipping on the first of several games and chowing down on some delicious tailgate foods. Sundays were all about family, food and football.
From an early age, I was always on one team or another. In elementary school, I joined the local rec volleyball team, gave softball a go, and sprinkled in a season of indoor soccer. My middle/high school was small enough (just 20 students in my graduating class!), that we all had plenty of opportunity to be involved in the sports programs. Volleyball was my favorite sport and I was on the team all 3 years of middle school and all 4 years of high school. I played basketball for a few seasons, softball one season and even ran track my senior year. While I was not an all-star, going pro kind of athlete, I always made a solid effort and poured my heart into the game.
For as long as I can remember, I knew I wanted to go into broadcasting, but it wasn't until high school that I thought seriously about a career in sports broadcasting. The challenges were many - not only is it extremely competitive to land a gig on TV, but to do so in the male dominated sports arena, was even more daunting.
When I went off to college at the University of Oklahoma, I studied Broadcast Journalism and minored in Health and Exercise Sciences. Essentially, I wanted to learn about TV journalism and understand sports exercises and injuries. So how was I going to parlay that into a lifelong career?
Well, simply put, I got involved. I tried out for and got a spot on the OU Rowing Team, I was a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, I worked on Gaylord College's news and sports shows, traveled abroad one summer, and landed an internship at a local news station.
That internship turned into an offer for a part-time job at the station in Oklahoma City thru my senior year. It helped me gain real world experience, gather tape for my reel and make some all-important business connections.
Everyone will tell you to "get involved" or "join a club" during college. I can't overstate this point enough - don't just pick something to pick something - take the time to get involved in organizations and look for opportunities that will help round out your resume and provide real and applicable experiences.
During my senior year, I searched for and applied for what felt like a bazillion jobs, went on countless interviews, continuously updated my reel, and reached out to the few connections I had in the industry. Finally, I got a call from the NFL!
Kansas City Chiefs
Here’s what I had worked so hard for! A chance to be a reporter in the NFL! Everything I had hoped and prayed for. So when the offer came to join the Kansas City Chiefs as a seasonal reporter, I jumped at the chance. It didn’t pay well, but I had a job … in my field, in the National Football League, and I was ecstatic!
My position was designed to assist their current on-staff reporter - take over community events, write off the field stories, emcee events, etc. Well, my first day on the job he announced he had accepted another position and would be leaving in two weeks.…surprise! Talk about jumping in with both feet, but here was my chance.
I was working six days a week during the season, logging long hours. Now, I'm sure you've it heard before, and I’m here to tell you it’s true - "You have to pay your dues and work your way up." It’s not always easy, it can be humbling, but you’ll learn so much along the way and it’s worth it.
Of course, my workload grew and the hours became longer, plus I had to learn his job, along with my new job, in a department full of guys who saw me as a young female right out of school who didn't know a thing about football.
It was partially true, I didn't know as much as they did. I had a lot to learn, but I wasn’t a quitter and I wasn't going to let them be right. Every day I read about football, I wrote about football, I watched practice, I listened to podcasts, and I even asked for Madden NFL for Christmas so I could play football.
I invested my time, my energy, everything into being the best reporter I could be and learning as much as I could about the sport, the team and the fans. I was editing, writing, producing, reporting, interviewing, hosting, and the list goes on.
Admittedly, that first season was rough. The team had one of the most difficult seasons in franchise history. The Chiefs went 2-14, fans created a group called "Save The Chiefs," and a horrible tragedy occurred where life was lost. It was challenging to say the least.
After eight months of blood, sweat and tears, I was offered a permanent position. I had done it! I was a full-fledged member of the team behind the team.
I worked with the Chiefs for three seasons before I felt I had maximized my time there and was itching for a new challenge.
San Antonio Spurs
Through networking in the sports world, I had a friend of a friend who worked for the Spurs and helped get my resume and reel to the top of the stack. Again, network, network, network. A strong network is crucial. It's cliché, I know, but I wouldn't be where I am today without the connections that helped open doors.
In 2015, back to Texas I went when I accepted a position in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs and Fox Sports Southwest. It was a new and exciting challenge, and the pace was far different from the NFL. Often games were back to back, nights and weekends, and from the west coast to the east coast. But, hands down, the Spurs fans made my time in San Antonio unforgettable. They are passionate and loyal and I miss their high energy and sometimes entertaining and incredible costumes.
It wasn’t long before I realized I was yearning to broaden my horizon, so I connected with a talent agent for advice. We talked through my goals, my dream job, and how to get there. His words of wisdom – “You need to be on TV every single day.” He suggested working in the news. Now, after working in sports for so long, I didn’t see myself in news. Really? News? But I wanted to grow, learn and take that next step towards my goal. So news it was.
Once again, it's all about who you know. I reached out to an old co-worker from my days with the Chiefs who was freelancing at the ABC station in Kansas City. There was a job I had applied for and, just as the last story went, that contact got my resume in front of the News Director and it eventually led to a terrific job offer.
So in the summer of 2016, I loaded up and made my way back north on I-35 to KC to be an anchor and reporter at KMBC. My role has changed a few times since I joined the crew here, but now I'm on the air everyday, for 4 ½ hours Monday through Friday. I have grown by leaps and bounds, learned a great deal, and I love being back in Kansas City!
As I said, everyone's path is different. This has been mine.
1. Get involved – join groups and organizations at your school and/or in your community
2. Internships – take what you’ve learned in the classroom and get hands on experience
3. Network – at your school, at your job, in your community, introduce yourself, shake a lot of hands and be persistent
4. Team player – be respectful, dependable, give your best effort and go the extra mile
5. Passion – if you’re passionate about your chosen field, you’ll be far happier on the journey, and, in TV, it creates a very necessary connection with your audience
Sports and television are not easy industries to break in to, but once you’re in, it’s important that you are able to adapt, are flexible, continue to learn, and, lastly, don’t forget your integrity. Also, a side note here, there will always be naysayers who criticize. Take it in stride and don’t let them distract you from your goals.
Remember, you will have to jump a few hurdles to get where you’re going and you will certainly have to pay your dues, but don't let anything keep you from pursuing your passion. I've been fortunate enough to have done just that - pursue my passions and enjoy my work. I'm so grateful for the experiences and opportunities I've had along the way and I’m excited to see what the future holds!
Are you working towards a career in sports, broadcasting, reporting, etc? Let me know and if I can answer any questions or you need some advice, please leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you!
In a few short weeks my husband Blake and I will be traveling to Europe! In order to make travel easy, we signed up for Global Entry. Our appointment was at the Memphis airport, so we made a day trip out of it! It only took about 5 minutes for me to fall in love with Memphis. Y'all, it has so much passion, culture, music, and of course amazing BBQ! It's exactly 3 hours from Nashville and perfect for a quick day trip or weekend getaway! They have done so much with the downtown area and have so many cute restaurants and shops.
We got into Memphis at about 1:00 in the afternoon. Our first stop was lunch of course. We had so many amazing options thrown our way by friends, but we chose the famous Central BBQ(the original location off of Central). It was amazing. Blake and I shared a full rack of ribs, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, and slaw. Incredible.
After lunch we decided a walk was probably a good idea so we headed to Beale Street! We were able to enjoy live music, street performances and local beer. It was a gorgeous day.
After a couple of hours it was time to head to the airport to take care of our Global Entry. If you have ever considered doing it, do it! It's so easy and worth it. Be sure to arrive 15-20 minutes ahead of time to allow yourself plenty of time to park and find the office. They have it timed to the minute, so you cannot be late!
All in all, it was a great day to be in walkin' in Memphis ;)
Outfit details below!
Shorts: Madewell, Top: Forever21, Shoes: Nordstrom Rack, Lipstick: Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture, Sunglasses: Target, Bandana: Target, Purse: Etsy
In every city I visit, I always want to explore their local eats and discover more about the culture and atmosphere of the community. Often times, I think we forget to explore our own city, even something as simple as stopping by a new restaurant around the corner. We get distracted with our jobs, our routine, and the daily to-do list and we don't think about being tourists in our own neighborhood.
When I got married a few months ago, my husband and I realized we’ve hit the Kansas City sports scene hard, but there are so many attractions, eateries, and local exhibits we’ve never tapped into. So we set a goal – visit a new place right here at home at least twice a month -- a museum, a park, a restaurant, etc. You’ll likely find us out and about somewhere in the city on the weekend, but instead of hitting up the ol’ familiar places we’ve been to a dozen times before, we’re going to intentionally discover new, or maybe just new to us, places that make KC such a great place live and visit.
This last weekend, we tried Kansas City Taco Company in the River Market. It is a quaint restaurant with a hipster vibe and stellar bar. One of my favorites things about this place...they have patio seating, which is a must in this gorgeous 70 degree Kansas City weather!
We started off with some Modelo's and the Smoked Egg Rolls. This item caught my eye because it is so different! It's essentially a southwest style egg roll covered in pico and a sriracha aioli. Yum!
For an entree, they are best known for their mix and match street tacos. Of course, you have to try the house specialty when testing a new place! We ordered the Mojo Chicken, Baja Wild Cod, Thai-Chili Shrimp and Bulgogi Pork Korean.
OH MY GOSH. The Thai-Chili Shrimp was by far the best of the four! It had incredible flavor and great spice. Highly recommend it. The next time we stop by, I'll be ordering four of those. The other tacos were delicious, but didn't hold a candle to the shrimp. The Mojo Chicken didn't have enough flavor to satisfy my taste buds, the Baja Wild Cod was great and the Bulgogi Pork Korean had a nice spicy kick.
I've also heard the Ahi Poke Tuna taco is phenomenal, so that's on the list for next time!
So if you make your way to the River Market one weekend, let me know what your favorite dish is at Kansas City Taco Company!
Location: Kansas City
In 2012, I moved to Kansas City to begin my career in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs. For three seasons, I worked for the Chiefs as their sideline reporter, hosted shows, wrote for the website and covered all of the team's events. In 2015, I moved to San Antonio to work in the NBA for the Spurs and Fox Sports Southwest. I was a part of the pre/post game show, emceed events, and produced videos for the website and in-arena. After two seasons, I came back to Kansas City to work for an ABC station, KMBC, as their anchor and reporter.
My husband and I tied the knot in Nashville, TN in April 2017! We met while we were both working in the NFL. He still works for the Chiefs, so I continue to be connected to the team and of course, I'm at Arrowhead Stadium quite often during the season.
We absolutely love living in Kansas City! There's some amazing BBQ spots, great live jazz music, plenty of farmers markets, beautiful shops on the Plaza, plus, for a big city it has a small town feel.
In a nutshell, I'm a Texas transplant, University of Oklahoma graduate, former OU Rower, sports fanatic, avid quoter of The Office, book lover and wine aficionado.
Location: Nashville, TN
I moved to Nashville, TN from Dallas, TX in 2014 shortly after graduating college and marrying my high school sweetheart. We were originally only going to stay in Nashville for a year, but decided we couldn't leave just yet. If you've ever been to Nashville, then you understand why.
Nashville is known for its southern food, views, and of course country music. However, it's so much more than that. It's one of the greatest places to be for fashion. It's an up and coming musician playing for free at your local coffee shop. It's a melting pot of different cultures of people from all over. It is the perfect mix of southern hospitality and city life.
I am currently the Director of Business Development at Scout Nashville, which is a residential real estate company that exists to make the client experience simple, stress-free, and enjoyable.
In my free time you will find me trying new foods, researching fashion trends, hiking through the beautiful parks of Nashville, traveling, and now blogging with my sister-in-law!
We are two twenty-something year old Texas girls at heart who love exploring life in our new cities. We will be sharing our experiences and adventures, while reflecting on life lessons we've learned before 30. We'll also be talking about a number of different topics - travel, sports, fashion, beauty, and delicious hot spots around town. Hope you come along for the ride!