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September 7, 2009


-- Opinion --

Working at ESPN would be outta sight

By Clare Hern

Reporter, Youth Journalism International


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Youth Journalism International reporter Clare Hern with ESPN anchors Chris Berman, left, and Bob Ley, right.

Youth Journalism International

BRISTOL – When someone asks me what I want to be when I grow up, I usually say something along the lines of “I’m not sure yet.”

But I believe that I’ve found a place where I would truly enjoy going to work every day – ESPN.

I’ve been a sports fan my whole life, so a job in a place that revolves around sports hardly seems like work to me.

Watching the employees at ESPN inspired me to consider an occupation involving sports.

Everyone there seemed enthusiastic about what they were doing. Everyone I saw was cheerful. It just seemed like such a great place to be.

People sat at computers watching live sports events, creating highlight reels, sometimes to air on SportsCenter in a few hours.

Others worked backstage producing segments of SportsCenter, or made calls in offices to line up coverage for upcoming events.

There seemed to be thousands of different departments, which makes sense considering how widespread ESPN is. There’s ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNU, ESPN360, not to mention ESPN Radio, ESPN Magazine, and, well, you get the idea.

There are so many things associated with ESPN now that it’s hard to imagine that the company started 30 years ago with only three people.

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John Tejada, an ESPN assignment editor, said he likes working at ESPN, where he covers Major League Baseball. He said he always asks for bobbleheads when teams are giving them away to fans at the ballpark. He has a special rack for his Yankee bobbleheads.

Kiernan Majerus-Collins/Youth Journalism International

Today, there are almost 6,000 employees at ESPN, most of them working at the headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut.

The ones I saw – from the security at the front desk to the president of the entire company – were friendly, welcoming, nice, and just generally happy.   

Not like there was any reason not to be. When there’s Madden 2010 in the café and a basketball court (complete with an ESPN scoreboard!) just outside to play a pickup game when you’re on break, who wouldn’t be happy?

I think the kind of satisfaction I saw in the employees at ESPN is because they’re happy in their work. When you hate your job, you tend to be crabby and obnoxious, which is quite the opposite of anyone I met there.

So when I saw all of these ESPN employees, all I could think about was how cool it would be to work there.

Getting paid to watch the Yankees game?! Awesome! This is the perfect job for any sports fan. You’re surrounded by sports all day long.

At ESPN, the office suddenly turns from a huge room of boring cubicles to a huge room filled with tons of TVs. That’s not to say these people weren’t hard at work, because they were.

Maybe the magic would wear off after a while of working there. But I can’t think of a better place to spend a day at work.

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