BU’s First Annual Play it Forward

I am a huge nerd when it comes to sports, but especially sports media. I was 12 years old when I decided what I was going to do with my life was write about and commentate sports, and ever since them I was obsessed with learning everything possible about the industry. Not just the play on the field, which is my first interest, but the business behind the front offices, the way teams are built, and the way sports are run as a whole, and covered.

Being at Boston University is the single most productive thing I have ever done in my career, as the past seven months have opened more doors for me and created more learning opportunities than the previous five years combined.

Part of that is exposure and the opportunities to learn from those who have been around the industry. That’s why when I heard about the BU “Play it Forward” event in very early February, I signed up for it instantly.

I came across the event before it became widely promoted (because as a sports media nerd, I spend most of my life on the Internet) and signed up right away, knowing that it was two months away but also excited for it the entire time.

The event did not disappoint. Starting out with a panel that included former Patriots great Andre Tippett, and executives from the other three major Boston sports teams, the event had a presence right away (also, the highlight video with Imagine Dragons playing that was excellent).

Right away the issue of women in sports was tackled, and remained a theme the entire time, to the point that I wrote my story for Boston University News Service on that topic. As a woman trying to break into the sports media industry, it was important to me that these questions were asked and at least discussed by some of the most powerful people and biggest names in sports.

That topic also continued into the sports media panel, which was the one which I was the most excited for. Katie Nolan, one of my favorite sports media personalities, was excellent in talking about the same issues, as well as Kevin Blackistone and Don Van Natta also discussing the importance of getting accurate stories and keeping bias out of reporting. As someone who has seen first hand the struggles that women have to face in trying to be involved in sports, it made me feel like I am not alone in facing these issues and I appreciated that so many people at a high level are taking this issue seriously.

Of note as well was the panel on sports law, including NFL agent Neil Schwartz, where discussion ranged from college players being paid, to how early players should declare for the pros, along with talk about daily fantasy sports.

Along with getting to hear from some of the greatest and most successful minds in sports, it was also great to see and hang out with a lot of the sports media students and friends I have made over the past seven months at Boston University. Though I have always had a passion for this industry, the event invigorated my desire to be involved and keep improving and progressing.

It concluded with the sports media panel discussing how to break into the industry, and the buzzword was passion, and the emphasis was on reps and writing and constantly just doing work and putting yourself out there. I hope that is something that I can do, and hopefully at a high level. After a grueling past seven months at school, where I have learned a lot about who I am and where I stand in this industry, Play it Forward was an event that I am glad that I was able to attend and take a lot out of.

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