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Lax In The City – 8.2.12: Part One

Aug 2, 2012, 3:06 PM EDT

Notre Dame rising senior women’s lacrosse player Emily Conner has a dream internship for a sports fan this summer, as she is interning with ESPN in New York City in its Marketing & Sales department. Within the department, the Alexandria, Va., native works on the asset management team in the consumer marketing solutions department. The 10-week internship will offer Conner a chance to explore the fourth biggest city in the world, while working for The Worldwide Leader In Sports. Conner graciously volunteered to keep a weekly blog for Irish UNDerground, which will offer a small glimpse into her busy life this summer. Here is the fifth entry in the summer series: Lax In The City.

With only two weeks left in my internship, I wanted to take a quick look back at some of the highlights of my summer. So without further ado…

Bristol – All the interns went to an Intern Symposium in Bristol last week. We toured the entire ESPN “campus.” It was amazing. My favorite part was seeing all the different studios. You never quite realize the differences in size of each studio when you watch the shows on TV. Some were multiple stories high and the size of a basketball court, while others weren’t much bigger than my dorm room (and I lived in Lyons Hall, so that is pretty small!). On our tour, I was the biggest creeper looking out for ESPN celebs. I saw Adam Schefter, Samantha Steele (the new Erin Andrews) and SportsCenter anchor Robert Flores. And to top it all off we got to see all the head SEC football coaches. Of course they aren’t nearly as cool as Brian Kelly, but still pretty great!

John Skipper – For the first time ever, John Skipper, President of ESPN, addressed the entire intern class. With his charisma, it is no wonder he worked his way up to being president. He spoke to us about being fired from one of his early jobs as a magazine editor. Who would have thought? He gave us a lot of good advice, and mostly harped on the importance of getting out of our comfort zones and never being afraid to take a risk. I think every intern was inspired.

Stump the Schwab – True or false: I had dinner with Howie Schwab and felt completely incompetent. TRUE. Absolutely true. The man knows EVERYTHING about sports. He really did have Encyclopedia-like sports knowledge. How he ever lost 16 rounds of Stump the Schwab is beyond me. Watching me try to keep up with him was probably an entertaining sight. I thought I could name drop sports trivia with the best of them, then I realized what the BEST entailed…

Celeb Sightings – I’m not proud to admit it, but I have an addiction to celebrity gossip. I really can’t get enough – unless we are talking about the Kardashians, who I wish would just go away already. So of course, living in New York, I’ve been keeping my eye out for celebrities. The first celebrities I saw were Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd, who were filming a movie at my coffee shop. I stood there watching them for a solid half hour until I realized how boring filming movies are!! It takes hours to film one short sequence and I have the attention span of a gnat. To top that, I stood two feet away from Snoop Dogg in Times Square. I stopped in the middle of the crosswalk and just stared. He didn’t notice.

NBA Meeting – My roommate and I set up a meeting with the “Media Guru” of ESPN. It was both incredibly entertaining and informative. At the end of our meeting, she asked if we wanted to sit in on her NBA meeting. Of course we jumped at the chance and I’m so glad we did. While most of the information we talked about was proprietary, I can still say that seeing how NBA viewers are targeted and also how the NBA has started to gain more momentum the past 6 years was fascinating.

Friendly (most of the time) rivalry with my boss – My boss hates Notre Dame! He went to Penn State. I’ll leave it at that. GO IRISH!!!

Yankee Game – I was told it was something I had to do while in the city, so when one of the other interns offered me tickets, I jumped at the chance. Now I’m not a Yankees fan, but I felt like I was that day. I even coughed up half my paycheck to buy a sweatshirt. There really is nothing like the new Yankees Stadium. It is beautiful and the crowd is electric. For the first time in my life (and quite possibly last), I actually yelled “Go Yankees!!!!!” My parents would be ashamed.

Fourth of July – As I wrote about in my previous blog, this was a surreal experience – albeit hot dogs will never be the same.

Brooklyn HeightsCarrie Bradshaw: New York Magazine says Brooklyn is the new Manhattan.

Miranda Hobbes: Yes, but whoever wrote that lives in Brooklyn.

Make fun of Brooklyn all you want, but I love this place. I was one of the lucky interns who qualified for housing through my internship. ESPN put me and five other interns up in Brooklyn Heights. People at the office refer to us as “Real World: Brooklyn,” but I promise we are much better behaved than our reality star counterparts! Not that that’s saying much. Still, I have had the best time here. It is quieter than Manhattan but still has a lot of the same great things to offer. One of my favorite parts is the Saturday afternoon festivals by the pier. A couple weeks ago I went to one for the new Brooklyn Nets NBA team. Good food, good music, GREAT people watching.

Pizza – If you are ever in Brooklyn, go to Grimaldi’s Pizzeria. The line is worth it and no pizza will ever compare. And I can say that in all honesty, because I think I’ve eaten at every pizza joint in the city. This addiction has got to stop soon or else I won’t be able to carry myself across the line when I take the run test in September.

As much fun as all these things have been, my highlight of the summer has been…

Proving myself – Every week, we have a group meeting where my boss gives different members of the group their responsibilities for the week. I usually always sit there and listen, and sometimes, he will ask me if I have any questions. The last couple weeks he has started giving me more tasks in the meeting. These aren’t just busy work kind of tasks either. This week, I was thrilled when my boss started out with my tasks for the week and actually said, “You will be the point person on this…” Feeling like you are trusted with important information and jobs as an intern is the best feeling in the world. It is like the first time your coach tells you to take off your jacket because you’re going in. I didn’t realize that you could have the exact same adrenaline rush in a desk job. With that said, I have a lot to do today…

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