“From Inside the Control Room”

“From Inside the Control Room”

The opportunities Newhouse provides grad students with in the first semester are endless. Although many of them have been altered in a way due to COVID-19, it only takes keeping up with your e-mail to seek something out to keep you busy.

There is not a single day that goes by on which I do not get mail from Syracuse University, encouraging me to take advantage of the opportunities I have. From covering games to watching professionals cover games is an experience that cannot be duplicated. The director of the Sports Media Center at Newhouse is Olivia Stomski. Stomski is also a well-known producer who has earned an Emmy for her work as a producer/editor. She has played an instrumental role in allowing access to students to see what is going on behind the scenes as the athletes out on the field compete.

This has been a tough year to allow access for anything, to keep it real. The fact that Syracuse University was able to have in-person classes for the majority of the semester is nothing short of remarkable. To add on top of that, Syracuse’s graduate programs (as far as I know, most, if not all of them are set up this way) are one full year, starting and finishing in back-to-back summers. Although it is great to have a master’s degree done in just one year, making sure as a graduate you are capitalizing on the given opportunities is pivotal.

So when I got the e-mail to sign-up to work a soccer match, I was all game. Although it was not more than just observing professionals work during a live event, I made sure to ask all the questions that came to my head. I made it an experience I would learn something from. I even took notes.

Having observed Stomski in the role of a producer, it is eye-opening to see how composed she is like the chaos around her ensues. I will never forget one thing she told me; “As the producer, you have to know things are going to go wrong.” Stomski said. “But you have to be the one who calms everyone down as you are fixing those issues, acting like everything is just fine when it’s really not.”

More than anything else, the access to the control room, the studios, the Carrier Dome (which is where I really want to be, covering the game as a beat reporter) has me excited and looking forward to the spring semester more than anything else.  Now, it is clear to me what I want to do in my life as far as a career goes.

Here is to hoping all of my classes will be in-person next semester, so as a one-year student, I get the full Newhouse and Syracuse University experience.

Talha Rao