In most cases, aspiring journalists have to wait until they are well established in their careers before working with some of their role models in the business. For Mike Saunders, the wait didn’t last past his junior year of college.
Saunders is a junior print journalism major at Quinnipiac. The brown-haired Norwood, N.J. native chose Quinnipiac over several other accredited universities including the University of Miami, Syracuse University and American University. It was because of his decision to remain close to home that he got a chance to work a summer job that would make a lot of sports fans jealous.
“This summer I worked as an intern for a company called Positive Impact Partners. They sponsor teams and events that range from the WNBA’s New York Liberty, Seton Hall University Men’s Basketball to Pro Beach Volleyball,” Saunders said.
On the surface, this may seem like an everyday summer internship, nothing the common sports fan would envy. This would all change with a certain project assignment handed down to Saunders by Positive Impact Partners.
“We were assigned to work at a Sports Broadcasting camp run by Bruce Beck and Ian Eagle. This was great for me since I’m a big fan of Ian Eagle and his work,” Saunders explained.
Eagle, a Syracuse alum, is the type of sports journalist that Saunders hopes to emulate. Eagle is sort of a sports renaissance man. His name is called upon to be the voice of several events, including the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament and the annual Army-Navy college football game. He has also spent nine years broadcasting the NCAA Basketball championships.
The camp was held at the Yogi Berra Museum in Montclair, N.J. The camp hosted about 50 to 60 campers who ranged from 15 to 20 years in age. The campers would spend their days recording their own sportscasts in a booth and learning about the business in classrooms. They were also treated to guest speakers like the FOX baseball and football’s Kenny Albert and the museum’s namesake, Yankee great Yogi Berra, whom Saunders got to meet and talk with.
“Yogi was great. He was really nice and talked about how he played golf just about everyday. The only day he didn’t play was when the course was closed,” Saunders said with a laugh.
While he had the opportunity to mingle with people enshrined in Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park, Saunders came away from the camp with a lot more than just good stories to tell.
“I got Bruce Beck’s phone number and e-mail address at the end of the camp. We have sent each other e-mails and I was surprised at how fast he got back to me considering how busy he is,” Saunders said.
Now that he’s back at Quinnipiac for his junior year, Saunders, though still quite modest about his accomplishments, sets lofty goals for his future.
“I’d love to work for the New Jersey Nets. Maybe as a beat writer,” Saunders said.
Considering his experience, quality education and connections in the field, Saunders is well on his way to achieving his goal.