Back to Reality

After leaving Miami and the Social  Media Command Center one thing has never been more clear to me: I want to work in events. I’ve always wanted to work in events but never knew if that was just something I liked the idea of, or something I actually wanted to do. After working for the Super Bowl Host Committee this week, I have solidified that this is something I am very passionate about and want to pursue in my career. 

I appreciated all the moving parts that went into making Super Bowl week what it was. From the organization of everything to the creative touches, I know working in events mixes both my strengths and interests. I am so appreciative of this past week and all the people I have met along the way. Having an opportunity like this is very rare and I will forever be grateful for it. 

As a senior with only a few months until graduation I am eager to use this experience to my advantage when looking for and applying to jobs. I will remember all the little and big things I have learned and am excited to apply this knowledge in my future endeavors. 

Last Day of Work

My last day of work consisted of working in the Social Media Command Center for 12 hours. Twelve hours is a long time to stare at a screen. We favorited and responded to tweets and monitored incoming content. It was crazy though because the normal hustle and bustle of the Media Center was gone. Radio Row was completely broken down and the media were nowhere to be found. It’s crazy how fast things can change seemingly overnight. 

Before this trip I did not know how much work went into monitoring social media for a big event. After this week, I have a better understanding of what keywords to look for in Twitter searches, how to respond to questions and what to retweet to the official page. Running social media for a big event is a lot harder than it seems. 

I feel like I’ve been in Miami for a lifetime. I remember arriving a week earlier and thinking, ‘Wow, this is going to be a long week.” And now the week is over. It feels like a blink of an eye. Coming on this trip, I only knew a handful of people in our group. Some people I had never even seen at Emerson before. Now, I’m leaving with 21 new people in my network.

Another Day of Work

Today I was able to take pictures and create social media content at the 1st and Future NFL event. Seeing people pitch their innovative ideas about how to make sports safer was extremely interesting. As an athlete, I appreciate these advances as sports can cause so many injuries. Making sports safer should be a priority and it was amazing to see the NFL investing and caring  about this issue. 

After leaving 1st and Future, I worked in the Social Media Command Center and continued to monitor and interact with tweets. After five days, working in the Social Media Command Center gets a little monotonous so I was very excited to change shifts and move to the NFL Transportation table. At this table we give media information about shuttle bus times and parking information. Additionally, we help escort media to the shuttle pick-up zone.

I was stationed by the stairs, right by the shuttle pick-up door. These stairs also happened to be next to the VIP entrance. Let’s just say, I saw a lot of NFL superstars today. The most memorable though was Jason Kelce. I saw him walking down the hall and was so excited because he’s on the Eagles. As Kelce and his group approached, one woman asked me for directions. While answering the question, I started to turn and point when my pants got caught on the handrail and I almost fell down the stairs. Jason Kelce said “Woah, don’t trip.” After that, all I could do was ignore my red face and laugh it off. I felt too pathetic to even say “Go Birds.” To top it off, I also had an allergic reaction to my polyester shirt. Today was a good day.

Best Day of My Life

With only three days to the Super Bowl, the Convention Center is buzzing. Media are frantic to capture moments, conduct interviews and create content. With this, there are a lot of famous athletes, journalists and actors walking around the Media Center.

When I arrived at the Social Media Command Center this afternoon I heard people talking about how Miles Teller was here in the morning. I froze. Miles Teller is my guy. The Spectacular Now is one of my favorite movies. He loves the Eagles and I love the Eagles. I just love Miles Teller. Everyone said he left the Convention Center for the day and I immediately became upset. My one chance to meet Miles Teller ended before it even started. 

One of my jobs for the Social Media Command Center was to create content. Quinton and I went to Super Bowl Experience to take pictures and then went upstairs to Radio Row to generate more content. After getting our content, we left Radio Row and that’s where it happened. I was walking out the door, while he, Miles Teller, was walking in. I audibly gasped. Miles Teller literally took my breath away. After seeing him, my face immediately turned bright red and my legs begin to shake. I don’t know what was happening to me but I was 100% starstruck. 

Truthfully, I was satisfied with that interaction. Seeing Miles Teller in the flesh was good enough for me. But seems like fate had its way and the universe wanted us to see each other again because about 15 minutes later we saw him. This time I was able to say hi and small talk about the Eagles. Safe to say this is the best day of my life.

 Also, Michael if you’re reading this: Hi

Half Way Mark

It’s crazy that today is the halfway mark of this trip. It feels like just yesterday we boarded our flight from cold Boston and arrived in sunny Miami. So far, I’ve learned a lot about monitoring and creating content for social media and the hectic nature of Super Bowl week. I am excited to continue to take it all in and learn as much as I can. These are my two takeaways so far:

  1. Stay on your toes. Things change so rapidly that it is important to always be ready to do what is needed. Having an adaptable mindset will only help you in the future.
  2. Always have a smile. Having a smile and asking people how their day has been is more impactful than some may think. Saying thank you to the security guards or the custodians at the end of the day is simple and easy. Events like these are always so hectic and people are very busy, that just being nice will go a long way. 

I’m so thankful for the opportunity to work for the Super Bowl Host Committee and am eager to continue this learning experience.   

Adaptability is the Name of the Game

Before coming on this trip, Dr. Scott asked us all to be flexible. We weren’t exactly sure what our responsibilities would be or what we would be expected to do, but through it all we were asked to be flexible. And that is exactly what happened today.

For my afternoon shift, I was assigned to work at Super Bowl Live. Super Bowl Live is a big fan event with vendors, live music, celebrity appearances and more. At Super Bowl Live, we took photos for social media content. When we got to Super Bowl Live, we were told it would be a quiet day because almost all media would be at the Media Party. 

About two hours into our shift Veronica got a call and left our media trailer. None of us thought much about it, until she came back in and frantically said, “pack your bags because we’re going to the Media Party.” Turns out, they needed more volunteers last minute to help welcome guests at the Media Party.

Let’s just say we did not look the part at the Media Party. I was in dirty khakis, my hair was up and I was covered in sunscreen and bug spray. But duty calls and we greeted some high profile guests for about three hours. Not in a million years did I think I would be able to attend a Media Party, but it’s funny that the first time I did I was in dirty khakis and a polo. 

Highlight of My Trip… So Far

Monday was supposed to be my morning off. After working a 13 hour shift the day before, I thought I needed that morning off. On Sunday night however, Dr. Scott asked the “off group” if any of us wanted to help at the press conference on Monday morning. Although that extra hour of sleep was enticing, I knew I needed to take advantage of the opportunity.

Having never seen a press conference before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. As with everything on this trip, I was just planning on going with the flow. Upon arrival, I settled in and waited for instructions. 

At around 10:30 a.m. it was our time to shine. We were tasked with escorting the press conference panelists to the waiting room before they went into the press conference at 11:15 a.m. I was excited and nervous to escort a high profile individual. We patiently waited outside the credential area to escort the VIPs and time quickly passed by. At 11 a.m. there was still no one to be found. Finally, we were told that the panelists were already in the press conference and to quickly hurry back so that we could get settled before it started. I was disappointed with this news because I was looking forward to escorting someone to the press conference. 

After the press conference, which was very cool by the way, we waited in case anyone needed our help. After a few minutes of observing, a man frantically came up to me and asked where Radio Row was. I proudly started giving him directions before he cut me off and said “No, I need you to take him [a VIP] there now.” Finally, the moment I had been waiting for– I got to escort a panelist.

First Day of Work

I really did not know what to expect for my first day working at the Media Center. My work day started at the NFL Transportation table. My responsibilities included informing the media on when the hotel shuttles departed and returned to the hotel, where the media can park and a map of the venues. Interacting with the media was a cool experience and a great start to my time there this week.   

My highlight of the day however was working at the Social Media Command Center. A seemingly monotonous job turned into a wild experience. First, while sifting through tweets, I saw a tweet from a guy I went to high school with. What are the odds that that specific tweet popped up on my screen, on the first day? Second, and still so shocking, we found out about Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crash. When I found out my stomach dropped. I was in shock and didn’t believe it. After that happened I didn’t think I would have a good experience for the rest of the day. But then I met Sarah and Mackenzie. 

Sarah and Mackenzie, both professionals in social media and digital strategy, revitalized the Social Media Command Center. Both brought so much energy to the room that it made working, even while shocked, fun. They gave us insights on their jobs, how to effectively run social media accounts and what to expect in the workforce. Meeting them was a good experience professionally, as I was able to connect with people in the industry. However, I’m happy they were able to also provide an energetic outlet in the Command Center. 

The Joys of Traveling

The night before an early flight I am always paranoid that I am going to sleep through my alarms. A 7:45 a.m. flight means leaving the apartment at 5:30 a.m. Leaving my apartment at 5:30 a.m. means setting my alarm for 4:30 a.m., even though I will not get out of bed until 5 a.m. This system, although a little crazy, works for me. My roommate, however– probably hates it. On travel days, I need everything to go to plan, otherwise I get stressed.

Boston Logan Airport recently changed their rideshare drop off system. Before, Ubers and Lyfts could drop passengers off at the curb. Now, they drop passengers off in a designated spot in the central parking lot. My Uber driver, however, dropped our Uber off in the parking garage, different from the central parking lot. Although a minor detour, the organized planner in me started to stress. 

After a few minutes of walking and searching for security, I was pleased to see the security line consisted of only a handful of people. A short security line always eases my travel day stress and anxiety. However, TSA decided they wanted to check my bag. Cue the stress. I was certain I accidentally packed something over the 3 oz. limit. Turns out TSA just wanted to inspect the sandwich I packed. 

Once through security, I beelined it for a Hudson News store to buy the XXX acai-blueberry-pomegranate Vitamin Water. I’m not sure exactly when it started, but I’d say for the past four years, I have purchased the XXX Vitamin Water for every flight. Maybe it’s the superstition in me, but my plane has never crashed when buying the XXX Vitamin Water so I will continue to buy it. After that, I made it to my gate and I was on my way to Miami. 

 

Look good, feel good

Pants and hair. After leaving our first Super Bowl training meeting, those were the two things that stuck in my head. Where will I get suitable pants for the uniform? How will I wear my hair so that I do not play with it? Very minimal concerns but at the time seemed like pressing issues.

As soon as I got home for winter break, I told my mom I needed to buy pants for the Super Bowl. She took me to get some pants that I will be able to use after the Super Bowl as well, considering I am graduating in May and will probably need some pants for work anyways. I also got a haircut. My hair has always been long but I decided to go short. Shoulder length short. It is fun having short hair, but even better, now I know I will not be fidgeting with my hair at the Super Bowl, which was a big concern for me. 

All these concerns– cosmetic concerns– are really not a big deal, but I am a big believer in the saying “look good, feel good”. My pre-trip preparation included looking and feeling my best, so that I can perform my best at the Super Bowl. Getting pants that I know will work with the uniform and that fit well, will minimize my stress in what to wear. Styling my hair in a way that will not get in the way will help me not get distracted with my responsibilities at the Super Bowl.