Every Experience is a Learning Experience

By Abigail Noyes

Throughout my life so far, I worked at an ice cream shop in a tourist town, a busy oceanfront restaurant and a chaotic pizza joint. I worked three separate internships in production, public relations and social media, respectively, many of which I commuted for a 40+ hour workweek. Never before in my life have I worked as many hours as I did this week–totaling nearly 80. 

It has, of course, been tiring and a lesson in stamina. Beyond that, though, it offered me countless other learning opportunities. Even when the day did not go as planned, I learned important lessons about flexibility and professionalism. On days like Saturday when the media center was slow, I re-learned the value of offering help wherever I could be useful. I also felt incredibly energized each day simply being in such a fast-paced and prestigious environment. In the communications industry, no day is so slow that you cannot make a difference or learn something new. 

Each professional experience I am lucky enough to get better informs my professional preferences for the future. I learn what I like, where my strengths lie and what areas of the communications field I should pursue. I feel eager to take the knowledge I learned and elevate my professional path. 

Goal: Draw on these experiences in every professional endeavor, no matter how small. 

The Last Two Days

For me, each day this week went by extremely slow and the last two days flew right past me. All in all, I had a great week, despite the bumps in the road. I’m okay with not every single day going perfectly. It was a really great experience and I’m so glad I went. As we left the convention center on Saturday, I couldn’t help but feel sentimental. For seven days, I spent most of my time at the convention center and I didn’t know when or if I would ever be back.

On the drive home, I looked out the window at the same view I’d seen twice a day and thought about how sad I’d be when I returned to school on Monday. Although, our driver, Winston, made that last ride all the more memorable. His energy and positive attitude was a great way to start and end our days. At one point during the drive, Winston had the whole bus singing Bob Marley’s, “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” and it was a feeling that definitely can’t be replicated. One of the last things he said that night was, “That’s what life is supposed to be… spreading joy.” I think that was a great way to end the week.

Rain Rain Go Away… Please Go Away

By: Calvin Jacey

Today was the first day that it was not perfect outside. The weather was absolutely magical this week, other than today. It was overcast this morning and was projected to rain throughout the day. Sadly, I was scheduled to work outside at Super Bowl LIVE again. I knew that it was going to be a tough day; however, it was my last day in Miami so I did my best to enjoy it. 

Right when I arrived for the 4 p.m. shift, it started to downpour. I did not care because it was still 75 degrees. I would rather have 75 degrees and pouring than 25 degrees and sunny. As I was standing out in the rain, my manager Ben called me and told me to cover the Drew Brees interview. I was so excited. Drew Brees is one of my favorite players, and for good reason. He is an excellent role model for the game of Football. He walked right past me and gave me a fist bump and said: “what’s up?” That was easily the coolest experience of the trip. 

After his interview ended, the rain really started to come down. The rain was so heavy that my team and I stayed inside the media portable for over two hours. After our two-hour break, we covered the parade, which exerted Miami culture. After the parade, I started to get really sad because I realized it was my last shift. I started to get PMD (post-Miami depression).

The Great Outdoors

I spent the entire week inside the convention center without spending much time in the fresh air, so I looked forward to today. After another morning shift in the Social Media Command Center monitoring Twitter, I headed to Bayfront Park, where the fan fest called Super Bowl LIVE was located. The event was in downtown Miami just feet off the water, where the city’s skyline towered right next to the beach. When we arrived, we took a quick walk around the park to see what booths they set up.

During the tour, we stopped to take photos at the “Casa de Crunch”, where Lindsay Rhodes interviewed Cowboys QB Dak Prescott. After the interview, he took on a lucky fan in a battle of nachos, where each contestant made their own nachos and the better dish won. It was fun to see a top-tier athlete like Prescott showing his personality and having fun with a fan of his.

We walked around the park some more to create content and then settled at the media trailer. I spent my time there editing the best photos I had taken. After working there, we walked to the dinner location which sat on the sand along the water. Enjoying some barbecue with a view was a definite highlight of the week. At that point, the sun set, giving way to the nighttime festivities. A parade danced by as colorful lights flooded the park, followed by a firework display. The excitement of the night was everything I hoped for and I was reminded of how nice it was to finally be outside.

El Fin

Walking into the Miami Beach Convention Center on the final day was a weird feeling. Although we had only been there for a week, it truly felt much longer than that. Every day offered many tasks and very few empty hours, so the constant work made the days feel longer than normal. Although these days were definitely tiring and a bit stressful, looking back on the trip as a whole has made me realize how memorable a time it actually was. I learned a lot from simply just being there, as I was able to see the many sides of the sports industry. An interesting realization I made is that, although the whole event of the Super Bowl is technically about a game, very little of what I saw all week had anything to do with the actual game itself. If I had come in not knowing anything about football or what the Super Bowl was, I might not have an answer by the end of the week. Major sporting events like this are highly commercialized, taken advantage of as an opportunity to make money and advertise a number of things. When scrolling through Twitter, a large portion of tweets were about the brand new line of avocado snacks that were presented at the media party. It seems like such a small, irrelevant topic, yet it gained a lot of traction on social media. Something that has nothing to do with football became one of the stories from this Super Bowl. Aside from this, I learned many other lessons throughout the week surrounding problem solving, networking, and flexibility, just to name a few. I’m very grateful I was able to have this experience and I can’t wait to see where it leads me next in my path towards a career in sports.

The Home Stretch

The last day is finally here. While this week has been a fun experience, the hours have been grueling. This is how an event of this magnitude has to be run and it’s a week-long grind, and grind is exactly what we all did. On the last day I worked Super Bowl LIVE at Bayfront Park for the first time. The weather was a bit gross, but the skies never opened up on us to dampen the experience. My friend Morgan and I spent the whole shift out trying to find content to send to our managers, which we quickly realized was going to be difficult because there had been 5 full days of content collected prior to our ship. The challenge was finding content that hadn’t been previously gotten, so we really worked hard to create unique pictures and videos that may be used by the social media team. We took some cool time-lapse videos of the crowd lining up to enter and finally getting in, while also attending a Chiefs pep rally that produced some cool photos with the Miami skyline. This opportunity provided a unique challenge that I am almost sure I passed. It was also an incredible way to end the week because it was different than every other shift I had. This whole week has been an incredible opportunity to gain valuable experience, and I’m incredibly grateful I could be a part of it.

Rozay 

By: Ben Pejko

 

I – I 

 

S – aw

A – n 

I – ndividual that I

D – efinitely loved in 

 

H – igh school (and still love). 

I – t was shocking

 

T – o see. I usually 

dO – n’t get starstruck but I 

 

R – eally did this time. 

I – was happy to tell my high

sC – hool friends about it. 

K – nowing that I would meet him 

 

R – eally knocks my 

sO – cks off. 

S – uper Bowl weekend

S – tarts today!!

Mud, Media, Rain, Oh My!

My favorite thing growing up was putting on my little yellow raincoat and pink rain boots before jumping from one puddle to the next while walking through Central Park with my dad. I remember laughing as the water droplets sprayed outside the puddle, creating a wider area of wet brick and concrete. It was a game for me, very much like the maze I ran through today.

Super Bowl LIVE is an outdoor, public experience full of NFL history and local companies that partner with them during Super Bowl LIV. Miami has a history of having random rain storms throughout the day, except this winter the storms have been exceptionally worse than normal. Super Bowl LIVE ended up getting flooded by the rain, making it difficult for the media to pull and set up equipment for a variety of stand ups.

However, Thea and I worked together to make the experience as easy as possible for the local CBS news channel to do their jobs. After determining a path through the mud and lifting equipment through the rain, Thea and I set out to find clear plastic bags for the journalist’s equipment. We went from vendor to vendor until we finally two, and finally the journalist was set to perform his stand up.

Watching him practice in front of the camera was an interesting experience. The amount of retakes he recorded and the different ways he approached the news fascinated me. I’m not a journalist myself, but it was interesting to see what he required in order to be successful at his job.

At the end of the day, this rainstorm required Thea and I to work together to problem solve and create a positive experience for the media that we escorted throughout Super Bowl LIVE. Even though we were drenched to the core, it’s not one that I would give up.

Shelfies and an Octopus

By Meagan Lee

One thing I was not expecting on the drive to the Media Center this morning was a giant octopus perched on the roof of someone’s car. I have to admit it is the weirdest thing I’ve seen on someone’s car, but it wasn’t the weirdest thing I witnessed today.

I started my day at the NFL Transportation booth where we assisted the media in finding the best way to get where they needed to be, whether it was their hotels or the media party later that night. I love interacting with people, so it was nice to have brief chats with journalists while answering their questions. Teacher Lisa, one of our supervisors, taught us how to take a “shelfie” which became the first of many photos we would take that day.

In the afternoon, I worked in the Social Media Command Center monitoring Twitter and gathering content for them to post. We ran around the convention convention taking photos of the lobby, displays outside, radio row and fan experience. As the day grew darker, most of us in the Social Media Command Center started to hit a wall of exhaustion. Lots of giggling ensued, as well as some pretty crazy photos. I started my day with an octopus on the highway and ended it with an attempt at a picture on a moving escalator. We definitely had some good laughs in our tired haze.

A Tribute to Winston

By: Hannah Lemke

This entire week, we’ve had a taxi service picking us up from the hotel and taking us to the convention center, driven by our lovely Jamacian driver, Winston.

Today, Winston picked up three of us from the hotel and completely brightened our day. We asked how he was feeling, only to get the response that he loved us because we’re good people and care and good people attract good people. And somehow, that one simple question turned into a 40 minute conversation. 

To paint you a picture, Winston is a reggae musician who has the most positive spirit of any one single person that I’ve ever met. He talked of how people needed to slow down in order to truly live and appreciate life, and if only people loved each other as much as they loved money in this world, then our world would be a brilliantly better place. 

He quoted Bob Marley, “When it rains, some people just get wet;others feel the rain,” before cranking the radio and jumping into song “Jamming,” serenading us with ad libs in the car. 

This one ride set the mood for today, and truly made my entire week. I only hope to find more people like Winston in this world.