Ithaca, NY--While millions around the world are watching NBC's broadcast of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy, a group of students from Ithaca College has a much closer seat. Thirteen Ithaca students were selected to take part in the NBC Sports internship program, where they are joining some 10,000 members of the media covering the quadrennial athletics extravaganza.
Ithaca College was one of only six colleges and universities where NBC recruited Olympics interns--the others were Cornell, Syracuse, Iona, George Washington, and the University of North Carolina--and the contingent from Ithaca's Roy H. Park School of Communications is the largest of any single program. The interns are working in a variety of roles, from serving as a production assistant for primetime host Bob Costas to logging information from videotapes for highlight packages.
"Our students are working alongside the nation's most successful and prominent journalists and television producers, covering the most important sporting event in the world," says Dianne Lynch, dean of the College's Roy H. Park School of Communications. "For the students, it is a transformative experience; one they will never forget. For the Park School and Ithaca College, it is confirmation that they are getting the education they need to compete--and win--in one the most competitive internship programs in the media."
In addition to working long hours for the network during the 17-day run of the games, the students are posting messages to a blog that has been set up as part of their course requirements.
"By reporting back on what they are doing, what they are seeing, and what they are experiencing, the interns are giving the rest of us an 'up close and personal' view of the Olympics," says Lynch.
Luke Uttaro, a sophomore television-radio major, wrote that he has been doing a little bit of everything in his internship. "Of course I have had to do some of the not so fun jobs such as shoveling snow and programming other people's cell phones, but I have also had much more responsibility than I expected. I was in charge of running all of the cables at our venue that connects everything together and I have also helped a little with some of the editing that gets done. I have also learned so much from simply sitting and watching the crew go about their work….I can't wait to get back to Ithaca and start implementing some of the valuable information that I have learned."
And senior television-radio major Annie Grappone, in a post titled "Who Needs Sleep!" blogged, "It's 2:46am Torino time, and I've been at work since 3:30pm with no end in sight. But trust me, I'm not complaining! I am loving everything about this internship, and it is definitely one of the best experiences of my life…The people I am working with are great, and everyone is so dedicated to their job that it inspires me to give this internship my all."