As an avid sports fan, Tom Eschen '11 is in a pretty great place. Before landing his present gig, he was an on-air sports reporter and sports director in Syracuse, New York, and Flint, Michigan.
Right out of college, Eschen started out with CNY Central, covering sports for more local and regional outlets. His job was to find relevant stories and producing them on his own. Later, Eschen was promoted to weekend sports anchor, which allowed him to immerse himself further into the sports beat.
“I was able to follow and report on some great high school sports and big-time college sports as well in Syracuse University, which is valuable experience needed for this business,” Eschen said.
His Ithaca College journalism education allowed him to heighten his writing, researching, and videography skills while strengthening his area-specific professional portfolio before applying to jobs post-graduation.
Eschen minored in sports studies to fulfill the program’s minor requirement, a requirement he thinks was beneficial for his career.
“Because my goal was to go into sports journalism, I think it really helped my knowledge of the sports world, which comes into play on a daily basis in my profession,” Eschen said.
Eschen said the program taught him how to conceptualize a story, create that story for television, and present it ethically.
“In the Park School journalism program, one thing I learned that helps both in my writing and my reporting on television, is how to present a concept and a story that will grab both the reader and viewer’s attention,” Eschen said. “In addition to the presentation, [Journalism Ethics] was a key class I took that I probably use different aspects of every single day. And of course, knowing the nuts and bolts of how to work a camera or how to edit a package come in pretty handy as well.”
Outside of academics, Eschen was involved with The Ithacan, VIC Radio, and ICTV as a sports reporter. He cites ICTV as involvement that truly prepared him for his current job.
“Whether that was stacking and producing a sportscast, calling highlights, or just being on camera, getting that experience before even having a job made me ready for air at CNY Central and greatly enhanced my presence on the air,” Eschen said.
Eschen received the Syracuse Press Club A. Brohmann Roth Newcomer Award for the 2012 calendar year, an award given to “anyone new to the field of journalism within the past three years who works in the Press Club’s service area.” He attributes this award to loving what he does.
“No matter what career [a student] chooses, it won’t be easy first breaking in and getting a job, then moving up the ranks,” Eschen said. “But, if they love it, they’ll work hard to evolve with the changing times and find a place where they can excel.”