Getting "reel" world experience interning with the Olympics

By Kaley Belval

When you're offered an internship with NBCUniversal for the Olympics, you don't turn it down. So despite my lack of knowledge about or interest in most sports, I got ready to work for the largest international sporting event in the world.

My experience was a little different than the interns who went to Sochi, Russia for the Games, as I was set to be in Stamford, Conn., with the digital team. I, along with interns from Ithaca College, Syracuse University, Bradley University and Quinnipiac University who worked in the United States for three weeks in February, had an experience arguably more valuable than some had overseas. From getting to watch every sport to learning how to log and shot select footage for highlights, I learned a great deal about Avid and a multitude of Winter Olympic sports.

Although it would have been wonderful to spend the month in Russia seeing athletes and working in Olympic venues, I was really proud of the work I did in Stamford. I got to help the editors produce highlight reels for, which proved both exciting and sometimes challenging. Working with supervisors who have amazing careers on top of getting to experience the hectic atmosphere of the Olympics was also incredible. Some of the editors had graduated from Ithaca College, and it was cool to see how far they had come since graduating a year or two before this experience.

By the end of the Olympics, I had a much broader and deeper knowledge of the spirit of Olympic competition as well as what it takes to produce it online and for television. I was emotionally drained from the triumph and defeat of the athletes, specifically the final USA men's ice hockey game and the women’s singles free skate in the figure skating competition.

The commute from my parents' house had been long — at times, one and a half to two hours each way with traffic — and I had watched what felt like more than a lifetime of Olympic skating duo Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski. I was ready for a break, or at least a weekend, after working eight hours a day, seven days a week, but as I collapsed on my bed after the final “OlyDay,” the day of Olympic competition, I felt incredibly fortunate to have had this life changing experience.


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