ISU alumni, Phil Bedella, talked Monday about his experiences working with the sports media industry and what it takes for students to achieve their goals.
Bedella told many stories about some of his jobs in his sports career, including with the Chicago Cubs and Comcast Sports Net. He said there was a point when he thought being a sports reporter was not for him, but ISU faculty member Tom Lamonica changed his perspective.
Since then, Bedella has had experience with many different companies and continues to love his career no matter what the pay is.
“I learned just how to get a job in communications and what kind of opportunities there are in a professional sports team setting,” Kevin Sullivan, senior mass media radio major said.
“I liked most of [Bedella’s] stories about the funny things that kind of happened along the way and how he started from the bottom, especially with the Cubs.”
One of the interesting moments in the earlier parts of Bedella’s career was sharing a two bedroom apartment with five other Chicago Cubs interns near Wrigley Field. Bedella said all he had was a bed and a fold-up lawn chair, but he knew he could not have the internship if it meant traveling from a far distance.
Bedella also took a $20,000 pay cut after leaving the Cubs and beginning his job with CBS Radio. He said he received many promotions with the Cubs but knew he could not advance any further with the company. His biggest turning point in his career was working with Fox Sports Net as a local sales manager. From there, he moved onto the Comcast Sports Net, being one of the first people to be hired.
Overall, Bedella wanted students to know that the number one aspect a person should have in their career is hustle. If a person has hustle, the right attitude and is willing to work hard then good things will come to them. He also said that it is important to network, cultivate relationships and get involved during school. Bedella was a writer for The Vidette and a Redbird Athletics Communication intern while at ISU.
“Networking is the key to getting into a position of your dreams,” Derick Downey, second year graduate student in communication said.
“Internships are incredibly important because whether you get paid or not, you are making connections and through those connections potentially a door can open up towards your dreams.”
Bedella wanted students to note that connections and job opportunities can happen anywhere. Someone can do something as simple as volunteer at a company event in order to show future employers their hard work and dedication.
“It does not matter what path a person takes toward their dream, as long as that path shows their full potential,” Bedella added.