Sport Media major Matthew Stenberg spent the Fall 2013 semester studying at ICNYC and interning with SiriusXM. Below, Matt shares his experiences.
By Matthew Stenberg ’14
“This is the SiriusXM Blitz. Here are your hosts: . . . ”
I am the first HSHP student to participate in the Ithaca College New York City program. New York is one of the largest media markets in the country, and being a Sport Media major I could not pass on an opportunity to get my foot in the door.
. . . Bruce Murray and Rich Gannon.”
Every Monday through Friday I heard that opening. I spent my fall semester of 2013 interning for the SiriusXM Blitz, which is a radio talk show on the NFL channel. The sound was the start to each workday, and the start to an experience I never dreamed possible.
Nevertheless, it was only a piece of what made my time in New York City so special. Here were my top five favorite parts of my semester in the Big Apple.
The New York City program was very interactive when it came to overall class discussions. Every other Tuesday, all students with internships were required to go to the ICNYC center (same street, one block over from the Empire State Building) and talk about their internships and share their experiences.
In addition to the biweekly meetings, the program director, Hersey Egginton, would schedule activities for the students to partake in over the course of the semester. A trip to Governors Island was scheduled one Saturday in September, and there were a number of walks that were scheduled; some with class and some outside of class.
I took a Direct Marketing course with Michael Kaplan on Monday nights at the ICNYC center, as well as an online course. It was easy for me to manage my internship with my classes because I finished work at 3 p.m. every Monday through Friday, and my class didn’t start until 6:00 p.m.
2. Friends and Family
One of the biggest reasons why I decided to spend my fall semester in New York City was because the majority of my friends had already graduated, and a number of them moved to the city. It also helped that one of my best friends was participating in the program with me. We were in the same Direct Marketing class; and early on, she and I would spend most weekends exploring the city before work became too hectic.
My other friends spent most of the days working but would have free time in the evenings to either go out for drinks, go to ball games, or whatever else we could come up with. In New York City, the opportunities are endless.
I also enjoyed the fact that it was still relatively close to Ithaca, as well as my family in Pennsylvania. I could return to either place rather easily, and it didn’t feel like I was completely isolated (like my semester in London). It was fun being able to return for weekends like Cortaca and Applefest.
3. ’Tis the Season
The fall semester is a magical time to be in New York City. You still get to experience the tail end of summer while watching the world around you slowly evolve into some of the biggest events of the year.
Over the course of the four months in town, you get to experience three of the four seasons. You get to experience the leaves changing in the parks. You get to experience the city getting ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
November and December were both crazy months. The tourist population increased drastically and noticeably. Also, the decorations seemed to spontaneously appear out of nowhere during my stay in midtown.
I was fortunate enough to intern for the NFL channel on SiriusXM and work with some amazing people. Although I didn’t work with any other interns/peers, I was working and interacting with some big names in the sports world on a daily basis. I worked on the show The Blitz, which airs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Monday through Friday. The hosts of the show were Bruce Murray and former NFL MVP Rich Gannon. Around the office, names such as Christopher “Madd Dog” Russo, Adam Schein, and Gil Brandt were prevalent on a day-to-day basis.
Some of my tasks were basic intern jobs: grab coffee, go pick up soup, go retrieve World Series tickets for the president of the sports department while transporting $40,000 dollars worth of radio equipment (and if anything goes wrong don’t come back). Basic stuff. In addition, it was my job to screen phone callers for the air. I would ask them their name, where they were calling from, and what they wanted to talk about. Most of them were truck drivers.
I also was responsible for editing audio for interviews and operating the soundboard every now and then. On my last day, I was able to go on air for the final segment of our show. (Listen below by clicking on play button.)
5. The Land of Opportunity
Lastly, the opportunity to explore the city was far and above my favorite part. I hail from southern Virginia, so New York City is not the type of setting that I was particularly familiar with. Spending time with friends, wandering around the city, and just simply enjoying what New York had to offer made the semester fly by. There’s never a dull moment when you can walk out of your apartment and just end up somewhere (preferably not in a roadside ditch). From Central Park to Roosevelt Island to Astoria Queens, there’s something for everyone in the City that never sleeps.