College students from the Philadelphia area took part in the 8th year of College Media Night with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Students came to Citizens Bank Park earlier than usual to get a behind the scenes look at broadcasting inside a professional sport.
Participants from colleges like Temple and Drexel started the night listening to panelists talk about their careers in sports and their different roles within the company.
Michael Barnett studies Media Studies and Production at Temple University said upon being told about the event, decided to attend right away.
“This sounded like a great opportunity to meet a lot of people that worked in the Phillies organization. As a media student, I would love to have a position with a sports team, and this is a great opportunity to meet people.”
After students were ushered into the home plate suite and club entrance, they were taken down an elevator into Citizens Bank Park’s pressroom where all press conferences are held after games.
Students sat in the audience while they listened to panelists who are involved in broadcast media with the Phillies.
Panelists included Bonnie Clark, the Vice President of Communications; Gregg Murphy, a Phillies broadcaster; Rob Brooks, the Manager of Broadcasting and Chris Wheeler, a former Phillies TV analyst.
The event was moderated by Scott Palmer, the Phillies’ Director of Public Affairs, who used to be a sports anchor at 6abc, WPVI-TV in Philadelphia.
The panelists talked about what they do for the Phillies, the best and worst part of their jobs and how they got the opportunity to work for the Phillies.
Rob Brooks, a Temple Alum, got his job through engineering the baseball games on WRTI, an opportunity that started after he interned at the radio station.
Bonnie Clark told students that networking outside of typical events is important: “If I had not been at that one particular event that I didn’t want to go to, because I was tired and had a long day but was only going because a friend of mine was being honored, it was an opportunity that landed me here.” She tells students, “Meet as many people as you can in as many categories as you can because you never know where it will take you.”
Sometimes, for broadcasters like Gregg Murphy and Chris Wheeler, luck is what plays into getting the job.
Justin Choate, a student at Albright College got a lot out of the event because of how he connected with the speakers.
“It was a great experience being able to sit down and listen to people that I grew up watching and listening to.”
Before a brief Q and A session, the panelists told students some words of advice that they live by.
“When you are out, say I can do it and let them tell you you can’t do it.” Chris Wheeler told students.
Gregg Murphy said, “Someone telling me that I wasn’t going to be able to do it. And you are going to hear that in this business a lot don’t listen to them.”
“Just make it happen man, like forget about the obstacles just focus on the goal and make it happen,” said Rob Brooks, who says that the got his words of wisdom from a former mentor early on in his career.
Someimes the best advice is from the people closest to you and that is how Bonnie Clark connected with her words of advice. Her mom always told her “Just when you think you can’t just remember yes I can.” She recalls, “ She [my mother] sent me an email, she happened to be in Europe when we won the World Series and she sent me an email after we had one and she just said ‘yes you did’.”
After the Question and Answer session, students had a rare opportunity to do a press conference with Scott Proefrock, the Assistant General Manager of the Phillies.
Students finished off the night taking selfies with the Phillies World Series trophies and attending the Phillies – Braves game.
The Phillies lost that game to the Atlanta Braves, 9-6. The Phillies rallied to take a one-run lead into the 9th inning, but Dan Uggla’s grand slam provided the winning margin for the Braves.
There is another college media night on April 29th when the Phillies will be facing the Mets.
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