Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Drexel Connection: Mike Mazzeo

This week the Drexel Connection spotlights Mike Mazzeo. Mike currently writes for ESPN New York covering New York Sports but more specifically the Brooklyn Nets. Mike graduated Drexel with a sport management degree in 2010. Mike also now holds a spot on the Drexel Sport Management Student Union advisory board.

While at Drexel, he had his first co-op with the Triangle and two with Comcast Sportsnet working behind the scenes of what used to be known as “Daily News Live.” During his senior year he took part in a 9 month internship at Philadelphia Daily News as a general reporter covering just about everything they through his way. Over that period of time he became friends with a man by the name of Ian Begley.

After Mike’s internship was over, he received a phone call from Ian offering him a job to cover high school sports for ESPN New York. Mike kept writing and writing and eventually was given a “promotion” of sorts to cover the Brooklyn Nets where he was mentored by Chris Sheridan. Mike just kept gaining experience and has been covering the Nets since.

I asked Mike what a typical game day looks like.
“A typical game day starts with me getting up at around 8-8:30 and getting at Shootaround at East Rutherford at 10:15 to hear the players talk and ask them any questions I might need with a story I am working on. Then I usually write a preview for that nights game after the morning press conference. At around noon I head back home and try and get a nap in around 1PM. At 5:45 Jason Kidd talks to the media in the Barclays Center so at this time I am, once again, ask questions to Jason about a story I am working on. Right after Jason speaks, the locker room is open to where I can go in and ask any players any questions I might need answered. Around 7:30 the game starts to where I start something called Rapid Reaction. These are bullet points of things that are going on or happen during the game. At the buzzer I file my rapid reaction and then get to talking to Kidd and the players. After the game I like to write at least 1 post game blog and something for the morning. Around midnight I end up going home and look over all of my work to see if I missed anything or if there is anything I need to revise.”

What’s your favorite part about your job?
“I have friends who are lawyers, doctors and so on and those people look forward to the weekend to get away from work for a little while but for me my passion has become my job. Growing up I followed the New York teams so I have become lucky enough to cover the teams I grew up rooting for. Another thing I like about my job is that it doesn’t really matter if we are winning or losing because both produce stories. Some of my best stories actually have come when the team was getting blown out in back to back to back games. Most of all, the thing I love about my job is that it doesn’t feel like work and for that I feel very fortunate.”

Lastly, what is the biggest piece of advice you would give to people trying to get into your profession?

“First, I would say write as much as you can and get your stuff published. The best place to do this is writing for your school newspaper and any type of blog. I’ve noticed that even some of the SB Nation bloggers are high school kids that are covering a specific team or topic. Being active in your blog community is very important because this is where you can get noticed. Second, Take every opportunity! Never say no to something. 90% of success in life is showing up. Everything you do will help you in the future and to that I would also say find someone in your industry who respects you and have them be your mentor. Another tip I would give, which this generation shouldn’t really have a problem with, is staying up with technology. Especially in the sport field, Social Media is huge. I remember when I started Twitter was just getting going and now its massive. Lastly, I would say start as a freshman. Don’t waste that freshman summer!”


Lindrit Shkodra is originally from Diber, Macedonia but lives in Maple Shade, NJ. He is a sophomore in the Sports Management program and is currently the Treasurer of the Drexel Sport Management Student Union. He currently works for KCB Sports Marketing. In the past, he has work experience with Ron Jaworski's Celebrity Golf Challenge and Ridgewells Catering at the 2013 U.S. Open.  Follow Lindrit on Twitter @LindritShkodra.

Connect with Lindrit Shkodra on LinkedIn

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