SHU Student Intern at Super Bowl XLVII

At the Super Bowl are students, from left, Leah Salindong, Johanna Ovsenek and Tiffani Lynch.

News Story: March 18, 2013

Each year, millions tune in worldwide for one of the biggest sporting events of the year– the Super Bowl. This year’s Super Bowl XLVII was no different as fans gathered at home and packed the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans for the most-watched Super Bowl in history. This annual event brings in multiple broadcasting stations and media outlets, and it takes countless dedicated professionals to ensure that fans throughout the world see the big game. Three Sacred Heart students were among those professionals.

This was the third consecutive year that Sacred Heart University communication & media studies students had the chance to intern at the game through the connections of their professor, Brian Thorne. This year’s student interns were Tiffani Lynch, Leah Salindong and Johanna Ovsenek. Thorne works for NFL Films Engineering’s Super Bowl Core Group and was able to get credentials for the students.

“The coolest part about this specific internship for me is that Sacred Heart’s interns are the only interns in the entire network broadcast compound. However, they might say that the coolest part is being on the field during the game,” Thorne said.

Through a selective application process, students are chosen based on their GPA, grade level and a written description of why they deserve the internship. “I want the students to get a realistic view of the magnitude of broadcasting a live sporting event. I want them to experience all aspects of remote operations, the good and the bad. One day, they can be emptying trash cans and pulling fiber optic cable all day, and the next they are sitting on the NFL Network set or standing six feet from the end zone during the most-watched television event of the year. They are exposed to hundreds of men and women who work in television year-round,” Thorne said.

Thanks to NFL Films production manager, Tim Farrell, the interns were able to work alongside professionals on game day. They assisted the crew, performed as production assistants, communicated with various media crews and helped set up an area on the field where news reporters could do their stand ups after the game. The interns also assisted with the set up and break down of the cameras used for post-game interviews. 

“I can’t even fathom all the things I learned in just one week. Right from the airport we went straight to Media Day,” said Lynch, of Woodbury, N.Y. “When Professor Thorne was first showing us around and introducing us to our environment, I realized how much I have learned throughout my career at Sacred Heart. The best part of the week was applying everything we’ve learned on a small scale in the classroom to a huge event like the Super Bowl. Professor Thorne, along with the rest of the crew, really wanted us to learn as much as possible.”

For Lynch, who will graduate in May, the internship is a highlight of her experience at SHU. “I could honestly say the internship was the best work experience I’ve had in my life. One of my favorite parts was meeting all the amazing people associated with the Super Bowl and the television industry in general. You could tell that the crew members loved their jobs and wanted to pass on information to us interns,” Lynch added. “We met people from all over the country who come together once a year for this amazing, fun event. Even though it’s hard work, the crew was truly incredible, and I loved meeting every single one of them. I am more motivated than ever to work hard, so I can be successful in the industry that I’m even more passionate about now.”