Bradley interns at the Olympics
JUSTINE HARRIS ’11, ZACH KEESEE ’12, and ELISE DISMER ’13 were NBC interns at the 2012 Olympics in London.
Visit bradley.edu/go/ht-olympicpics for photos from ELISE DISMER ’13.
Helping NBC’s coverage of the 2012 London Games be the best it could be was an Olympian task for 10 Bradley students interning for the network in England and New York. They found the 12-hour workdays, hectic pace, and sometimes-uncomfortable work conditions paid off with memories, connections, and pride.
“There were days I was assigned four to five sports. We had to have everything correct. NBC can’t have anything go out poorly,” said MATT DeFREITAS ’13, who served as a logger in New York. Loggers watched events as they happened, recorded them, time-coded them, and used a keyword or phrase so producers could access highlights to be shown later. He logged events ranging from the United States vs. France women’s soccer opener to the gold medal basketball final between the U.S. and Spain.
ELISE DISMER ’13 had an up-close view of the action. As a “runner” in London, she delivered clothing, tickets, equipment, and food, covering all parts of the Olympic complex.
“We would touch every part of the Olympics, eventually,” she said. “I was walking through the complex, and the girls’ gymnastics team was being interviewed. They were all doing splits.”
Once she dropped off a suit to a hotel and later was pleased to see it being worn by a television announcer.
New York runners had similar experiences, according to CHRISTOPHER MORGAN ’14, who discussed basketball with WNBA star and Olympian Lisa Leslie and shared an elevator with NBC anchor Brian Williams.
“If anybody asked for it, I did it. If you can think it, I did it,” Morgan said.
Working at NBC’s “30 Rock” headquarters and in the same studio where Saturday Night Live originates was all in a day’s work for the New York interns.
“There’s more to TV than being on TV,” said DeFreitas.
Bradley’s interns were selected by NBC personnel in competition with other college students, primarily from Ithaca, Syracuse, Notre Dame, and USC.
KRISTINA PUERTO ’13 was supposed to be a runner but was shifted to shot selector for Web highlights. She said all highlight videos on NBCOlympics.com were created by interns. They also had a chance to do creative pieces, such as hers on rhythmic gymnastics. “We had free rein. It was like a playground,” Puerto said. “They encouraged us to do what we were interested in.”
All praised Bradley’s communications department and said the experience was invaluable.
MILES HIMMEL ’14 said he felt “overprepared” by all the behind-the-scenes work done by the communications department and professors. He added that his classes gave him familiarity with the equipment, procedures, and jargon he would be using. Dismer said goal-setting was included as interns prepped for the job.
“It put in our mind ‘what do you want to accomplish?’” she said. “They wanted us to make Bradley proud, and we had that in mind.”
They received support from Peoria and the Bradley community, as well as from their hometowns, high schools, and past teachers.
“It opened a door,” said MONTEL HARDY ’13, who worked in New York logging events. “I know if I put in the work, one day I can work at a place like NBC.”
“Not only did I watch, like everybody did, I was a part of bringing the Olympics to America,” Puerto said. “We were a part of history.”
– Bob Grimson ’81