Olympic training

Freshman Hollie Huntley explains her qualifications to Michelle Noe ’98 during a mock interview.

By Abby Rhodes
April 28, 2011

Olympic pride runs in freshman Hollie Huntley’s veins. Her aunt is an Olympic medalist and Huntley came to Bradley to pursue her own Olympic dream – putting her sports communication education to work for the world’s greatest games.

Less than one year into her Bradley Experience, Huntley has a shot at making that dream come true by helping NBC Sports cover the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. NBC representatives will be on the Hilltop this week to interview more than 40 communication majors for highly selective Olympics internships.

“I’m hoping my deep connection and love of the Olympics will come across in my interview, and I’m looking forward to sharing specific examples and personal stories to demonstrate my qualifications,” said Huntley.

When the news came last month that NBC would be courting Bradley students for production positions in London and New York, faculty and staff across campus and the Bradley University Communication Alumni Network mobilized quickly to prepare each applicant for the interview of a lifetime.

“From the president’s office on down, everyone recognizes our students are on the brink of a golden opportunity to get practical experience working for one of the world’s greatest media organizations at the world’s premiere sporting event,” said Dr. Paul Gullifor, chairman of the Department of Communication.

Applicants went through a series of mock interviews with alumni and Smith Career Center staff, including videotaped interviews that were later critiqued by communication faculty.

“To see a video of yourself interviewing – the facial expressions, hand gestures, the ‘ums’ and ‘ahs,’ and all the works – it’s a very valuable tool that students have appreciated as they prepare for this interview and future interviews,” said Kim Dunn, assistant director of the Smith Career Center.

The students realize they are up against stiff competition in an Olympic trial of their own. Bradley is one of just five universities included in NBC’s candidate pool.

“The technical resources in Bradley classrooms and production facilities are amazing, the faculty are fantastic, so I think the students here have a leg up on just about anybody vying for these internships,” said Brian Williamsen ’98, who organized and participated in the mock interviews. “I’m telling students to use their great Bradley background to their full advantage.”

Interns will fill a variety of production roles for NBC during a period of three-to-five weeks next summer. If she is selected, it will be Huntley’s first-ever internship. For each of Bradley’s Olympic hopefuls the skills acquired this semester will last a lifetime.

“Preparing for these interviews has been a tremendous academic exercise, a wonderful collaboration on many fronts, and has given these students skills sure to enhance their careers,” Gullifor said. “In my 22 years at Bradley I have never experienced a more energizing, unifying opportunity.”