Page 27 - Foxtalk Winter 2012

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27
Winter 2012
Sports comm major gets in
touch with his feminine side
BY
PHIL TERRIGNO ’12
Photo courtesy of Phil Terrigno, ‘12
T
he website iVillage.com
is an
online community owned by
NBCUniversal that caters
to women’s interests in topics such as
health, beauty, entertainment, food,
pregnancy, and home and garden.
Based in New York City, the site
utilizes social media, news stories, mes-
sage boards and interactive slideshows
to attract more than 30 million unique
visitors per month.
What qualifications would the
ideal iVillage.com internship candidate
possess?
Would their resume tell the tale of a
male sports communication student that
was heavily involved in their school ’s
newspaper, television and radio media
outlets while also serving as captain of
the rugby team?
To most, it simply wouldn’t. To a very,
very kind hiring manger during the
spring of 2010, it did.
Yours truly, now a Marist College se-
nior, spent the summer after my sopho-
more year as an intern with iVillage’s
health section.
iVillage was not my first choice intern-
ship since I sought to pursue other ven-
ues in news and sports but the position
proved that secondary work opportuni-
ties can have value.
While many of my friends who were
also interning in Manhattan spent their
days logging sports games and transcrib-
ing interviews, I was getting up close
and personal with Jillian Michaels.
Although I never actually met the
celebrity personal trainer and reality
show personality, I feel like I got to
know her well enough through my work
at iVillage.
One of my main assignments was to
maintain a blog about the NBC televi-
sion show ‘Losing it with Jillian.’ During
the program, Michaels would focus
on one overweight family to visit per
episode. Over the course of six weeks,
the family would improve their diet
and fitness routines. At the conclusion,
Michaels would gauge the family’s prog-
ress and have a final meeting with them
at the program’s conclusion to discuss
how they had done.
It sounds like a feel-good program—
and at its core, it was—but Michaels’
overbearing personality was hard to
watch during training sessions. Even
now, when looking at some of my old
posts, I get a laugh at the manner in
which I tried to lightly convey that
Michaels’ was expecting the show’s
obese participants to exercise at a high
intensity level.
After years of covering live Marist
sporting events, this was a change of
pace in reporting styles. I kept telling
myself to sit back on the couch instead
of leaning forward to make sure I tran-
scribed every word correctly.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was taking
place during the time of my intern-
ship. I watched nearly all of the games
since there was a television located
directly above my desk. In good faith to
the company, I took it upon myself to
develop a way to incorporate all of the
soccer that I’d watched into content for
the website.
“Work Out Like a World Cup Star”
was the title of the slideshow that I came
up with. The effort paired eight interna-
tional soccer players with an accompa-
nying workout based on the particular
skills that player possesses.
I used Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro as one
of the athletes. As a defensive player, he
relies on having quick feet and agility to
play his position. I paired a photo of him
with a jump-roping workout as a simple,
yet effective means of improving overall
fitness and foot speed.
During the summer following my
junior year, I was applying for an intern-
ship with Major League Baseball ’s
public relations department. In my
cover letter, I mentioned my experience
working with a female demographic and
how crucial it would be for the league
to market specifically to women. I did
this thinking that this was an angle they
hadn’t heard from a male student before.
Positive experiences and opportunities
to learn are available at every intern-
ship, unpaid or paid and regardless of
the company’s size. In my case, not even
gender roles applied and I benefitted
from it.