Michael Huberman ’10 has been backstage with Kobe Bryant, President Bill Clinton and Herschel Walker. He’s on the ESPYS social media team and helps to produce 30 for 30 Shorts.
Basically, he has the dream job of every sports fan.
Q: What is your title and how would you describe your job?
A: I’m a development coordinator for ESPN Films and I work on our Emmy-winning 30 for 30 Shorts, where every day is truly different. In the beginning of a project, I might be deep in ESPN’s vast media library researching archival footage. After the filmmakers have their video, I format and produce all of our shorts for both digital (Grantland, ESPN.com, AppleTV, Roku) and non-digital (TV, film festivals) premieres. We really benefit from traffic on Twitter, so I’ll come up with copy for our films for the folks at @ESPN, @SportsCenter, and other social accounts for sharing. I also coordinate various special projects, from shoots for our films utilizing ESPN talent, to coordinating director’s statements featuring our filmmakers.
The 30 for 30 brand, shorts and long-form films, has developed a really devoted following, so we constantly operate under the mission that we need to surface our content at the highest level. The work associated with that challenge is what makes my role so fulfilling.
Q: Who are some of the athletes you’ve been able to work with?
A: It seems like a different athlete, actor, musician, etc. visits ESPN every day.
I was part of the ESPYS social media team and one of things we did was our #DontEverGiveUp campaign, where we encouraged people to share who inspires them across their various social media platforms. I was really happy to be part of a initiative that helped raise so much money for cancer research, and I got to meet some great people along the way.
Through that initiative I got to work with Rajon Rondo, Jon “Bones” Jones, Vernon Davis, Mark Herzlich, Chris Weidman, and Stuart Scott. I was blown away by how kind and affable UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Bones Jones was. For someone who makes a living in such a barbaric sport, he couldn’t have been a nicer guy. I’m a huge Celtics fan so meeting Rondo was also a big highlight.
Q: What is the coolest thing you’ve done while working at ESPN?
A: Working at ESPN, you get a ton of incredible opportunities to work with well-known individuals. But for me my experience at ESPN’s Kids and Sports Town Hall in California was the most memorable. The purpose of the town hall was to elevate the discussion about the most important issues currently facing our young athletes.
Working the event was a privilege, and during the event I found myself backstage with Bill Clinton, Kobe Bryant, Matt Kemp, and Herschel Walker. To be in such an intimate setting with a former President of the United States, one of the best NBA players of all-time, a former National League MVP, and without a doubt one of the most incredible athletes of the past 100 years was truly an unforgettable experience.
Q: As a political science major, how did you end up at ESPN?
A: After I graduated in 2010, I went to D.C. to work as a policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Labor. As a political science major I felt this was the field I wanted to pursue but over time that changed. As I was at Labor, I also worked as freelance digital media producer at Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic on weekends. With CSN I got a ton of really valuable experience, from writing and social media to video editing and producing, which is what led to ESPN. I should add that my interest in film has really helped me in my role, and I owe Professor John Bruns a lot for helping change the way I look at film. I definitely try and take some of things I learned in his classes and apply them to my job.
Q: What was the ESPN application/interview process like?
A: I actually originally applied online. To start I had an introductory conversation with an HR recruiter, and from there had multiple phone conversations with the woman who would be my manager in the Digital Media Associates (DMA) program.
RELATED: Apply for the DMA program.
Later they flew me and several other candidates to ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn. for an all-day interview. I interviewed with folks from ESPN the Magazine, ESPN FC, etc., then I had a panel interview with four influential individuals in ESPN’s digital media world. It was one of the longer days of my life, but in the end completely worth it.
Q: Were you really into sports in high school and college?
A: I played basketball in high school and I continued playing intramural sports at the College, including basketball, flag football and softball. ESPN has a lot of great sports offerings as well.
Q: What advice would you offer current students?
A: Beyond taking full advantage of your time in Charleston, I’d say be willing to make sacrifices for something you really want to pursue. For almost two years I worked seven days a week and while that wasn’t optimal, it absolutely helped me get to where I am at ESPN.