April 15, 2011
BERKELEY - In early March, California women's soccer midfielder Katie Suits was given the opportunity of a lifetime: participate in the 2011 NCAA Sports and Entertainment Summit. The weekend-long workshop gave Katie Suits and fellow Golden Bear Tori Harrison, who plays lacrosse at Cal, as well as other student-athletes from across the country to explore the sports and entertainment industries. They heard speeches from and got to talk to professionals who currently work in the field of entertainment arena, sports and media talent along with sports media executives. CalBears.com grabbed some time from Suits to find out how things went in La-La-Land.
CalBears.com: Describe your overall experience at the Summit?
Katie Suits: My experience was amazing. I had such high expectations going into the Summit, and the weekend completely surpassed what I was hoping for. It was a once in a life time opportunity to be able to network with professionals in the field that I one day dream of working in. I met so many incredible student athletes that I felt like I had known for years after two days. The experience encompassed everything I was looking for as far as being educated in the sports and entertainment industry.
CalBears.com: What was the best part?
KS: I think the best part was meeting all the people that I did. I made so many strong connections with friends from all over the country that I hope to someday work with. I loved hearing from and talk to the many acclaimed professionals such as Shelley Smith and J.A. Adande that do exactly what I dream of doing and I was able to hear their life stories and the steps they took to get where they are.
CalBears.com: What was the community service project that was involved in the weekend?
CalBears.com: What were your thoughts on potential career options for you before the Summit?
KS: I have wanted to be on television since I was a kid. I have no shame in front of the camera. I have been watching college basketball and other sports with my dad since I was younger. When I got really into soccer, I put two and two together and decided I wanted to be a sports broadcaster. I knew exactly what this Summit was going to offer and knew I had to go if I wanted to learn as much as I could to get there. I have always wanted to be involved in the sports media industry so this was perfect.
CalBears.com: What was it like to represent Cal?
KS: Representing Cal was awesome! I was so proud to stand up, along with Tori Harrison from lacrosse, and say that I was one of two people out of the 100 there that attended the California Institute and knowing that I was from one of the most, if not the most, prestigious schools of any schools that were represented there. I even threw out a GO BEARS! when I introduced myself the first day because most of the kids were from the Midwest and East Coast.
CalBears.com: Were you and Tori roommates or did you room with someone from a different school?
KS: Tori and I did not room together, but we actually spent quite a good amount of time with one another. We were together during the down time and the community service project and we for sure bonded. She's awesome. However, the girl I did room with was also such a great girl! She was from the Bahamas and ran track on the East Coast and we got along extremely well for such a short time.
CalBears.com: What was it like to interact with student-athletes from all over the country?
KS: It was so much fun to meet and greet kids who I had never met before, but all had such outgoing, personable characters. We were all there eager to learn and meet one another so it was easy to get along and get to know one another. By the second night, we were all dancing together and laughing and making jokes like we had been there a week. I truly made some great friends and we even started a Facebook group that we have all been keeping in touch with each other on daily! We are actually in the process of planning a reunion.
CalBears.com: What was the selection process like for this? How did you hear of it?
KS: Allie Rowe actually sent out the information on it and she said the first five people that were interested would get further notice about it. So I literally jumped on it as fast as I could and called her. I had to fill out some typical info - school, conference, sport - and then I had to submit a resume and apply. The process was open to about 400 other student athletes, and I was so ecstatic to be one of 100 in L.A.
CalBears.com: Which professionals did you most enjoy hearing speak?
KS: I met so many incredible professionals. I met Shelley Smith, an ESPN reporter, J.A. Adande, who also works for ESPN, Shannon Cross, who is the head editor for ESPN.com, the senior writer for Sports Illustrated and the head broadcaster for Fox Sports Radio. Harvey Mason, who is the music coordinator for major performers like Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, and many more amazing people were also there.
CalBears.com: How did the Summit influence and/or affect your current thoughts on your career path?
KS: I have a lot of work to do. I was kind of thrown off at how these professionals started and how many internships they had had by my age. Yet at the same time , not all of them were athletes. I need to start taking action in my career now, rather than waiting to get out of school, I should start doing as much as possible here at Cal and in the summers. I have a long way to get where I want to be, but I feel like I have a much better idea of how to get there and which steps to take.
CalBears.com: Do you have any past internships in this field? Do you have any planned?
KS: I do not. I have good experience in the public speaking area, but I need to start writing more. I plan to get in contact with people I know can help me get my foot in the door after my next fall season and get going in the spring.