Different Paths Lead Alumni Jaroch '97 and Reynolds '02 to ESPN
ESPN Deputy Content Editor Lauren Reynolds ’02 and Emmy Award-winning ESPN producer Bryan Jaroch’97 returned to the Hill on Nov. 9 to speak about their experiences as sports journalists. This was the second presentation in the SpecSpeak series, a series of alumni working in journalism put on by the staff of The Spectator, Hamilton’s student newspaper.
Reynolds and Jaroch shared with students their individual stories of graduating from Hamilton College to working at ESPN. Reynolds worked at a small newspaper in North Carolina as the sports editor then managing editor before transitioning to ESPN; she has been there for 12 years. Jaroch was a psychology major at Hamilton and has been at ESPN for 18 years; he currently serves as a managing producer for ESPN’s college football coverage.
“My job now is essentially working with sports storytelling,” Reynolds said. “I played basketball and lacrosse while at Hamilton and I was on The Spectator, so I’ve always loved sports journalism. Not a day goes by where I don’t walk into work excited for my job.”
While attending Hamilton, Jaroch knew there was no video production program that fulfilled what he wanted to do; he felt that he had to work on his own to build his experience in the industry. By graduation, he had obtained three internships in total and had studied abroad for a semester at the University of Technology in Australia. But he ended up realizing that his work experience was less important than the experiences he learned from at Hamilton.
The small classes, for example, hold you responsible as a student. I had friends at other schools who didn’t even go to class because their professors wouldn’t notice. I had to show up to class and have something to say. Skills like that are crucial after college, too.
“Don’t underestimate the value of what you’ve learned here at Hamilton and how you’ve learned here because that’s going to make you so much more attractive in the workforce,” Jaroch said. “The small classes, for example, hold you responsible as a student. I had friends at other schools who didn’t even go to class because their professors wouldn’t notice. I had to show up to class and have something to say. Skills like that are crucial after college, too.”
While the two journalists took different paths to get to where they are today, they both agreed that the ultimate driving factor that brought them to ESPN was their passion for their work.
“‘Passion’ was the one word that [Jaroch and I] kept reiterating in our conversations. And you’ll find it here. Take advantage of every opportunity you have at Hamilton,” Reynolds said. “Join sports teams, take leadership opportunities.... it’s all really important.”
Jaroch agreed, encouraging the students to make the most out of their Hamilton experience.
“You may not know where you want to go or how you want to get there, but it’s the passion that you foster here at Hamilton that will change your life,” Jaroch said.