June 25, 2012
Olga Khmylev is spending her summer honing her tennis and interviewing skills. While she trains and practices for her upcoming senior season with the Eagles, she is also completing an internship with an NBC affiliate in Madison, Wisc., in hopes of working toward her dream of becoming a sportscaster. Read about her experience and see her work below.
One year ago, Madison, Wisconsin was the last place I would have expected to spend my summer. Little did I know, living here would put more smiles on my face than I could ever imagine.
Starting in late May, I left my home in Buffalo, N.Y. to live with my BC roommate, and one of my best friends, Leisa, in her hometown of Madison. As if this wasn't reason enough to come, I secured two internship positions working in the Sports & News departments at NBC15, as well as became a tennis coach and hitting partner at a local country club.
I have always dreamed of becoming a reporter and producer for a national sports broadcast channel, and interning at NBC15 is teaching me all the skills I could possibly need and more. In my first week alone, I traveled to multiple cities covering all different sporting events such as track, softball, lacrosse, golf, tennis, football and even Olympic lifting!
On the news side of things, I took part in a historical moment for Madison, when I covered the recall election between Scott Walker and Tom Barrett. It was surreal because I was standing right in front of the Capital Dome where all of the commotion was going on and we were feeding live shots to the station, and being first-hand witnesses to the public's reactions once the election was called.
Another highlight of my internship came when I spent a few hours in the Dane Country 911 Center while we were interviewing one of the directors and shooting in the actual place where 911 calls are answered. There was so much technology and equipment. It was fascinating.
Overall, I could not have asked for a better experience. Every day is different. I am always in and out of the office interacting with new people and the amount of responsibility and trust that I've been given early on has enabled me to really use this is a hands-on learning experience and will definitely benefit me in the long run as I continue chasing my dreams of becoming the next Erin Andrews ...of hockey, my favorite sports (aside from tennis!).
On the tennis courts, who knew how much energy coaching tennis takes out of you?! I was close to losing my voice after my first week of teaching tennis due to the constant instruction and positive feedback that I was giving the young players. I am out on the court every morning coaching and then find a hitting partner to work on my own game, which usually ends up being one of my co-workers from the Czech Republic who used to play and coach tennis at a University in Florida.
Following tennis practice, I head to the gym. The trainers there challenge and really push me with workouts I have never been exposed to. It's a different type of training with a lot of emphasis on body weight and agility, similar to military training style. There is a room filled with sand that includes tires, ropes to climb, as well as a net that I struggle getting up after doing countless pushups and boxing-style kicks and punches. Everything is always competitive, which I love and really motivates me to push my body to the limit.
This is just the start to my summer in Madison and I can't imagine the transition going anymore smoothly. Yes, I am pretty bummed that this is the first summer in a while that I was not able to see all of my family and friends in Moscow, but I'm looking at this summer as the start to my future. I could not have asked for better internships to prepare me for my career, my job is teaching me so many life lessons (most importantly patience) and I get to live one of the nicest families I have ever met. The food is amazing (aside from the fact that I overdosed on cheese by my third day) and the people in Madison are so welcoming and friendly. I am so thankful for this experience and can't wait to see what else my summer in Wisconsin has to bring!
Khmylev also put interviewed and put together a piece for the 40th anniversary of Title IX for ESPN. She interviewed other Boston College female student-athletes and what Title IX has meant to them.The video can be seen here.