On Monday, April 10, StagsTV hosted Fairfield University alumnus and executive producer of “E:60” and “Outside The Lines” Andy Tennant ‘94 in Xavier Hall as he spoke to several students about his past experience here at Fairfield and his time in ESPN.

Initially, Tennant came to Fairfield on a soccer scholarship as he was the Stags goalkeeper and majored in film and television.

Tennant had nothing but good things to say about his time here at Fairfield. “I will never forget what Fairfield gave me at a certain critical point in my life, my late teenage years, my early adult years. I wouldn’t be where I am today without Fairfield University.”

He discussed the importance of giving back to where you came from, adding that he’s “here to give back and to do that for the students who are here and hopefully they can take a little something out of our conversation tonight and it will go a long way for them,” added Tennant.

During his time at Fairfield, Tenant got an internship at WABC TV in New York with the local 6 p.m. news in the sports department. His responsibilities included watching games, logging what was happening and putting together highlights for the 11 a.m. news. Tennant made several sacrifices as he worked three nights a week while also managing his strong workload at school. While many of Tennant’s close friends were going out, he was going to work.

But all the hard work would pay off for the Fairfield alum as he landed an interview with ESPN where he impressed the interviewee with his lone internship experience that he got through Fairfield. After graduation, Tennant would go on to work at ESPN starting in August 1995. Starting at entry level, Tennant worked his way up the ladder working in ESPN’s top shows like SportsCenter, College Gameday, Sunday NFL Countdown and many more.

Tennant emphasized to the students how important it was for them to reach out and look for internships in their time at Fairfield.

He shared the importance of internships, saying, “it is one thing that potential employers look for. It shows experience, aggressiveness, passion, curiosity.” He pushed the students to be aggressive about internships opportunity as it is key to land a great job after graduation.

Tennant is currently the producer of “OTL” and “E:60.” “OTL” is a daily show that airs at 1 p.m. Bob Ley, a Seton Hall graduate, considered to be the face of sports journalism, is the show’s host and the longest tenure commentator on ESPN. Tennant meets with Ley everyday bright and early at 7 a.m. to discuss which guests to invite to the show, what’s out there in the news and sports world.

“OTL” has covered several groundbreaking sports stories, most notably the Baylor University sexual assault scandal that involved the football team. The show gave a voice to the victims and led to the ousting of the president, athletic director and head coach of Baylor. “Shows you the impact as journalist, as producers, as storytellers can have,” said Tennant.

The other show that Tennant produces is E:60, a 60-minute style show which is more feature/storytelling. They have covered several different athletes including LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Mike Trout and many more. When describing the show, Tennant said “it’s a show where we’ll tell stories about the athletes who play in the game. We kind of just like hangout with these athletes and find out who they are off the field.”

Tennant wanted the event to be really interactive as he encouraged question from the students in attendance, answering any and all questions.

When describing the event’s turnout, Tennant said “it was great, smart conversations. A lot of smart questions here, you get the sense that Fairfield has really invested in the students here in their long-term plans and their long-term goals. The amount of energy and enthusiasm in the room tonight and the curiosity was really an engaging session.”

“I really enjoyed Andy’s insight on the industry. He didn’t sugar coat it, which is typically something we see nowadays. I left feeling inspired as a female trying to break into a heavily male dominated sports marketing career path,” said Kelly Oliveira ‘17 who was in attendance.

There was one thing that Tennant hoped that the students would take away from this interaction: “through determination, passion, curiosity, networking hard work will pay off. Never give up, if you have a dream for your career and for where you want to be in 20 years follow that dream and be relentless in pursuit of that dream. You’ve positioned yourself really really well by coming here to Fairfield.”

Director of Programming of StagsTV Trey Liburd ‘19 thought the event was a huge success saying, “I think that he was very helpful with giving the students advice to pursue their passions even if they are hit or miss and risky.”

StagsTV will look to continue hosting more speakers throughout the upcoming school years, giving Fairfield students a wonderful opportunity to listen to the stories of others and following in the right direction.

 

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