Alumnus Andy Scholes visited campus on October 25 to speak with students at the Valenti School of Communication, many of whom aspire to follow in his footsteps.
Scholes hosts domestic and international morning sports shows on CNN, where he covers major sporting events such as the Super Bowl, World Series NBA Finals, and the Masters Golf Tournament. His work day starts earlier than most.
“I go to sleep at 9 P.M. Wake up at 2:40 A.M. When I wake up, I grab my phone and go through all my news feeds to see if anything big has happened. And it's a really big time crunch from when I get to work to when I go on air at 5:15,” said Scholes.
The event started with a casual interview between Scholes and Dr. Temple Northup, director of the Valenti School of Communication, highlighting the journey to becoming a sports anchor, the nuances of his career (such as writing his own scripts, managing breaking news stories, travelling) and highlights of the job. Scholes stressed the importance of meaningful internships and advised students to make their demo reels grab viewers’ attention within the first 10 seconds.
He also offered more practical, day-to-day advice on anchoring: "You're only as good as your video. Always overshoot video – wide shots, close shots. You can never have too much video."
The intimate theater setting allowed students to engage with Scholes during and after the event.
“I enjoyed the question segment of the interview because he answered in-depth on a lot of questions,” said Rebecca King, a sports administration senior.
As for Scholes, returning to his alma mater to inspire students proved to be a rewarding experience.
“I always love talking to students who are looking to get into the industry. It is always great to come back here and see the awesome changes that are happening and seeing how sports journalism is being incorporated into the school. That doesn’t happen everywhere, and to see it’s happening at the place I graduated from is awesome.”