Ethan Berch will walk across a stage and grab his diploma next month. That much is certain. What was less of a slam-dunk is what he would do next. He had two options: accept at TV sports director position, or continue his education and play-by-play pursuits. Berch chose the latter. An STAA member, Berch has accepted a Broadcasting Graduate Assistant position at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
He will be the Rangers lead play-by-play voice while working in the media relations department and pursuing a Masters in sports management.
“This opportunity would have not been possible without the help of STAA,” Berch credits. “The lead for the position was included in an STAA Job Leads+’ email.”
Choosing between Parkside and a TV sports director position in an entry-level market was difficult. “An opportunity for a free education doesn’t always come around,” Berch states. Plus, the chance to continue my pursuit of being a play-by-play broadcaster was the full package.”
Parkside became Berch’s choice only after several discussions with his advisors. “It became very overwhelming and stressful,” he recalls. “Being torn between two extremely intriguing jobs was the hardest thing to deal with. Jeremy Menard (Ithaca College), Pete Johanns (Ithaca College) and Jon Chelesnik (STAA), helped me come to my clear decision. All three offered me the true perspective of both positions. There was no doubt by the time I had to make the final decision.”
Berch is a soon-to-be Ithaca graduate. Play-by-play ensured he stayed busy during his four years on the campus at the foot of Cayuga Lake in Central New York. His resume includes football, basketball, softball, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer and volleyball. He spent this spring in Los Angeles serving internships with three companies, including Mandalay Sports Media.
Berch joined STAA this spring for several reasons. “First, the community of broadcasters that STAA has put together is like no other,” he states. “Getting the chance to interact with nearly 700 broadcasters across the country is truly surreal. Everybody has their own story with different experiences. Getting the chance to learn about those stories is very helpful when mapping out a blueprint for your own career.
“Also, when the job search began, there was nothing but stress building up. STAA sends out job leads up to three times a week. Getting a job application practically handed to you was something that I didn’t know existed, but became the most helpful aspect of the process.
“And lastly, the resources provided, along with the assistance of advisors, was game changing. As an STAA member, you have access to a handful of resources that directly assist you in writing a perfect cover letter, a resume, a reel that will show employers your best work, and so much more. STAA provides the necessary steps to landing a job in this industry and I wouldn’t have been in this position without their assistance.”
Berch has nearly four months before he leaves for Wisconsin. The way he will spend that time is another major decision. He’ll either work to save money for the coming school year or continue to enhance his experience in sports broadcasting. Either way, Berch will stay near his family in the New York Metropolitan area. “I have not had any summers off since 2020, as I have worked summer internships away from home for the past several summers. Getting the opportunity to spend time with my family this summer is one of my top priorities!”