(April 22, 2019) Many folks struggle to land one job. David Nguyen has landed two. Nguyen is joining fellow STAA member Jon Gross on the broadcasting and video production team for the University of North Carolina-Pembroke Sports Network. He is also joining minor league baseball’s Evansville Otters as a broadcasting & media relations assistant.
Evansville was the first domino to fall, one week before Christmas. “It was the first break that finally paid off; the break I was waiting for ever since I changed my major from nursing to communications in the Fall of 2015 at Villanova,” Nguyen says. “From my last semester at Nova until December 18th of 2018, I’ve worked my tail off to try and get the first entry job in the business. From signing up for STAA last summer the job leads have helped me as well as the weekly advice from [STAA Owner] Jon Chelesnik.”
At UNCP, Nguyen will broadcast multiple sports and hone his reporting and video editing skills. “I’ve been told since the time I was at Villanova that the more skills I learn and have, the more marketable I will be as a candidate and it can lead to much more success in the sports media field.”
Asking other sports broadcasters for advice has been key for Nguyen in building his career. “There are men and women who are established in this field and have experienced a lot of ups and downs,” he says. “The things they have learned on their journey, do’s and do not’s they’ve witnessed, have been very helpful.”
Nguyen has used the referral request technique to grow his network of relationships. At the end of each conversation with a sportscasting mentor, Nguyen asks them to recommend another broadcaster of whom he might ask similar questions.
“For example, after receiving the offer from Evansville, I asked [fellow STAA member] Garrett Greene of the Biloxi Shuckers (who I previously talked to about his assistant position and met at the Winter Meetings) for advice about the offer. He connected me with the previous broadcaster in Evansville, [STAA member] Sam Jellinek, who gave me valuable advice about his experience as the previous voice of the Otters.”
Ironically, Nguyen is following Jellinek both in Evansville and at UNCP.
Experience isn’t the only benefit of his new opportunities to Nguyen. Both also give him a platform to inspire other aspiring sportscasters who are Asian American.
“Everyone is unique, and the unique part of me is that I embrace the fact I am Asian. It’s a part of my personality. Through my experiences in this industry so far, I haven’t noticed a lot of Asian Americans in the sports-media industry. If an Asian American kid from South Jersey can turn his dream into a reality, then I can give hope to others, particularly Asian Americans, that they can achieve success in this field as well.”
Nguyen joined STAA in 2018 after finding it in a Google search during his senior year at Villanova. “After patrolling the site, I became curious if I should become a member. After telling Jon Chelesnik about my story — ditching my scrubs and stethoscope for broadcasting Villanova football and national championship men’s basketball teams — his mission to help young broadcasters like myself find jobs in this industry sold me.”
Nguyen’s advice to new STAA members is to take advantage of more than just the job leads. “Use all the other resources STAA has to offer. The steps on how to land an interview, how to prepare for the interview, the blank game sheets for your broadcasts, and the vocabulary word lists for the main sports have been extremely helpful.”
(Visit David’s STAA Talent Page).