Free College Admissions Essays: Hockey or Harvard? Essay

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College Admissions EssaysHockey or Harvard?

In 1993, the Harold C. Case Scholarship for outstanding academic achievement was awarded to fourteen students in the Boston University junior class. I was one of two students in the College of Communication and one of two students in the School of Management to receive the award. I view this award as recognition of the difficult journey I undertook to become the first person in the history of Boston University to combine a broadcast journalism degree with a business degree. Although the university allowed students to pursue dual degrees, it was highly discouraged for someone to attempt to dual major in two professional schools. Some people believed that I was stubborn when I would not accept this. By carefully planning my courses from the start to satisfy the requirements of both degrees and by enlisting the support of key advisors, I succeeded in four years.

For many years, my claim to fame was that I had never been outside the Eastern time zone. That changed in 1996 when I flew to San Francisco, but I still had never left the confines of North America. One of my mentors at AT&T, Bill Kurtz, frequently stressed the importance of spending time abroad. He spent two years working in Japan for AT&T. Despite being in a long-term relationship, I considered going abroad. Through AT&T’s Financial Leadership Program, I had the opportunity to spend six months working in Hong Kong. My fiancee and I arranged our travel schedules so that we never went more than two months without seeing each other. I immersed myself in the Chinese culture. I ate the world’s finest dim sum. I participated on an AT&T dragon boat team which raced at Stanley Beach. I played the Chinese domino game of Pai Gow in the Hotel Lisboa in Macau. I also observed the differences which can exist between cultures. Had I not gone to Hong Kong, I would never have grasped these differences as completely. Experiencing them firsthand made them more real and easier to remember.

At the age of 17, I set a goal that I wanted to be a hockey play-by-play broadcaster. I sought out the advice of Mike Emrick, the play-by-play voice of the Philadelphia Flyers. The point he emphasized was to make sure I had a backup plan. This was one of the driving forces behind my pursuit of a business degree to complement my communications degree. While at Boston University, I spent all four years at the student radio station, working my way up from a News Reporter as a freshman, to Sports Director as a sophomore, and finally to my goal of a hockey play-by-play broadcaster for my junior and senior years. After graduation, I quickly learned how difficult the professional broadcasting job market is. The closest I came to landing a position was a second interview with the Jacksonville Lizard Kings in the minor hockey leagues.

Thus, I went with my backup plan, and accepted a position at AT&T. The rewards of that decision have been plentiful, but I did not give up on my dream. I volunteered on weekends to do statistics for the professional coverage of the Princeton University Tigers. After two seasons, my predecessor Adam Wodon left to take a position with the Quad City Mallards in Iowa. I took over as his replacement, earning my first opportunity to broadcast hockey professionally. With that professional credential on my resume, I am positive I will continue to be marketable in the hockey broadcasting field.

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