Suzanne Kolber, an alumna and ESPN sportscaster, stressed the importance of hard work and praised UM when she spoke in the School of Communication Courtyard on Thursday as part of Alumni Awareness Week.
“All the opportunities are there,” she said. “You want it, you have to love it and you have to be passionate about it.”
UM Alumni Association President Gregory M. Cesarano opened the event by welcoming Kolber.
Kolber, a 1986 graduate, said journalism is something she has always enjoyed.
“What I have done for the last 20 years is what I have really loved,” Kolber said.
Kolber began doing internships during her junior year at UM, knowing that she wanted to pursue a career in broadcast journalism after graduation.
“While doing the internship, I had an outside job and a full-time school workload,” she said. “The University of Miami is what shaped my career.”
Kolber made her mark in the world of sports broadcasting as the first woman to be hired as a sports broadcaster for Fox Sports News. She repeated this feat when she was named the first woman hired for the launch of ESPN2.
In 2003, Kolber became the first woman assigned to host televised coverage of the NFL draft.
Over the past five years, Kolber reported on ESPN’s Sunday Night Football, hosted the network’s coverage of Wimbledon and the French Open and anchored SportsCenter.
Aside from reporting, Kolber also freelanced as producer for the Breeders’ Cup newsfeed in Greenwich, Conn., and as field producer for Inside Edition in N.Y.
Kolber discounted any notion of glitz in the sports broadcasting industry.
“There are so many great things that go along with this career,” she said. “However, it is not a glamorous field.”
She said one must go beyond what is offered in order to be truly successful.
“You have to really want it and be able to outwork everybody else,” Kolber said.
Kolber followed up with a personal story about a place she had to stay in as part of an assignment where there was no electricity.
According to Kolber, the majority of your time in broadcasting is not spent at home but at the site of production.
“After hours you should be in that studio.” Kolber said. “It comes down to who wants to work the hardest.”
She said that the hard work and late hours are worth it to have a career you really enjoy in an environment where you want to work.
“You work hard at ESPN, but you enjoy it because you feel like it is family,” Kolber said.
She concluded by telling the audience that talent is one of the most important elements in the broadcast journalism field.
“If you are talented you will find a job,” she said. “You just have to want it more than everybody else.”
But communication majors weren’t the only students to attend Kolber’s speech.
“I though she was good,” Dana Bonner, a senior in the School of Business, said. “She gave a lot of insight and you could tell she wanted to be there.”
Fabiola Stewart contributed to this article.
Fanny Olmo can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.