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    As the sports industry grows internationally, so does the need for sports communication professionals. Andrés Hernández Abello, a student in his final semester of the Sports Communication MA program at Emerson College, shares his professional experience in the sports communication field and reflects on his career options following graduation.

    What brought you to study sports communication?

    Andres headshot 2

    “My undergraduate degree was in journalism from the Universidad del Norte in Colombia, so I started working in sports journalism after college,” Hernández shares. His first position after graduation was at a regional television channel called Canal Telecaribe. Here he hosted a sports show where he interviewed athletes and covered important sporting events. 

    “After that, I transitioned into a sports communication role at a Second Division Colombian soccer team called Real Cartagena.” During his time at Real Cartagena, Hernández says he was a jack of all trades, helping with the team’s social media, marketing, game-day logistics, and corporate partner relations. Hernández enjoyed his time working within the sports communication field, but it wasn’t until another role in sports journalism that he realized he wanted to go to school for sports communication. 

    “I worked for a news outlet called AS Colombia, writing a sports column. It was during that job that I realized I wanted to get into more senior-level positions, and I thought a graduate degree would help me do that.”

    How did you choose a school for your graduate studies?

    Hernández applied to multiple graduate schools, both in Colombia and in the US, so he wasn’t sure which program to choose at first. 

    “Ultimately, Emerson stood out because they reached out to me so regularly and cared about my experience,” Hernández recalls meeting with his admissions counselor 1-2 times per week while he navigated the US visa process and made his final decisions about graduate school. In addition to his positive experience with the admissions team, Hernández received a scholarship from Emerson. “I didn’t know sports communication programs even offered scholarships, so that was a huge draw for me.” 

    Lastly, Hernández chose to attend graduate school in the US because he knew the sports industry was rapidly growing there, and he hoped to make connections that would help launch a successful sports communication career.

    How has graduate school helped you make professional connections?

    Emerson is located in Boston, Massachusetts, which is one of the only US cities with all four major sports teams and a Top 10 US Media Market. Studying sports communication in Boston has given Hernández just the kind of professional connections and opportunities he hoped to find through graduate school. 

    One such opportunity was Hernández’s work for the Worcester WooSox, the Triple-A affiliate team of the Boston Red Sox. In May of 2023, Hernández landed a position as a Community Relations intern for the WooSox, during which time he helped maintain positive relationships between the WooSox and the Worcester community, as well as major donors. 

    WooSox 1

    Through his work for the WooSox, Hernández met a co-worker, Michael Smithers, who had noticed a need for Spanish broadcasting of WooSox games. “Worcester has a significant Latino and Hispanic community, and we didn’t have a Spanish broadcasting channel for games. Michael had the idea to start one.” 

    Charles Steinberg, the President of the WooSox and Director of Sports Communication at Emerson College, loved the idea and supported Smithers and Hernández in starting up the channel. With Steinberg’s support and help from producers Jorge Touché and Katie Siegle, Smithers and Hernández worked to create a YouTube channel for the WooSox where they provided live commentary in Spanish. 

    As the channel began to take off, Hernández and Smithers got attention from the New England Sports Network. “They really liked what we were doing and asked to use our commentary as a Secondary Audio Option for their WooSox game coverage,” Hernández explains. 

    With the tools he learned in graduate school and his own passion for the Latinx community in Boston, Hernández now has professional connections both at the Worcester WooSox and the New England Sports Network.

    What’s next for you?

    “Nothing is official yet, but I am hoping to stay at the WooSox for the next season,” Hernández says. He is passionate about continuing to develop the WooSox relationship with its Latinx and Hispanic fans in the community. 

    WooSox 2

    In addition to his professional work after graduation, Hernández hopes to continue volunteering for Soccer Without Borders, where he coaches children throughout the Boston community. “Soccer Without Borders uses soccer to help recently immigrated children adjust to life in the US. It’s also a great way to help kids communicate, make friends, and build leadership skills.”  

    Whether professionally or through his volunteer work, Hernández is excited to continue serving the Latinx community through sports communication. 

    What advice would you give someone looking to break into sports communication?

    “When it comes to sports, effort never goes unnoticed,” Hernández says. “When you do your work with a smile, even if it’s just holding flyers, people will notice.” He notes that the sports communication industry often requires people to work weekends and evenings, so showing up with a positive attitude will get you noticed. 

    Hernandez also advises others to try out everything. “After college, I went straight into working and switched jobs a number of times. Because of those different experiences, I know now that I want to work directly with sports teams for my career. Try everything and pursue your dreams because once you get that one connection, the sky's the limit.”

    Hernández is excited to transition into full-time work again when he graduates with his Sports Communication MA degree in December 2023. To keep up with Hernández and his work, be sure to connect with him on LinkedIn and Instagram.
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