Lights, Camera, Career Development: How Spartan Vision Makes Students Real-World-Ready

Spartan Vision, the content creation and brand development branch of Michigan State University Athletics, is home to students passionate about sports who apply their video production, camera operation and technical talents to that passion. According to Digital Storytelling junior Victoria Irish, it’s also home to students who desire to join a collective of like-minded, devoted individuals. 

“It’s a really great place to work, especially as a student because you get to pick your hours and your games,” Irish said. “You’re surrounded by a really great community of students who really care about what they’re doing and are so willing to help you.”  

With multiple teams, this award-winning organization allows students to enhance their skills through hands-on, high-intensity experience.  

Irish is part of the Big Ten Network Student Union team, and while there is no typical day at Spartan Vision, students on her team often take on different roles such as operating cameras at games, working in the control room and streaming games on broadcast TV. Irish even found herself in a leadership position, which adds soft skills to a hefty list of hard skills.  

“I’m a lot more comfortable around the camera and using a lot of equipment, but I’m also taking the lead in a lot of things,” Irish said. “As a technical director, at some point you stop being the person learning things and you become the person that has to solve the problems. It’s such a great skill to learn.”  

Noah Greenburg, a digital storytelling senior, works for the videoboard department, which is responsible for showcasing video and graphics displays within the Breslin Center, providing replay and recording games. He believes that the spontaneity of his position is part of what makes sports broadcasting worthwhile.  

“None of it is scripted,” Greenberg said. “There’s an outline of the game, but you never know what’s going to happen in a given situation. It’s the unpredictability of it and getting to provide excitement through the videoboard.” 

There are also ample opportunities behind the scenes and after the action. Olivia Austin, a sophomore journalism student, works for the small but mighty social media team. Austin keeps her finger on the pulse of social media trends, which influences the hype and promotional videos she creates and the directional style she chooses when filming practice videos.  

“I get very real-world work experience every single day,” Austin said. “I get sent to practice by myself, shoot games and create content that people engage with. Being able to pitch an idea, execute it all the way through and see it get posted is really special.” 

Additionally, Spartan Vision has an expansive network.  According to Irish and Greenberg, many full-time faculty members have been in similar positions as eager students looking for a career in sports reporting.   

“The amount of professional connections the full time staff have and the amount of alumni you’re connected to, that’s an immediate boost to your credentials,” Greenburg said.  

By Stella Govitz