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Home  > Insider profile
Dan Hawks
Assistant Producer

"I had never done anything in television before, so it was pretty interesting."

As children, we're all asked the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" How did you answer?

I had a real interest in journalism, and I've always been interested in sports writing.

What have been the most defining moments along your career path?

I went to London for a semester organized by Boston University. During the second half of the term, I was required to take an internship. I ended up being placed with SNTV, the sports arm of the associated press. I had never done anything in television before, so it was pretty interesting. SNTV is like a video wire service. It does the legwork for stations around the world. Mostly I blacked tapes, worked on editing machines, dubbed stories onto tape, and work up reports on the number of stories they'd done. I really got a sense for the lingo. It's important just to be around the business and to get a feel for the way the industry operates. Because of my internship, I had a pretty good idea of what was going on when I started my first job.

How did you get your big breaks?

I actually found out about the job through a friend of mine who was already working for ESPN. After coming back from overseas, I had no idea what I was going to do. I sent in my resume, interviewed, and landed the job.

What was the best advice you received when you were first starting out in your career?

It's a good idea to have as many different skills as possible. The more you know about TV production, the better. The technology is always changing, and the competition is very fierce.

What have you learned from your experience?

Well, working in news it's very important to have and maintain a broad knowledge of things. Wherever you are, though, you really need to keep up with current affairs.

What most excites you about your job right now?

I like the freedom and the responsibility I'm given. At my first job at ESPN, we were watched very carefully. Since AP has a much small staff, we're given more of an opportunity to work independently. I also get to do more writing, real writing. Taking a story from the wire and completely rewriting it for TV is great practice. We had exclusive rights to a fundraising ball and auction here in London. They were auctioning off trinkets and the Titanic necklace for charity. I ended up doing the edits on the story. I eventually went home, exhausted, half dazed, and the first thing I saw was my story on the BBC. It was really a great feeling to know that something that I had just worked on was suddenly being shown all over the world.?

On a scale of 1-10, how relevant was your academic major to your career? (1=not at all, 10=absolutely essential)

9

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