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Rachel Gaylor (MSJ21)

Rachel Gaylor (MSJ21)

Music Assistant at ESPN

rachel-gaylor-150x150.pngTell us about your career path. How did you get where you are today?

After graduation, I initially started as a freelance Sports Reporter in my hometown of Galveston County, Texas before taking a job at ESPN’s Stats and Information Group as a stats analyst for 9 months. After that, I moved on to Creative Services and joined the Music Department as a Music Assistant.

What are your main responsibilities in your current role?

My main responsibilities include maintaining our music libraries and editing and delivering all music to all productions on ESPN both linear and digitally. I also do music searches for producers and directors working on features. Finally, I interview artists and composers and write features for our music blog.

How has your Medill training helped you in your career?

Medill has helped me in my career by providing me interviewing experience and networking experience. I also learned about social media work, data journalism and diversity in media. Skills from these classes and more have given me building blocks to succeed in my current job.

How has the Northwestern Medill network helped you advance in your career?

Medill network helped me when I first moved to Connecticut. I got to meet fellow Wildcats at ESPN who made my transition to working easier. I’ve also been able to maintain relationships with fellow Medill Mates outside of ESPN in the sports industry and beyond.

How can your industry be more inclusive and representative of society?

When I first moved to my new job, it was a hybrid remote position which allowed me more flexibility to work from home and out-of-state. Now that that designation has been eliminated, this industry has lost talent who can no longer sacrifice hours of their time commuting to work. Being a flexible industry by allowing the best work environment for an individual is something this industry has moved away from coming out of COVID restrictions. We shouldn’t go back because not everyone can handle 40 hours a week in an office environment.

How have your identities influenced the way you navigate your professional career?

I received my bachelor’s degree in music and my master’s in journalism. I have always considered myself and musician and a journalist and didn’t know if there was a place for me in both worlds. But at ESPN I am able to be a musician and a journalist – utilizing both loves in my job.

What advice do you have for someone considering Medill?

Two things. One: Networking is the most important thing. I moved from SIG to music because of networking. Two: Even if a class isn’t what you’re expecting or isn’t in a subject you’re entirely interested in, always try and find something to take away from it. I have used skills I’ve learned in Podcasting, Interactive media, video media, first amendment, etc. As long as you look for something to learn you will find it.