Pictured above is Madison Depner, an HPU senior who is serving as an Olympic hospitality guide at NBCUniversal Media, LLC at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
HIGH POINT, N.C., Aug. 10, 2016 – While the 2016 Rio Olympic Games are captivating the world, the games are also providing unmatched internship opportunities for two High Point University students.
Senior Madison Depner is serving as an Olympic hospitality guide at NBCUniversal Media, LLC in Rio de Janeiro while junior Courtney Leopold is a production assistant for NBC Sports at its Stamford, Connecticut, headquarters.
Depner is in the heart of the action as she manages ticketing, scheduling, transportation and the overall experience for guests at the games, ensuring they make it to major events on time while enjoying all that the city of Rio has to offer.
“As a communication major, this internship has given me so much experience by working directly with corporate personnel,” says Depner, a Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, native. “I have learned to think on my feet while fine tuning my interpersonal communication skills by staying focused on the moment-to-moment experience. I am also now more aware of individual differences. By spending time with people from different countries and cultures, I have learned to understand each person’s nonverbal communication gestures so much more.”
Meanwhile, Leopold remains stateside to contribute to special channels and content viewers are watching at home. All of the video coverage comes from Rio to the Stamford headquarters, which distributes it to a variety of NBC channels, platforms, websites and more. And while many NBC employees traveled to Rio to cover the games, including announcers for Team USA events, some games are announced from Stamford.
“Throughout the Olympics, NBC has created specialty channels, and basketball is my group’s main focus,” says Leopold, a communication major and New Canaan, Connecticut, native. “It’s my responsibility to give daily updated articles and stats to the announcers and listen to their ideas. I also work with producers to make sure everything runs smoothly.
“I have been in a control room logging important times to cut the footage for our specialty channel and watched as the producer cuts important highlights for our channel to run 24 hours straight,” Leopold adds. “It’s a pretty amazing process. Before this internship, my main focus was to always be on camera. Working behind the scenes has helped me see a different side of television and helped me find a new passion in production.”
Both students will continue to help with the Olympic Games’ operations and sports coverage until HPU classes begin on Aug. 23.