BABE #53: FAITH KROGULECKI,
Production Assistant @ FOX Sports Detroit
Faith and I connected through our mutual friendship with a pretty cool Babe (shoutout to Megan - who has volunteered to do all of the incredible BWH branding thus far.) When I learned that Faith works in the Sports industry, I couldn't wait to chat with her. I'm inspired by her story, her work ethic, and her drive to kick ass in such a male-dominated industry and job. (Half of my family is from the Mitten, so I also love her that much more.) Thanks so much for chatting with me, Faith! You're a Babe.
Hometown: Born in Erie, PA, Raised in East Lansing, MI
Current location: Detroit, MI
Alma mater: Michigan State University (GO GREEN!)
Degree: BA in Sports Journalism, Minor in Communication
Hustle: Production Assistant @ FOX Sports Detroit
Babe you admire and why?
My momma - is there anyone I could adore or admire more than her? She’s my best friend, role model, inspiration, support system, biggest cheerleader and confidant. She is one of the strongest people I know and she always finds the good in situations. She's selfless and giving, constantly trying to make everyone’s lives easier even at the expense of making hers just a little bit more difficult. If I could be half the woman she is, I'd be happy.
How do you spend your free time?
I am a huge advocate for any type of fitness, and you will usually catch be running or kickboxing. I also enjoy traveling when work allows.
Favorite sports teams?
Without a doubt, I bleed green for MSU - but being from the mitten, I’ve been a long time fan of our Detroit-area teams: Pistons, Red Wings, Tigers and Lions. I tend to enjoy watching and reading up more on the Red Wings and Tigers though, (being that I used to work in hockey and for the Tigs.) I am also a HUGE Nashville Predators fan; they hired me for my first internship, which really ended up starting my career, so I'll always have a soft spot for the Music City.
Three things we can always find in your fridge?
Cauliflower (for rice, pizza, grilled cheese… you name it), dark chocolate and an assortment of berries.
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would we find you?
Right where I'm at. I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason, so I know I'm right where I'm supposed to be now and I'm embracing the moment.
Tell us about your hustle:
I am a Production Assistant for FOX Sports Detroit. The position focuses solely on the production of our broadcasts (aka the preparation that goes on behind the scenes.) As a PA, I primarily edit video to create packages, features, music videos, and teases in and out of breaks revealing what our on-air talent will be talking about on the show next, etc. We also write scripts, stage manage, run technical equipment and produce and direct our own pieces.
What does your typical workday look like?
Work hours vary, holidays and weekends are never off-limits, and working late nights is basically the norm. But a glimpse of a day in my life would be: head into the office, meet with our producer, and discuss the highlighted talking points of the team we are covering that day. We then plan the content to produce, cut and edit the pieces, feed the footage to the truck, and go down to the venue to ensure everything is in order.
Did you play sports or grow up watching them? How'd you decide on your career path?
I decided I wanted to pursue the sports journalism field during my freshman year of college, although it wasn't what I always had in mind. I originally started out in Lyman Briggs, the residential college for science. My father is an anesthesiologist and I wanted to follow in his footsteps of pursuing medicine. I always had a passion for helping others, but accelerated chemistry made me reevaluate my career path - ha. Growing up, my parents gave me every single opportunity to try and excel at whatever sport I wanted to pursue. Tennis lessons? You got it. Want to try golf? Let’s sign you up! Soccer, basketball, softball? Tournaments booked every weekend. Simply put, I was the jack of all trades, master of none – I did everything but was never the star of the team. Sports became such an important part of my daily life - the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, the companionship with teammates, the push to better each and every day. People always tell us to pursue what we're passionate about, so I decided to tackle my athletic roots in a way I knew I could succeed: Sports Journalism.
Favorite part about your job?
This is a hard one. I love my job for so many different reasons – one of the biggest being that no day is ever the same. Our teams are always playing someone new and the outcome of the games are always different. Ultimately, stories in sports are constantly changing and it keeps work fresh. I also love how creative the industry is. No idea is off-limits and in production, we consistently try to find new ways to engage audience members. Another favorite part of my job are the stories that are often found BEYOND the game – the stories of athletes off the field, court, ice, etc. Those stories often humanize athletes who are typically put on a pedestal because of their notoriety. Being able to help tell and share these parts of them with others often fascinates me the most.
How fast-paced it is. You're always racing the clock. When cutting footage during a game, you don't have much time before the buzzer sounds. You need to think on your feet and work efficiently. You learn to embrace the pressure and feed off of it though, which often helps breed the best content.
What is one of the biggest challenges you've faced in the workplace, and how'd you overcome it?
Overall, being satisfied with my final product. I am one of the biggest perfectionists and because this is such a deadline-driven environment, you need to both finish a project and be happy with it in a timely manner. You have no time to sweat the small stuff. Once a project is complete, you need to start on the next. So in order to overcome this, I use a lot of positive self-motivation to ensure I have produced a piece to the best of my ability.
Has your gender and/or ethnicity effected your work experience?
Absolutely. As unfortunate as it is to say – it’s reality. I remember in one of my first internships, being pulled-aside by one of the on-air talents and being asked, “So, do you actually know your stuff or are you just another pretty face?” I was taken aback because I prided myself on being in this field for the love of it. In another instance, I had a former colleague question if I genuinely liked sports, and later openly admitted he questioned it because I'm a woman. I'm a female in a male-dominated field, and sometimes because of this, I think I'm not perceived as serious about what I'm doing. Thankfully, times ARE changing and there are some boss babes out there who are combating the stereotype and paving the way.
What is your advice for other women trying to break into the Sports industry?
Know your shit. Knowledge is power. Competence breeds confidence and vice versa.
How do you manage stress?
Kickboxing. If you've ever punched a bag, you'll know why. Highly recommend it.
What's your dream job?
Ever since co-hosting a live sports radio talk show in college, I've aspired to explore broadcasting more and more. I always said that my hour of sports talk was the best hour of my week, and I meant it. I genuinely loved researching and prepping before going on-air, and had even more fun discussing and debating the latest in sports news. Eventually I'd like to get back to that, whether it be in radio or television.
What does success look like to you?
I am coming to the conclusion that success looks and feels different to everyone. But at the end of the day, success all comes back to happiness. If you are investing countless hours and tireless effort into something you aren’t passionate about, you’ll find you’re not happy. Success is that self-realization that what you’re learning, accomplishing and creating daily makes you genuinely happy. Life is way too short to be investing so much into something you don’t love.
Career advice for other babes?
Believe in yourself and all that you can accomplish. Remember that your value doesn't decrease based on someone's inability to see your worth and find your passion, because you'll come to find it will take you to exactly where you're meant to be.
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