who – students

what – opinions about construction

when – ongoing

where – around campus

why – construction is frequent and widespread on campus

how – not sure on the how right now

My STEP Reflection…So Far!

STEP Experience: Internship


What: I am doing an internship with a motorsports blog called The Podium Finish and a blog for college students that is run by college students, called ULoop News. I am also helping admin a motorsports Facebook page called Racing Assimilation. I received media credentials for and attended NASCAR’s Pocono 400, which was held at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PA and occurred the weekend of June 6th-8th. I have also applied for media credentials for two IndyCar races and another NASCAR race. The IndyCar races I applied for are the Honda Indy Toronto (held on the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada during the weekend of July 18th-20th) and the Honda Indy 200 (held at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course during the weekend of August 1st-3rd). The NASCAR race I applied for is the Camping World RV Sales 301 (held at New Hampshire Motor Speedway the weekend of July 11th-13th). I will be able to commute to the races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course due to my proximity – or eventual proximity – to both races. However, I will be spending the weekend in Toronto with my family.


So What?: The experience I had with the Pocono 400 wildly exceeded all of my expectations for that weekend. What I expected was to be treated like a little kid due to the fact that I look young and that it was my first ever race with media credentials. That was far from the case. A veteran sports journalist who writes for a local paper in Pennsylvania helped me all weekend and treated me as an equal. He even introduced me to the person who deals with NASCAR media credential requests so we could put a face to a name for each other. Getting to experience Victory Lane was something special as well. Being able to see Dale Earnhardt Jr, who is the favorite among the fans, win the race and drive into Victory Lane in person is something I will get to remember for a long time to come.

Waiting to hear back about my other credentials is nerve-wracking, to say the least. I would very much like to have credentials at other races, given how this is what I want to do for the rest of my life and how great my first experience with media credentials was. I applied for both IndyCar races myself through the races’ online applications but I’m not sure what will come of that. I have to rely on a guy who works in an upper position at FanVsFan, the site hosting The Podium Finish, to apply for my credentials for the second NASCAR race. However, there was an apparent misunderstanding as both the creator of The Podium Finish and I want to go to the New Hampshire race together as it’s easy to get to for both of us and I’m now the more experienced one with the media credentials so I can help the creator with the experience. The guy from FanVsFan, though, apparently thought Pocono was my local track and was insisting The Podium Finish’s creator should go solo to gain experience. I did talk to the guy from FanVsFan about it to clear up the situation and I’m hoping the credential application for New Hampshire Motor Speedway will be adjusted accordingly.


Now What?: I learned a lot during my time at the Pocono 400. I definitely learned how much hard work goes into sports journalism and how far from a “normal”, 9-5 desk job it actually is. I would often be up by 6 am to get to the track by 9 am and I wouldn’t leave the track until about 5 or 6 pm. I would often be finishing up articles just in time to go to bed again. I would often spend a good one to two hours wandering the garage area in order to get good photos for my articles and the Racing Assimilation page. For the rest of the day, I would be sitting in the media center drafting articles, taking notes, and attending press conferences. It would often be a struggle to find dinner, as the media center doesn’t provide it and all the local restaurants either weren’t good or a few miles away (Lehighton, Pennsylvania – where my hotel was – is a very rural area). However, I wouldn’t trade any of it. I had an absolute blast and I know now that this is something I want to have a career in. I want to work hard at networking within the NASCAR and IndyCar journalism circles so that I can find a job and I want to work hard in my program at The Ohio State University so I can get the most out of it and be the best that I can be in what I do.

I am also learning how stressful it is to get media credentials for any athletic event. While I was applying for credentials for the Pocono 400, I was asked by the credentials office for proof of Sprint Cup coverage and was questioned a little bit at the credentials office while picking up my credentials because I look young and I was with my mother, who also attended the race, at the time. I am also not a fan of the “hurry up and wait” mentality behind the credentials application process. For example, I applied for media credentials for the IndyCar races in May at some point but as of writing this, I still have not heard back from either track about whether I have been approved for media credentials for the races. Then again, I never was a fan of the “hurry up and wait” mentality. This is something I realize I will have to work at improving on if I am going to be a sports journalist and I do need to find a way to work through the nervousness surrounding the application process. I think I’ve come a ways over the past few years in dealing with it but I also have some work to do finding a way to cope with it.


Blogs, Websites, and Facebook Pages

Personal blog –

The Podium Finish –

ULoop –

Racing Assimilation – OR


Dale Earnhardt Jr celebrates in Victory Lane for the Pocono 400. Photo taken by me.

Dale Earnhardt Jr celebrates in Victory Lane for the Pocono 400. Photo taken by me.


Kyle Larson celebrates his win in ARCA's Pocono 200 on June 7th. Photo taken by me.

Kyle Larson celebrates his win in ARCA’s Pocono 200 on June 7th. Photo taken by me.