Hannah Broder graduated in May and is now covering the Nationals’ progression in the World Series.
As a student at the College of Charleston, Hannah Broder undoubtedly made her mark as a student journalist. After spending the first two years of her college experience as a photographer for the College’s baseball team, Hannah then became the head of photography for CisternYard News. Hannah graduated in May 2019 majoring in Communication with a minor in Astronomy. During her time at the College, she spent her summers interning with the broadcast network for the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals. After graduation, she was offered a full-time position with the network, and with the Nationals’ advancement to the World Series, Hannah is spending her first few months after graduation covering one of the biggest sporting events in the world.
So, for those who don’t know, what organization are you working with to cover the World Series?
So I work for the Washington Nats and Baltimores Orioles broadcast network- the MidAtlantic Sports Network, or people just call it MASN. So, we’re the network for both teams, and since the season’s over and the Orioles didn’t advance and the Nationals have advanced, we’re kind of all gung-ho with that.
Awesome- and what’s your official job title?
Oh, that’s a good question. I think I’m like the Web Administrator and Content Manager? My boss has actually worked at MASN since she was 16, and she just left after 10 years, so I’m kinda taking over her responsibilities and stuff. I do a little bit of everything with digital media. We do photography, running digital media accounts, a lot of public outreach, marketing events, stuff like that.
Did you always know you wanted to do sports journalism?
Not really- I have a big interest in sports digital media stuff, but also astronomy and science communication. I’ve always been a huge Nationals fan, like if you knew me in middle school, that’s just what I loved. If you looked in my high school yearbook, people signed it and said “Go Nats!” and stuff like that. I was very fortunate to have this opportunity. I interned with the network the two summers prior to graduating, and then they offered me a full time position. I don’t know, I just like making things that seem so big or so far away and not that tangible to people more tangible and get them engaged to see what it’s all about.
What’s your favorite part about what you’re doing now?
That’s a good question. There are a lot of cool parts about what I’ve gotten to do. I love watching the press conferences, and getting to engage with the players, but also organizing things like meet and greets with fans, even with like little kids who idolize these players, and the players will talk to them, be like “Do you play baseball?” Having that influence from such a young age can have such a profound impact on people growing up, and I love to engage with people and make people’s dreams come true like that.
So, this question is half for the article and half for me personally- have you had any fun celebrity experiences since starting with the organization?
There’s a pretty cool kind of fanbase with the Nationals, just because they’re set in D.C., so they have a lot of high profile fans. I think it was hispanic heritage night, and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor threw out the first pitch, which was really cool. The players- it’s very cool to see them, but you just have to maintain the boundaries and know that they’re working, you can’t just go up and talk to them. From the Orioles side- Do you know who John Williams is?
He wrote all the Star Wars soundtracks, Harry Potter soundtracks, JAWS, Indiana Jones, all of that music, he composed. It was 2017, he threw out the first pitch at an Orioles game, which was really cool to see. It’s just like- these people are the absolute greatest at what they do. To be able to reach the level that you do in professional sports, and for people to get paid as much as they do, it’s kind of cool to get to meet these people, because they’re the greatest in the world at it.
Now that you’ve graduated, how do you think your experiences at the College of Charleston and with organizations like Cistern Yard have translated into your real adult-life experience?
I definitely think I had a lot of experiences in college where it was less of professors kind of assigning projects where you would get a description and a rubric, and a lot more of it was professors saying “Hey, you need to do this,” or “Show us what you know,” and like that’s the project, and I know it can be very stressful when you’re like “But tell me what to do,” but a lot of the real world is like, you don’t get instructions or directions on how to do things. I think from a COMM standpoint, I’m understanding public and group dynamic and how people receive information and how messages are sent out. That’s very important to what I do now because you can’t just keep putting stuff out and be like “Oh, these people are stupid, they don’t like what I’m putting out.” You have to respond to what the fans want, what’s interesting. This is really weird, but if you look it up you’ll see a lot about it- one of the baseball players on the Nats, Gerardo Parra, his walk-up song is the Baby Shark song, which has kind of just taken off with the Nats. Everytime it’s played at the park or during a game, everyone starts clapping and doing the whole Baby Shark dance and all that- you wouldn’t have expected at the beginning of the season that a child’s song from however many years ago that’s probably one of the stupidest things ever would be such an important part of the season, but it has been. You never know what to expect.
Being from D.C., why did you decide to attend the College?
That’s a good question. I always kind of wanted to go to school in the South, and I had the opportunity to go to school out-of-state, and it was the day the Early Application was due, and my mom was like “We have family friends that go here! Charleston is so beautiful! You should apply!” I almost didn’t finish my application. Then, I finished it, submitted it, and it was the first school I heard back from. It was really exciting, and I came down here for Accepted Students Weekend, and I met the faculty, and I fell in love. College is such a big investment, and it’s very important to have the relationship with the professors that I did. That’s also another thing, going back to what you asked me before, definitely build a good relationship with your higher-ups. I made sure to build a good relationship with my professors, and that’s very important to build those bridges in the workplace too, because those people will be the ones writing you letters of recommendation, and recommending you for jobs and opportunities. But, I came there for Accepted Students Weekend, and I just fell in love. It was wonderful. I love the people that I met, and the opportunities I got, and the size of the school was perfect.
Thank you so much- is there anything else you wanted to add?
Not really- I mean, if you want me to talk, I could talk for hours and hours. I think the biggest thing I learned, especially from a post-grad perspective, to a lot of people, I’m doing my dream job, I’m living my dream life, but it’s still a transitional period for absolutely everyone, and it’s still- regardless of what you do or where you live- there’s points of it where it can be brutal, and like there’s a lot of room to grow in a lot of places, but that’s not unique to certain people’s experiences regardless of whether they have a job right out of college. But I think things definitely do fall in place, just make sure to maintain those relationships and continue on with what you’re interested in.