I was referred to Amanda Borges by another SMG’er who reached out and told me I absolutely had to feature her on the site. She said, “Amanda graciously showed me around the Garden last year when I shadowed her for a game. She perfectly embodies exactly what SMG’s main goal is — helping one another out in the industry.” When I got in touch with Amanda she was more than generous with her time and shared some great advice with me to pass along to you, our readers. Here’s her story, enjoy.
Taylor Shold: Tell us a little about yourself, who are you and what do you do?
Amanda Borges: I’m the Team Reporter and Digital Content Producer for the New York Rangers. I got into broadcasting when I was 17 years old. I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to study in college and I did a lot of acting in church performances so someone suggested a reporting internship for a local tv station. I’ll never forget my first assignment on the sideline of a high school football game. I immediately became addicted to the adrenaline rush of being in the action. From there, I was hooked on telling stories of athletes.
Taylor: Here at Shold Media Group, we’re all about networking, how has it helped your career?
Amanda: Networking is the reason I’m where I’m at today. Honestly and truly, every single job I’ve ever gotten in sports is because of a relationship I formed with peers through networking. I can go on and on with stories about how a casual meeting with someone I hadn’t known before, turned into my next career move. Of course, there are still times where you have to put yourself out there and audition for that one thing you want so badly, or apply to a random job posting, but relationships are the MOST important part of working in this business.
Taylor: Looking over your Linkedin page, you are not a overnight success, you’ve had multiple jobs in varying aspects of the industry, from PR to writing, to In-Game and studio hosting, what is your decision making process when you are looking to move from one gig to another?
Amanda: Honestly, timing is everything. My career has been very fast moving. I’ve held most of my positions for less than two years because I was offered a new opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. I got my start working for small, family owned radio stations where I learned more than I ever thought possible. I always tell others looking to get in the business to never underestimate the power of any opportunity. Even the ones that seem small and insignificant at the time. That’s when you grow the most.
There are a lot of things to consider if you feel ready for a new opportunity. I’ve had a couple situations where I wasn’t quite ready to leave because I had formed such amazing relationships and enjoyed my work. But I’ve learned that when the right door opens, you’ve gotta take the leap. It’s worth it every time.
Taylor: You have a very strong social media presence and portfolio website, how important is it for people looking to establish themselves in the industry to be active online?
Amanda: The fun thing for me working for the Rangers has been being able to bring my followers along on this journey with me. I’m a girl from Florida covering hockey in the greatest city in the world. I have a lot to share, trust me! One of the best parts of my job is traveling all over the country with the team. It’s fun for me to show some behind the scenes of what it’s like to travel with a pro team and visit cities and arenas all over the country. It’s always been important for me to be authentic, especially on social media. Nowadays, your reputation is built by what you post online. So be yourself, but be respectful and showcase yourself in a truthful light. And use it to build relationships! I’ve met so many women in this industry just through social media interactions, who have become really great friends. I never would have formed those friendships without social media.
Taylor: In your opinion, what makes someone great on-camera and how can people get better?
Amanda: Be comfortable and conversational. Talk to your audience like you’re friends with them. Don’t speak at them, speak to them. Give them reason to trust you. Do your homework. Preparation is key. I never go into an interview blind. I do as much research as possible on the person I’m interviewing and the game I’m covering. As far as improving, watch yourself. If you feel awkward or notice something is off, chances are your audience does too. I can’t tell you how many times I would watch myself in college and cringe. I knew that if I didn’t enjoy watching myself, why would anyone else? So I practiced and practiced and became comfortable and confident in what I was saying and how I delivered the message.
Taylor: When applying for on-air jobs, how can people stand out from the crowd?
Amanda: I can’t stress enough how important relationships are. Treat people with kindness and respect. Your relationships with coworkers, bosses, athletes, coaches, security guards, PR staff—everyone is important and you should treat them that way. Almost every job I’ve gotten is through a connection who recommended me based on our relationship. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the real relationships I’ve formed by working in this business.
Taylor: Finally, what’s your best piece of practical advice for those looking for a career on-air?
Amanda: Find your why. You need to be able to answer that question before you start your job search. My why is storytelling. I have a passion for telling the stories of people who have experienced life and want to share it. I’m privileged to get to tell stories of athletes and humanize them for fans to understand that they are people too. I love finding ways to share new information about someone other people look up to. Storytelling in its true form is why I truly love what I do.
MUST READ: So You Want To Be On TV?
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