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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Sports management student takes unique job opportunity to expand connections before graduation

Payton Larson (Kristy Mace)

Not many students can say they’ve done broadcast work for ESPN, but senior Payton Larson can.

Through a live sports production class in the Elliott School of Communication, Larson and other students have the chance to get hands-on learning. For Larson, it got him his current position as a camera operator for ESPN+. 

Larson sees his position as a way to expand his skills while getting his sports management degree and build connections he can utilize after graduation. 

“I did it to gather my experience and knowledge on the whole outreach of sports,” Larson said. “I feel like the more things that you can get involved in and the more that you can learn about it, the more you will understand once you get into a certain position.” 

Larson had a unique opportunity to broadcast Wichita State’s Shocker Madness on Oct. 7. He said it was different being able to broadcast something outside of sports. 

“A recent event that happened was when Tech N9ne was in,” Larson said. “I was working a camera for it and getting the opportunity to see it, but having to work it, that was pretty cool.”

Larson has been able to build on his degree-obtained skills and learn new skills. 

“I think it’s a mix of both utilizing (old skills), so like fast thinking, gotta be ready for everything, quick on your toes, but then you’re also learning different technologies,” Larson said. 

Students get to work on sporting events across campus when ESPN doesn’t staff specific events.

“We have all of our own equipment to where we can broadcast (them) here,” Larson said. “Then we broadcast it to ESPN+ for anybody that is subscribed to it.”

He said the position at ESPN+ has helped him work on school-related projects. 

“There’s a lot of keyboard stuff that I didn’t know that I’m getting used to,” Larson said. “Then even just editing for videos and when I’ve got to do school projects, that kind of changed my way of how I’ve done that; it’s a mix of getting new skills and (using) old skills.”

Larson said he’s worked with a lot of people at KWCH and KSN, and their producers. 

“If I was going into the news, I would have those connections, but then also on the ESPN side, (this is) a good connection,” Larson said. 

After graduation, Larson said his current position affords him options because of his experience and references.

“I think the big thing for me was doing it for the connections to people instead of just the experience,” Larson said. “Then it also, with the experience, gives me more opportunities to go do other things once I’m out of college.”

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About the Contributors
Shaylee Jacobs-Wilson, Former reporter
Shaylee Jacobs-Wilson was a sports reporter for The Sunflower. Jacobs-Wilson is from Olathe, Kansas. Jacobs-Wilson uses she/her pronouns.
Kristy Mace, Photo Editor
Kristy Mace is the photo editor for The Sunflower. She's majoring in psychology. Currently a junior, Mace hopes to go on to get her Ph.D. and become a neuropsychologist. She also plays for Wichita State's bowling team and does professional photography aside from The Sunflower.

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