Ben Portnoy

Major: Journalism (Minors: Political Science, Spanish)

Years at IU: 2015-2018

What you did at IU: I definitely did a bit of everything in my time at IU.

On campus, I worked first with the IDS and BTN Student-U before landing a chance to cover Indiana football for the Journal Gazette in Ft. Wayne my last two years of school. I was also a member of IU Dance Marathon.

Between semesters I spent one summer working as a writing intern for the Bethesda Big Train and another as an intern with The Sports Capitol — a subscription-based startup focused on Washington, D.C. sports.

I also spent a semester in Seville, Spain my junior year where I wrote and reported for my program’s student publication in Spanish and English.

What you do now: I cover South Carolina football for The State Newspaper in Columbia, SC.

What advice you have for sports media students?: 

My biggest advice for students is don’t get discouraged if you can’t land that primetime internship you feel you need to have. I had plenty of friends from IU that went on to major internships at newspapers or TV stations like the Washington Post, New York Times etc. and I tended to get down on myself when I couldn’t land something like that.

Go somewhere you’ll have opportunities to write, report, shoot video, whatever it is you want to do. Those reps add up and you’ll end up where you’re supposed to when you’re supposed to.

In that vein, don’t be afraid to move to foreign places! I’d never set foot in the state of Mississippi when I landed my first job out of school covering Mississippi State for the Columbus Commercial Dispatch. I was incredibly nervous, but it was the opportunity of a lifetime and I learned so much from it.