Zac Kinman interns with Fox Sports

Last Updated 13 January, 2015

At NNU, Zac Kinman (class of 2012) learned the value of opportunity. With a lofty goal like working in the in the sports news industry, Northwest Nazarene University probably didn’t seem like the most obviously choice of colleges to attend. However, the personal investment and connections of faculty and the quality programming offered in the mass communication department proved to be his perfect path to professional success and personal growth. 

Zac was recruited to play basketball at both NNU and Eastern Washington University. He chose NNU when he learned about the reputation of the mass communication department. Once enrolled, he strove to make himself as well-rounded as possible, in pursuit of his goal to work in production for a major sports news network. During the school year, he worked as the sports editor for the campus newspaper. He also found freelance jobs with ABC News/ESPN Sports, NBC Sports’ VERSUS and Path 1 Productions.

His major break into the sports entertainment industry came when he was selected as a recipient of a prestigious internship through the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation. This academy selects only 39 outstanding students per year from universities across the country and matches them with television, film and media companies looking for interns. This well-respected organization seeks to connect students to positions in their area of interest. 

For Zac, that meant an internship with FOXSports Interactive Media, where he worked as a camera operator and video editor the summer before his senior year. He logged, edited, organized and published content toward a collective effort of covering all the sports action in the day. He also worked with sports analysts and interacted with professional athletes. On his days off, he spent time observing on the sets of a number of FOXSports original content shows in the “Lunch with Benefits” series. 

Zac’s NNU major advisor Professor Arnie Ytreeide shared that “Zac epitomizes what it takes to make it in the film and television industries. He has a great attitude, a great work ethic, a passion to learn and a willingness to do whatever it takes to make the show a success.”

“The NNU mass communication department is like a family. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it,” Zac said. He credits the mentorship of department aides (like alumnus Troy Watters) and outstanding faculty (like Professor Ytreeide) for encouraging him and helping him to grasp opportunities like the one he had at FOXSports. Zac understands that hard work and talent alone are not enough to be successful in the film and television industries, but that having the right connections is essential. NNU’s mass communication department, along with many individuals investing in Zac, helped him make the most of his academic experience and positioned him for the career of his dreams. 

“I understand more now than ever that the opportunities I’ve been blessed with are not because of me. These opportunities are the reflection of others investing their time, energy and belief in me as a person, enabling me to succeed through hard work, perseverance and humility.”