Alumni Profile: Andy Bishop

There are over 26,000 PUC alumni spread throughout the world, and we’re proud of each and every one of them and their accomplishments. Andy Bishop is a 2010 PUC graduate living in San Diego and working with various sports media outlets and organizations.

I asked Andy to share with us his experiences and advice for anyone looking into media-related careers.

You have two jobs; being a real-time correspondent for Major League Baseball (MLB) and a production assistant for Fox Sports San Diego. Tell us a little bit about both.

For my job with MLB, I work a majority of Padres games at Petco Park in San Diego. My main objective is to gather content for MLB and the two respective ball clubs, mostly pictures for their Twitter and Instagram accounts. I have the freedom to go around the ballpark and report on anything interesting or unique at any given game.

With Fox Sports San Diego, I work on a show on which I primarily help produce a weekly feature. This involves everything from coordinating a shoot to working as a second cameraman to assisting with editing on the backend. Additionally, I do miscellaneous projects for the crews producing the Padres games on a daily basis.

Andy (left), in action.

Andy (left), in action.

Describe to me what it took for you to get to where you are.

In a word, persistence. A ton of people want to work in the sports industry; there just aren’t that many jobs. I didn’t exactly help my pursuit by moving to San Diego right after attending PUC, without establishing much of a connection base beforehand. It’s taken me five good years of work experience to get a solid network and to get my foot in the door with some big companies.

Something else I can’t stress enough is support. It would have been easy for me at times to just give up and settle for a job in another industry. I can’t tell you how many amazing friends and family members have encouraged me throughout the process. They have believed in me when most others haven’t, and that’s been essential in my growth as an on-air personality.

How did your major at PUC prepare you for both of your jobs?

The importance of preparation is one of the biggest things I took away from my business and communication majors. I had to do a lot of speeches and presentations in college, and like most people, I would feel the nerves a bit. But the times when I really knew my material and took it to heart were the times I performed better. The same goes for when I’m doing something on camera now. While I have certainly gotten a lot more comfortable talking when the pressure is on, I am far more articulate and confident when I’ve done my homework.

One other component that my studies in communication taught me was to smile. Not enough people do it. Most of us naturally don’t smile and are fairly monotone when talking in front of people. So it’s something you definitely have to work on. You really have to critique yourself and make it point to think about smiling. It becomes a lot more natural over time.

Describe your typical work day.

I have lot of variety in my work days, which is good because I’m not the greatest at sitting in an office cubicle all day. I’m definitely at my best when I’m on the move in some form or fashion.

Most days on the job I do a decent chunk of work from the office: phone calls, emails, editing, meetings, etc. Normally a day or two a week I’m able to head out into the beautiful city of San Diego and help with shooting a feature for Fox Sports. About every other week I’m going to Padres games and roaming around the ballpark at night. In time, I definitely want to do more work out of the office.

Andy Bishop 2

What have you done so far in your professional career that you are most proud of?

I think I’m most proud of the fact that I have stayed true to myself. It is so easy to get caught up in trying to prove yourself to people and/or trying to please people. I have certainly gone through stages where that took more of my focus than it should have. But thankfully, there has been a good maturation process for me in knowing who I am and what I can offer.

A big part of why I’ve been able to stay true to myself is that I’ve been continually humbled and grounded. This is not to say that I’m a complete failure (only a partial one), but I’ve lived long enough to know I’m not the greatest thing since fish tacos. I lot of awesome experiences and individuals have helped me keep a pretty good head on my shoulders.

In the sports industry there is SO MUCH arrogance, ego, and individualism. As a man of faith, I’m very driven to be the opposite of that. I certainly have to be confident and persistent in what I’m trying to do, but man, there is a bigger picture. So along the way I am very committed to sharing others’ awesome stories, creating and sustaining good relationships, and appreciating the journey.

If you could go back in time and tell your freshman self one thing, what would it be?

I would tell my freshman self to be more active in pursuing jobs and internships while in school. I just didn’t realize how hard it was going to be after college to 1) find work and 2) establish myself. There are zero Adventist connections in the sports media world, and about 99.9% of the people have never heard of Pacific Union College. That was a bit of a barrier. I would have been better off getting connected in San Diego earlier, or at the very least doing some sort of summer internship or job in a bigger sports market.

With that said, I’m not much of a woulda, coulda, shoulda guy. So I’m thankful for the solid education I got while at PUC. I’m better off because of the process that it has taken to get here. I’m doing a lot of fun things in the city that I love and feel called to be in. While I still have a long way to go, I’m confident that some really good things are to come in the near future.

What advice do you have for students considering getting into sports broadcasting/reporting?

Only do it if you love it. I started at PUC thinking I was going to pursue medicine, but then in spring quarter my freshman year I found what drove me. Thanks to Rosemary Collins’ Intro to Speech Communication class I realized I felt a certain ease when speaking in front of others. Everything that went into it – the research, the memorization, talking to myself in front of the mirror, sharing stories/speeches to the class – got me excited. Nearly a decade later it is similar types of opportunities with reporting and broadcasting that drive me professionally.

I would also encourage people to keep an open mind about what their career calling is. I think it’s best to keep some options open and try different things. Thankfully, what I dreamed up my freshman year has proven to be what’s best suited for me. As you get more experience during and after college, you have to find your niche and form a personal brand of sorts. But ultimately, I feel you should just be who you are and work your tail off to get what you want. Don’t forget that the most satisfaction professionally will come from the relationships you create and the moments you share with others. Don’t be so concerned about the fast track to success.

A Farewell to PUC

After four years of living in one of America’s most beautiful locations, I am leaving with a college degree, great memories, and lifelong friends. PUC has done wonders to my life. From the scrawny, neon-color wearing freshman that showed up in late 2011, I now finish up my time as a scrawnier student leader and pleased PUC student.

There are four areas regarding PUC that I want to attribute my enjoyable undergraduate career towards:

1) Location
If being able to jog from your dorm room to a lush forest in less than five minutes is ideal, then PUC is the place for you. Whenever academic stress peaked, I could always grab a friend and go for a quick trail run, mountain bike ride or an afternoon of reading in a field. PUC’s famous “Back 40” provided me with countless hours of thinking-filled solitude and helped solidify who I am today.

David O'Hair 1

2)  Opportunities
The only factor that limits your opportunities at PUC is there only being 24-hours in a day. PUC is the place for proactive people. Over the past two years, PUC has allowed me to serve on the following teams and roles: Student Senate, Student Association, multiple department teaching assistants, pre-law club president and TLC tutor. That is just me; you can do much more. The amount that PUC enables involvement, you will be graduating with only one problem — how do I fit all of this on my résumé?

3)  Professors
Being away from family and trusted council is tough. However, the professors at PUC showed me countless times they care about you as a person, not just a student. When I tell my friends from other universities I go to breakfast with my professors on weekends or that professors host dinner and movie nights, I am always met with a blank stare. That is what the stare of envy looks like. The professors care, plain and simple. They care about you, your ambitions and even your personal life, as “Mama Douglas” reminds me she is a required guest at my future wedding.

David O'Hair 2

Lynne Thew, David O’Hair, Brittnie Sigamoney, Mark Soderblom, and Milbert Mariano celebrate the College Media Association awards in New York City.

4)  The “Fail Factor”
Most importantly, PUC allows for self-exploration. The supportive environment lets you try things, fail at them and then move on with your life. Don’t believe me? Remember my month as an art major? Neither does the history department faculty. It’s that simple, PUC lets you take chances and then helps you recover from the less fortunate ones. The support network I have found at PUC through faculty, friends and mentors is absolutely unprecedented.

Those are four aspects of PUC I will cherish my entire life. While the college experience is different for everyone, I can promise if you give PUC a shot, you will not regret it.

David O'Hair 3

It’s PUC tradition to ring the Healdsburg Bell after your last final. It’s been great to hear seniors like David ring the bell all week long!

Have a good summer!

David O’Hair
Editor-in-chief
Campus Chronicle

PUC’s Campus Center Will Be There For You

“So no one told you life was gonna be this way? Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s DOA…”

I’m pretty sure there were times my freshman year when the beginning of the “Friends” theme song felt like my life. You don’t necessarily come to college knowing a lot of people and if you’re a little shy like me, it can be hard to not only meet new people but feel like you’ve found some really great, lifelong friends.

You and probably every other person on the planet have likely watched “Friends” (if you haven’t, it’s on Netflix, go binge watch it right now, I’ll wait) and you have dreamt of sitting on the infamous couch in Central Perk with your five very best friends, discussing things like shopping, dating, sports, food, etc. Now PUC may not have Central Perk but we do have our Campus Center. I know it’s not the quite same but hear me out!

Located in the heart of campus, the Campus Center is constantly full of students, faculty, and staff members. Aside from having TVs playing the news and big sports games, pool tables and couches to hang out on, it is also the college’s source for a quick beverage and snacks.

Campus Center

When I started college, I thought I would have a difficult time meeting new people and getting involved, so I made a point to spend time in the Campus Center. I will admit, I was shy and felt awkward at first but people are generally very friendly at PUC and soon I felt like I belonged here. I can honestly say to this day some of my closest friends were made at PUC and we spent countless hours watching sports, studying, playing games, and just hanging out in the Campus Center. A good 75 percent of my favorite memories took place there.

While I can’t guarantee this epic level of friendship, you never know…

Friends

I sure found mine (couch not included)!

Friends 2