Alumnus Nick Rodriguez ‘18 is working hard to grow his sports podcast: The Nick Rodriguez Podcast. We recently met virtually with Nick to hear how he got his start in podcasting and what advice he could share with current #cofccomm student
Nick shared two courses that were key in shaping his career path during his time at the College of Charleston: his communication capstone with Dr. Jenna Abetz (COMM 480/481: Capstone in Communication: Narrative, Identity, and Relationships) and a sports communication course with Dr. Vince Benigni (COMM 336: Addressing Problems in Context: Sport and Society). These specific courses pushed Nick to not only follow his dreams, but to also explore the many other areas of the communication field. He reflected, “The College gave me the confidence to do what I set my mind to do. The Department of Communication, especially, helped me find my lane and grow.” He further commented that his studies provided the right balance of knowledge and support to follow his dreams, when the time came. Outside of the classroom, Nick was a sportswriter for CisternYard News (CYN) and later became editor of the sports column. Between the CYN work experience and his unique communication courses, he believes this helped him get on the right path to doing what he loves today: sports podcasting.
Nick advises that college students should push to extra lengths so they are always learning more. “Learn everything about whatever field you want to be involved in so you can figure out what you are good at doing. All you have to do is start somewhere!” With his deep love of sports, Nick started working as a Communications/PR Assistant with the Communications staff for the Georgia Tech Athletics Association where he previously was an intern. As the PR Assistant he was responsible for writing press releases, team previews, and game recaps for the men’s tennis team, men’s and women’s track and field teams, and men’s and women’s cross country teams. “My job was to inform the public on what was happening with those particular sports, and that included running the social media accounts for those sports. I was also in charge of setting up interviews for athletes under my sports, and I served as the secondary contact for both men’s basketball and swimming.” This experience taught him how to efficiently tackle challenges. When we asked Nick to explain what made the job challenging, he said, “I think one part of working in athletics that was tough was the hours. You would be asked to work on an average of probably 6 days a week, and you have to be ready to write a recap or post for your team at any time. I would be at the office from 9-5 every weekday, but on days we had games we don’t leave until even later.” While it was not an easy first job, Nick loved the experience it gave him.
He landed his official start in podcasting through an internship with Pro Business Channel – Converting Conversations to Content, a broadcast media outlet located in Atlanta, Georgia. “At the Pro Business Channel I helped identify and book over 20 clients in the first month for various shows. I also served as the audio engineer for various podcasts including Georgia Business Radio, and I also co-hosted and supported the launch of the Author Talk Show.” Nick told us that the Pro Business Channel was a great opportunity for him to learn how to book guests for podcasts, and how to work with an engineering board. While working with the Pro Business Channel he got to know the owner Rich Casanova well. Later on, Rich was the person that encouraged Nick to start his own podcast. With his Georgia Tech background in sports and his confidence to succeed from the College of Charleston, Nick took hold of this idea and started collecting the equipment and resources he would need to begin recording.
Today, a year into The Nick Rodriguez Podcast, Nick spends most of his time creating exciting content and interviewing well-known names in the sports industry. His podcast has given him access to do really cool features – one being his experience with the 2019 Taste of the NFL, hosted in Miami. The Taste of the NFL is described as a culinary experience created to raise awareness and funds to support the fight against hunger and food insecurity. The event provides an opportunity for NFL teams across the country to bring in a celebrated chef to share a taste of their teams’ home community. It is held annually on the night before the NFL Super Bowl, and in 2019 Nick attended to report live on his podcast! He recalled getting to talk with all of the players, but said the highlight of the night was chatting with former NFL cornerback for the Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers, Charles Woodsen. How cool! (You can check out Nick’s feature of this event on the front page of The Nick Rodriguez Podcast website, or you can view the interview with Charles Woodsen on Youtube.)
Nick closed by thanking the faculty and staff he worked with at the College of Charleston for being so supportive and encouraging him to chase his dreams. If he could give one piece of advice to any current #cofccomm student, he would urge them to make their dreams a reality by starting on them today. Nick stated, “The only way to make your dreams happen is to start. Even if you do not think you are ready, you are. Go for it!”