Sam Rice, Emerging Media Arts senior, interned this summer with the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers in their digital media department as a video producer.
“Really it ended up being an all-encompassing experience, where I really got treated like a full-timer and was doing photo work, video work, producing daily social edits for our various platforms, being around the team at the training facility, but then also getting that business operations experience,” he said. “I got the opportunity to go to Las Vegas for a week to capture summer league content. Really just living with that team with the full timers as the only intern was a unique experience. I feel like I built some connections out there now that for sure will benefit me in the future.”
Rice was in Los Angeles from June 4 to Aug. 15.
“Coming from Lincoln and being born and raised in Lincoln, I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “But the weather is great, and there’s so much to do. I got to explore the beaches and the Los Angeles nightlife and just really everything that comes with being in the city. But also living by myself was a huge grow-up moment.”
Rice previously has worked in the Nebraska Athletics Department emerging and digital media division, affectionately known as the Corn Crib and continues working there this fall.
“If it hadn’t been for that opportunity here with the Corn Crib and all of those experiences I had that filled out a portfolio, the opportunity this summer would not have been possible,” Rice said. “And that’s a tribute to the Carson Center, too, because I didn’t really get into video work until coming to the Carson Center my freshman year. I was surrounded by a lot of really cool mentors that helped me succeed in the beginning, and now I’m kind of starting to be a stand-alone creative.”
Rice said he was a basketball fan, but he wasn’t necessarily an NBA fan until his experience this summer.
“I really liked working with Nebraska basketball,” Rice said. “That’s what kind of opened my eyes to how great working with a basketball team is, as opposed to maybe even the football team, because it’s such an intimate sport where the team is much smaller. You build those personal relationships. Then I looked for opportunities in the NBA.”
Rice said just being around the team was the best part of his internship experience.
“My daily routine was wake up, go shoot their morning workouts, build relationships with the players and the people on the basketball operations side,” he said. “Everyone has pretty lofty goals, so it was just a good group to be around.”
Rice is staying on with the team as an independent contractor throughout the season.
“I’ll just be an extra hand when they need projects to get done,” he said. “Over winter break, I’ll fly out and shoot some games, but otherwise, they’ll send me assets, and I can get it pushed out back to them.”
Rice said he gained a lot from the internship.
“Personally, I think I gained a lot of independence and maturity,” he said. “Professionally, a super valuable network that I’m going to be able to use and leverage for opportunities in the future. But also, just a lot of technical skills. Everyone that worked there is incredibly talented, and they’re also really helpful in fostering those skills on the younger guys. So that was awesome. I think I’ve noticed a huge production value bump in the first three weeks of being out there.”
He said his biggest challenge was overcoming the “imposter syndrome” that many people struggle with.
“Do I deserve this? And understanding my own worth,” he said. “I think I came to terms with that and really built my confidence throughout the summer because I was given opportunities to actually contribute, as opposed to just making coffee runs. So that was definitely the biggest challenge, but also now in hindsight, the biggest blessing, as well, to build out those opportunities.”