Earlier this month, Matthew Searle ’15 got a delivery that he had been waiting six months for, but that some people wait their entire careers for and never get: a winged trophy courtesy of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Emerson College Today asked Searle, who graduated with a degree in Communication Studies, about how he got the job and what it’s like to be an Emmy winner already.
What did it feel like to win an Emmy one year out of school?
Winning an Emmy is a dream come true and something I am unbelievably grateful to have accomplished so early in my career. I had always hoped to work in either sports or entertainment, so the opportunity to do both is a reward in and of itself.
The work we do at MLB Network is the result of many people applying their passion to put forth an exceptional product. I am proud of the Emmy win, but I am even more proud to count myself among such talented and hardworking professionals.
What, exactly, do you do with MLB Tonight?
I am part of MLB Network’s research department, which is responsible for all of the editorial content at the network. The main responsibility for a researcher is to provide statistics that can be made into graphics for each of our shows, but I also perform several other key duties. I proofread text that will appear on air, compose written packets of information that are distributed to each department, and work closely with on-air talent to ensure that the facts they share with our viewers are both relevant and accurate. In my time at the network, I have proposed ideas for show segments, prepped hosts for interviews, and even given stats to Bob Costas from the Yankee Stadium press box during a live broadcast.
How did you get the job?
I interviewed twice with an Emerson alum who is now a segment producer at MLB Network. This producer and one of his colleagues visit colleges on an annual basis looking for hungry young talent to recruit. I initially interviewed for a position as a production assistant, but my expertise and impressive writing samples helped me land a job in research.
I began working at MLB Network in June 2015, just over a month after graduating from Emerson. As a midseason hire, I was not guaranteed employment past October, but I did such an outstanding job that I was brought back on a permanent basis.
What’s your dream job?
Growing up, my goal was to be a play-by-play announcer for a baseball team. However, I also consider my current position to be a dream job. I began watching MLB Network from its inception in 2009 and believe that it set a new standard of excellence in terms of sports television.
Now that I am fortunate enough to be part of the network’s research team, I embrace every opportunity to absorb new information and to contribute valuable knowledge to our award-winning programming. Every day that I come to work, I delve into baseball topics with my co-workers and the sharpest minds in the business. Collaborating with others who are equally passionate about baseball inspires me creatively and makes me eager to learn as much as possible about the sport and its history. Although the television industry is demanding, the rewards of the job far outweigh any stress.
How has Emerson prepared you for your career (so far)?
The skills I acquired at Emerson have been invaluable in my career thus far. My classes prepared me for the demands of the job by teaching me how to critically examine data and organize ideas in a thoughtful, comprehensive manner.
In addition, my extracurricular activities provided me with the necessary experience to thrive in such a competitive field. As an undergrad, I announced basketball and volleyball games and was a pre-game host for Emerson Channel Sports, where I became familiar with the process of creating a sports television show. I also gained valuable experience by taking on challenging internships, particularly at SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) and Comcast SportsNet New England. These internships helped me become well-versed in sports media and allowed me to hone my skills as an aspiring professional in the world of entertainment.
How much does the Emmy weigh and where are you putting it?
It’s quite heavy—it weighs about six pounds! I have it up on a bookshelf for now…hopefully, I will need to make room for more awards in the future.