Sharing Passions in a Wide Variety of Fields – Harry Hawkings ‘14

Sharing Passions in a Wide Variety of Fields – Harry Hawkings ‘14

Interviewed by Sophia Gourley ‘19

SG: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me. What have you done since leaving Trinity? You could share something work or career related or something family related.

HH: After I graduated from Trinity, I went home to Washington, D.C. I had an internship with ESPN, and I interned for Pardon the Interruption for four months. When I finished my internship, I got a job working on Capitol Hill. I always wanted to go back to working in sports and interviewed with ESPN for a full time job in October 2014. I got a call back in November of that year and started in December of 2014, and I’ve been at ESPN ever since in Bristol.

SG: That’s awesome. Was there anything that you learned while at Trinity that helped you in your career?

HH: ESPN sports journalism is no different than any other kind of journalism. It’s just the tools. And I learned a lot of writing skills in particular that help me. Writing about sports and putting video together about sports–it’s all the same skill set. I’ll need a beginning, a middle, and an end. You need to decide what’s good and what’s not. You need to shorten or lengthen. It’s all similar; it’s just learning the technical skills of how to get a video is a little different to the technical skills of learning how to use Microsoft Word. But I use the critical thinking skills, the analytical skills, the writing skills, and the story structure skills–all those kinds of things that I worked on when I was writing papers during my three years as a poli sci major. And I used it all the time I’d say.

SG: That’s great!  What were you involved in on campus besides the political science department?

HH: I was really involved in sports. I was a manager for the Ice Hockey team for four years. I sang in the choir for years as well. And I was involved with Trinity Sports Network. I called play by play for the athletic department for football, men’s soccer, and women’s lacrosse.

SG: What was the transition like moving from D.C. to Connecticut? Was it kind of just seamless because you had almost like the perfect job for you or was that kind of like a big difference?

HH: It was seamless. I was actually helped by some Trinity alumni. When I was hired, they told me I needed to be up here a week out and I didn’t have time to really find a place. So I had three buddies on the hockey team who lived off campus, and I slept on a couch the first two weeks I lived up here, which was a huge help. It was helpful that I already knew the area and still had friends on campus. I was really close to it so I was still able to hang out with them. And I’m really close with the men’s hockey coach. The relationships that I formed at Trinity really helped to me with my transition. All of the kids who start at ESPN tend to come from the same schools (Penn State, Ithaca College, University of Texas, University of Charlotte, etc.). I was on the outside of those established networks, so having my Trinity support system was really helpful.

SG: It sounds like it. So you’re a sports journalist?

HH: Technically I’m a TV producer.

SG: That sounds like kind of a perfect fit given what you were involved with at Trinity.

HH: It’s a lot of fun, but can be difficult too. I do have a passion for politics, obviously. Both my parents worked on the Hill for over 25 years and I am interested in it also, which is why I majored in poli sci at Trinity. Ultimately, what it boils down to is that other people’s free time is my work, which is a pretty good job.

SG: That’s a really good way to look at it, right?

HH: I would be watching these games anyway so I might as well get paid for it. It is a great job and I’m very grateful for it, but I retain an almost equal passion for what I learned at Trinity in terms of political science and what I do now.

SG: What are some passions or hobbies or things that Trinity should be aware of? I sounds like sports and politics would be two of them, but is there anything else?

HH: What I learned at Trinity has enabled me to understand what’s going on in politics at a deeper level than most people. Regardless of what your politics are, many people just don’t understand how the system works.

SG: I completely agree with that.

HH: I’m very grateful to have that background and to know those things because I would feel almost even more helpless if I didn’t have that knowledge. These courses help you to be a successful adult. I’m very grateful to the political science department and just about every professor that I had at Trinity. Professor Chambers in particular was really great.