We are excited to introduce our new partners, Jonathan Fernandez and Jaryd Bongcaras from Technically Foul: A Sports Podcast. Stay tuned for more sports collaborations with them!
It’s been my goal to be a sports journalist for as long as I can remember. I grew up admiring the ones I saw on TV, like Michael Wilbon and Stuart Scott, so once I got into college I jumped at the chance to cover our university’s sports teams for our campus newspaper. Working at the paper is also how I met Jaryd. In my second year we were offered the opportunity to host a sports talk show and broadcast the school’s basketball games for our university radio station. I’ve also freelanced for The Press-Enterprise, interned at NBC, and will be attending Northwestern University this fall in pursuit of my master’s in sports media.
Covering sports makes me happy and it would be a dream to have a job I’m beyond content with for the next forty years. Outside of talking about sports and playing it, I enjoy going to Joshua Tree during New Moon (not a Twilight reference), making terrible raps over cool beats I find on YouTube, and playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Jonathan’s Failure Story
Graduating in 2020 itself felt like a failure story because the job market completely crashed when everything was shut down. I was in the process of interviewing for a production assistant position within the ESPNNext program where they have you work with them for a year on various ESPN programming. I had gone through two interviews before the pandemic hit hard and the hiring process was indefinitely suspended.
However, that failure only further fueled my aspirations in sports journalism. I wanted to keep growing as a journalist and as a content creator so I created a sports podcast with Jaryd called Technically Foul. In addition to that I entered a writing competition which is how I got connected to Jeff Pearlman, a New York Times bestseller who we had on the podcast. Then later, I was accepted into the sports media master’s program at Northwestern University, one of the top journalism programs in the country.
Coming out of college during one of the worst job market crashes motivated me to not be stagnant. I was heavily involved in college – I wrote for my school’s newspaper, hosted a sports radio show, and broadcasted the men’s and women’s basketball games for my university radio station. I asked myself how I could continue to get closer to my goal during a pandemic, and that’s when I pushed myself to do activities that kept my sports journalism dream in sight.
Jaryd’s Failure Story
Similarly, my failure story comes from graduating college and thinking that landing a job was going to be easy because of all my work experience I put up in college. I had done commentary, a radio show, and wrote for all different sports for the university paper. It was ignorant of me because every other person in America, who also wants to pursue sports journalism, was doing the same thing – and they’re all hustling hard like I am. I had peers that were getting all sorts of internships during college, during the summers in between, and going into their 2nd and 3rd year of college.
It fell on my overconfidence assuming that I was in a better position than anyone else. I failed to recognize that, in stark contrast to how I perceived myself in college, I wasn’t actively improving myself. I began to spiral into bad habits of thinking that I had to wait for news companies or television networks to validate my work experience. I’ve landed three interviews with local TV stations, two in San Diego and one in San Francisco, and kept reassuring myself that because I landed these interviews, I was doing a good job. Which isn’t entirely false, it just placed weight and expectations out of my control when really I should be focusing on how to improve as an aspiring journalist.
I wasn’t quite ready yet to commit to a graduate program, and I also didn’t want to keep repeating the same losing formula, so building a work portfolio with Jon through Technically Foul helped keep my thoughts at ease. It was very gratifying focusing all my energy towards what I can do better, as opposed to which job or company was going to accept me. In the meantime, I’ve been enrolled into a paralegal program at University of San Diego School of Law, and have had articles published in other topics such as news and politics.