Brent Colborne, ESPN’s Director of Programming and Acquisitions, graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2005 with a B.S. in Business Administration and a minor in Sport Management.
Though he has been a UConn alumnus for 12 years, Colborne’s dedication to the university and its current students has remained persistent during his time at ESPN.
On Feb. 13, Colborne and his programming team visited UConn and attended a networking event hosted by the Sport Management program to discuss their experiences working in the sport industry with juniors and seniors in the program.
Colborne shared that one of the most challenging aspects of his professional career was ultimately getting his foot in the door with ESPN, and mentioned that he might not have been able to do so without the help of the faculty at UConn.
While taking a Sport Management class taught by Dr. Jennifer (Bruening) McGarry, Colborne was introduced to three executives from ESPN, all of who still work with him in the programming department. Having met one of them a few weeks prior at an ESPN career fair and connecting with her a couple of times after, the rest was history. He provided her with his resume, she passed it on, and he interviewed and was offered an internship with the organization during the spring semester of his senior year.
Colborne acknowledged that one of his favorite parts about returning to campus that day was having the ability to do for current students what previous professors and executives did for him during his time at UConn.
“Being able to pay it forward to the Dr. McGarry’s of the world – I wouldn’t be where I am now if it weren’t for her and other people who were there when I was there,” he said. “I was looking at it as an opportunity to give what I wish I had when I was a junior or senior back to students at UConn, and that was the most rewarding experience.”
Though he enjoyed showing his colleagues the place where he had spent four years of his life, Colborne was excited to network with current students and provide them with valuable advice regarding their future careers and aspirations in the sport industry.
“Take advantage of what UConn has to offer,” he said. “We’ve got unbelievable facilities, best-in-class teams at all levels, so for someone who wants to work in the sport field and not take advantage of those opportunities with successful teams and great venues would be a disservice to that major.”