Alumna Sara Mackulin '18 '20 is Director of Broadcast and Video Production for Pitt's ACC Network Alumni Profile
Meet Sara Mackulin
- Job Title & Employer
- Director of Broadcast and Video Production (ACC Network), University of Pittsburgh
- Broadcast Reporting, MBA
- Public Relations & Advertising, Spanish
- College Activities
- U-View, Point Park Sports Network, Pittsburgh Center for Sports Media and Marketing
- Pittsburgh, Pa.
- High School
- Thomas Jefferson High School
"I would recommend Point Park because of the first-hand experiences that both the school and Downtown Pittsburgh have to offer. Also, for someone who wants a career in sports, Pittsburgh is the place to be. Few cities are home to three professional sports teams like Pittsburgh, and the opportunities and connections for internships and jobs are endless."
Highlight your career path since graduating from Point Park University.
After earning my undergrad degree in December 2018, I began my MBA at Point Park while working as a grad assistant in Athletics. I took this opportunity to advance my academic career, and as a grad assistant I handled student-athlete eligibility and compliance, among other tasks. This led me to a job at La Roche University as a coordinator in the Registrar’s Office handling class scheduling, the course catalog and grading.
While at La Roche, one of Pitt’s directors of broadcast and video production at the time contacted me about a full-time job. I had worked as a production assistant/freelancer for them since 2018, so they knew of me and my experience. Even though I was enjoying my job at La Roche, I missed sports and broadcasting and was excited for the opportunity to get back to the career path that I had hoped to follow.
I started in July 2021 as a coordinator of broadcast and video production for Pitt Studios/Pitt Athletics. In January, I learned that my two former bosses were leaving to pursue other opportunities. Due to my experience in the organization and overall performance thus far, I was promoted to director of broadcast and video production (ACC Network producer) on April 1.
What are your key responsibilities in your job?
I am responsible for the live TV broadcasts of Pitt Athletics for the ACC Network, which includes men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, gymnastics, wrestling, women’s lacrosse, baseball and softball.
I work most of our sporting events, typically serving as the producer, graphics producer or associate director for our shows that appear on ACC Network or ACC Network Extra. Our preparation for each sports season and the events that follow begin early as there are many moving pieces to getting each broadcast on air. My coworker and I are responsible for managing everything from a content and organization-related perspective for each sports season and work alongside our engineer (a former Point Park grad), to ensure all equipment is updated and functioning properly for each broadcast.
In addition, I help lead our large group of freelancers on game days and throughout the season in areas such as production and game management, one-on-one and group trainings and overall growth and skill development. As one of Pitt’s main broadcast contacts, I communicate with ESPN personnel on a weekly basis on programming selections and changes, production protocols and broadcast guidelines and specialty game-related content. I also manage departmental operations such as payroll, crewing, interns and communication with other athletics personnel both at Pitt and other universities across the country.
In what ways did your Point Park undergraduate and graduate experiences prepare you for this role?
My Point Park undergrad experience definitely had a hand in preparing me for my current role at Pitt. From day one, I was able to get my hands on equipment and learn from broadcast and industry professionals, like Gina Catanzarite and Tom McMillan. I joined U-View, which was by far my favorite experience at Point Park. It taught me so much about TV, professionalism and networking while also making great friends in the process.
Through my work at U-View, attendance at the Baseball Winter Meetings in 2016 and 2017 and the great connections Point Park had to offer, I was able to secure internships with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pitt Athletics and at WQED – all of which prepared me for my role today.
My experiences in the MBA program prepared me as well. Taking classes like accounting and organizational behavior taught me how to be a leader and help in my daily operations-related tasks such as payroll and budgeting.
Why would you recommend Point Park University to a prospective student?
I would recommend Point Park because of the first-hand experiences that both the school and Downtown Pittsburgh have to offer. I chose Point Park because I grew up in Pittsburgh and wanted to stay close to home and my family, while also pursuing a career in sports broadcasting. Point Park was the only school in the area that I could major directly in broadcast reporting and there are many other specialized majors and minors at Point Park for one to choose from. Also, for someone who wants a career in sports, Pittsburgh is the place to be. Few cities are home to three professional sports teams like Pittsburgh, and the opportunities and connections for internships and jobs are endless.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Seek out internships in college. I can honestly say they led me to where I am at today. I had five different internships, and the one I pursued the final semester of my senior year led me to Pitt and my current role. Do not be afraid to pursue your dreams and reach outside your comfort zone. Just because an internship or job description does not speak directly to you or fits your qualifications exactly, apply anyway. Even if you do not start where you want to be, it will lead you to where you want to go. Take a chance and have confidence in your abilities.
More About: public relations and advertising, sports communication, Honors Program, broadcast reporting, athletics, School of Communication, Center for Sports Media and Marketing, U-View, internships, M.B.A.