By Jessie Bazan, communication junior
Above: Quinlan in front of the official Olympic countdown clock in London. Below: Quinlan explored the city in the days leading up to her internship.
"This must be a mistake," Tess Quinlan quipped to her roommate as she logged out of her email one morning last fall. "Seriously, is this some kind of prank?"
No, it was not a hoax lottery announcement or a college buddy trying to pull one over. Rather, on the screen was a message from an NBC executive, who had a serious offer for the broadcast and electronic communication junior:
"Come work for us at the Olympics."
At just 20 years old, Quinlan has already accomplished more in her sports reporting career than most college journalists. This past school year alone, she moderated a panel with Sports Illustrated columnist Peter King, reported courtside at the NCAA tournament and snagged an exclusive interview with NBA champion — and former Marquette standout — Dwyane Wade. Now, Quinlan can add NBC Olympic intern to her resume.
"When I ended up applying for this, it was something I really wanted to do," says Quinlan, who will spend the latter part of her summer logging tape at the International Broadcast Center in London. "It was just sheer elation and validation that I was good enough for NBC to work for the Olympics."
The success of this student leader comes as no surprise to those who know her. During her time at Marquette, Quinlan has served as an admissions tour guide and residence hall representative, hosted a Marquette radio show, worked in the Office of Disability Services and directed MUTV's sports programing — where she did everything from athlete and coach interviews to camera work to collecting sound bytes.
This academic year, Quinlan will work with the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics as coordinator of video services and as a gomarquette.com feature reporter.
But the focus is on July right now and London, where she is putting her sports knowledge to good use for NBC. Her duties include watching footage of events and marking segments for the highlight reel.
For Quinlan, a passionate sportscaster who has been around athletics her whole life, working at the games was not just a dream, but also a career goal.
"I distinctly remember in 2008, sitting on the Jersey Shore, watching Michael Phelps and saying to myself, 'I want to work at the Olympics,'" recalls the New Jersey native. Now, four years later, she finds herself on the sports world's biggest stage.
"I'm just happy to be there," says Quinlan. "How many 20 year olds can say they worked for NBC, covering the Olympics?"