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Arda Öcal (BMath '05) studied math at Waterloo because it would lead to a stable career. But he was more interested in media. He wrote for Imprint and hung out at CKMS, Waterloo's student radio station. After graduation, he followed that passion, and today he's the host of Sportcentre and NHL on ESPN.

So, How did Arda find his way to ESPN? Mostly, by saying yes. Over the years, he said yes to any opportunity, gaining new skills and experience along the way.

With each "yes," Arda stepped into a new challenge. And now, he says his job is a dream come true. He joins the podcast to talk about his many jobs in broadcasting, offer advice to those who want to break in, and explain how a math degree prepared him for sports media.

Show notes

(2:00) How did Arda break into sports media?

(5:00) Arda offers tips for pitching yourself and your ideas

(8:15) "Rejection never feels good"

(12:35) Math was great preparation for media

(16:40) How did Arda get a job at ESPN?

(20:15) What's the best part of working on-air at ESPN?

(23:30) Sports create community, and representation matters

(26:20) Arda shares details of working on different shows

(28:10) Tips for finding a mentor

(33:30) Advice for those who want to enter a new field

Mentioned in this episode

CKMS: UWaterloo's student-run radio station

Imprint: UWaterloo's student newspaper