A fresh new face is about to grace the world of journalism. Young, energetic, and full of life, she talks about her journey so far with profuse enthusiasm. Her name is Brenna Devanney, a soon-to-be 22 year-old student hailing from Janison, a small town of a few hundred people just outside Philadelphia.
Having just graduated from Philadelphia’s LaSalle University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications in May 2015, Devanney took the bold decision to leave her family and venture out to Los Angeles on what is her first time away from home. Even though she misses her family and does not know anyone in LA, she is determined to make this a rewarding experience. “It’s important to force yourself outside your comfort zone”, she quips.
Devanney has always lived in the East Coast and really identifies with its fast-paced lifestyle, but she grew fond of Southern California during several trips here with her family. She appreciates the warmer weather and people’s laid-back attitude. What really attracted her to this part of the country, however, was the opportunity to join USC, which she hopes will give her the set of skills she needs to become a sports journalist. “LaSalle gave me the technical skills that a journalist needs but here at USC, I am looking for more focus”, she asserted.
Her passion for sports journalism started at a young age when she would attend football tournaments with her family. It was during those games that she found her calling. “Athletes work hard to get to where they are, so I feel that connection. I share the same work ethic, and to me, being a successful sports journalist requires you to make it on your own. You cannot be a good journalist just because you have a family history of journalists. You have to earn it.”
According to her LinkedIn profile, Devanney already has a lot to be proud of. She can already claim the titles of editorial intern, news intern, media programs intern, public relations intern, host and producer. Such a robust resume at such an early stage of her career is a testament to her talent and craft as a journalist. That said, her favourite internship remains the work she did for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In partnership with the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, she worked with sick children and taught them how to produce entertainment, sports and game shows. She remembers this experience to be so “inspirational”. “It’s amazing how these kids had so much on their mind because of their suffering through cancer or other illnesses, and yet here they were, brave enough to put on a strong face and have fun”. The combination of doing what she loves to do and giving back to the community was the essence of that experience. When asked about the single highlight of her career, Devanney showed no hesitation in picking her interview with Michael Vick, a then-quarterback for The Eagles who went on to play for The Jets.
Despite being an avid fan of reality television and pop culture – she cites “The Bachelorette”, “Big Brother”, and “American Idol” as some of her favourite shows – she would like to go back to the East Coast after graduation and stay true to her first love, sports journalism. “I would like to become a sideline reporter for the NFL”, she reaffirms. With such passion, ambition, and drive shining through her eyes as she talks about her plans, it is clearly only a matter of time before Devanney becomes a household name in the field of sports journalism.