The workshops at Vanderbilt University left plenty of time for the group to explore Music City, from legendary barbeque to late-night honkytonks, and coincided with the NWHL all-star weekend at Bridgestone Arena.
Meagan McKinley, a senior journalism minor and staff writer at The Review, parlayed the timing into a press pass for the women's hockey skill challenge, and a freelance social media gig for a women's hockey blog.
"The conference is not just a chance to introduce yourself to big names in the industry. It's a chance to build a network with other students who have the same drive and passion as you. It's an expansion of your horizons,'' McKinley said.
The workshop also provided a chance for students to take part in Nashville's No.1 rated live sports radio show, The Midday 180, with former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer as guest.
A key point of discussion throughout the workshops was the evolution of sports reporting from merely reporting scores, statistics and highlights to the value of being able to tell a story well.
Maybe the best bits of advice from the conference came during the Saturday keynote panel, "The Most Important Thing," in which Olney, Sheinin, and Michael Wallace of the NBA Memphis Grizzlies provided an hour of pro tips to the 130 college journalists attending the conference. All three stressed the need to develop relationships with athletes and coaches to gain trust and be able to break news.
In addition to Baker and McKinley, students Doug Baran, Jacob Baumgart, Bridget Dolan and Daniel Rosenfield and professor Deborah Howlett attended the conference.