Alumna lands ultimate slam dunk with post-grad role at the NBA

February 01, 2024

Grad Alyssa Baker smiles in front of the NBA sign.

For Alyssa Baker ‘23, post-graduation life has been a rollercoaster of emotions — the feeling of finding a job, moving back home and the uncertainty of not knowing what comes next.

“It was depressing at first, to be frank. I missed my friends, coworkers and teammates, but I was super excited for my next chapter even though I had no idea what it was going to be,” Baker said.

Baker graduated with a BA in Film, Television and Media Arts. Like her communications peers, she was entering the film workforce in an especially challenging time.

“Graduating and entering the working world while the actors strike was happening was bad timing to say the least. There were little to no production jobs and most companies were going through a hiring freeze,” she said.

Baker expressed the challenges that came along with looking for jobs when there were not as many to choose from as she had expected.

“It felt like an unpaid full-time job applying to jobs, and I was getting less and less determined after each rejection email. I found myself having to start applying to jobs that I didn’t particularly want to do or didn’t major in but I didn’t think I was in a position to be picky,” she said.

Despite the hurdles, Baker made the most of her experience and opportunities. She went out and began to network, trying to meet as many people as she could and learn about her industry.

“I became a social butterfly this past summer and networked with anyone who was generous enough to share their time with me.”

All of her hard work paid off when she landed a position with the NBA.

“I didn’t plan on going into sports at all. If you told me two months ago I was going to work for the NBA I would’ve laughed,” Baker said. “It’s not something I had ever considered being a film kid, but the role perfectly marries my love for basketball with my passion for film.”

Baker had been living by the motto that everything will come in good time, and that it is important to explore all the opportunities that you can.

“It just shows not to limit yourself because you never know what and when opportunities are presented,” Baker said.

Baker’s role is within the footage department, where she sources previous game clips and gets them to clients.

“I spend my days looking through our entire NBA archive and combing through the history of basketball,” said Baker. “Whenever you see a new basketball documentary come out or a commercial with clips from an NBA game, that footage comes from us!”

One thing that Baker is excited for is meeting even more of her coworkers and learning how such a large and well-respected organization stays afloat so seamlessly.

“I only just started the job and I have already met three fellow Quinnipiac alumni. Seeing the Quinnipiac community blossom and grow throughout the NBA absolutely warmed my heart and just confirmed I am in the right place,” said Baker. “Of course going to events and games is just the icing on the cake.”

Baker knows one thing for sure — getting a job is not just about doing the work you are given, but going above and beyond. She emphasized the importance of getting involved in volunteer groups, as well as giving back to the organization in general.

“I'm looking forward to joining the employee volunteer program as well as their affinity group for employees of color and giving back. I’ve always been a basketball lover so getting to fully throw myself into the world of basketball excites me,” Baker said.

As a lifelong dreamer, Baker says that her younger self would be incredibly proud.

“I have always been a big dreamer and I think that’s important. Slowly seeing my dreams come true is more than I could’ve asked for especially as my first job post grad,” she said. “I know my younger self would be extremely proud of who I’ve become and what I went through to get here.”

For those dipping their toes into a job search, it can be a daunting process. Luckily, there are many resources out there for students and grads who are exploring the workforce.

Baker said she found her position through LinkedIn.

“Turn on your job alerts for Linkedin, Indeed and any other platform you’re using. This is exactly how I found my job, since I had the NBA job alerts on,” she said.

She had three interviews — a phone screening, a Zoom call with the team and a final interview with senior leadership in the department.

“I found out two days after my final interview that I got the job,” Baker said.

Baker embodies the confidence and determination of a Quinnipiac student. She participated in multiple internships and clubs, and said "yes" to campus opportunities that would give her the opportunity to learn.

“My on-campus jobs and film classes prepared me for this role really well, especially my production assistant role. For all four years at Quinnipiac I was in the television studio at least once a week PA’ing on our sports broadcasting graduate classes. I was making graphics mostly and working the server,” she said. “Just being in the space and watching the students report on their highlights taught me a lot about the sport and my love for basketball grew,”

Baker also took advantage of Quinnipiac University in Los Angeles, where she had the opportunity to intern on the set of "General Hospital" at ABC Studios.

“My time in the QU in LA program definitely helped me stand out in the interview process. My internship with General Hospital taught me many transferable skills that I knew would be helpful in this new role,” said Baker.

In addition, Baker was a strong campus leader and participated in programs and clubs across campus.

“Being a part of Dance Fusion all four years and working my way up the ranks to president showed my leadership and commitment skills. I was also a production assistant with the School of Communications all four years and a student ambassador for three years,” said Baker. “My heavy involvement on campus was something the interviewers noted they loved about my resume and my experiences.”

Although Baker had built up quite the resume, she also expressed the importance of not only relying on your experience to get you a job.

“I would definitely recommend adding people with the job you want on LinkedIn and asking people for informational interviews, especially recruiters,” she said.

Reaching out to individuals and networking is one of the key ways that you can set yourself apart as an applicant.

“Putting yourself out there and being your authentic self is the most important thing you can do,” she said. “I attended as many networking events as I could post grad and expanded my circle of people because you never know who will be hiring.”

Additionally, Baker stressed the importance of understanding that your journey will be different from everyone else’s.

“Don’t waste your energy comparing your journey to friends who graduate and immediately start working,” said Baker. “The job meant for you is out there, you just have to stay ready for when it comes.”

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