While many Americans watched the 2014 Winter Olympics on television, Penn State Smeal master of business administration student Jason Ganter was working behind the scenes in Sochi, Russia, in the NBC wing of the International Broadcast Center.
In Sochi, Ganter held a role on the NBC Sports Digital Asset Team, where he helped to research historical data and archived footage to provide NBC producers with production footage for primetime Olympics coverage.
“The majority of my team’s time is spent assisting with final preparations and last minute edits before airing the primetime coverage in the U.S.,” said Ganter.
But he also worked with producers on media rights deals, which Ganter says is the most interesting part of the job for him.
“Smeal really worked with me to help make this opportunity a reality.”
-- Jason Ganter, Class of 2014, Penn State Smeal MBA program
“I love media rights deals and the negotiating that goes along with them,” Ganter said.
Though the Olympics were happening during the academic year, the Penn State Smeal MBA program was able to allow Ganter the flexibility he needed to accept this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“Smeal really worked with me to help make this opportunity a reality,” he said. “I was able to rework my school schedule so I could still graduate on time.”
Ganter first connected with NBC in the summer of 2013, when he earned a spot in NBC Sports Group’s first summer internship program working in the Talent Management department in Stamford, Conn.
“Our duties in the Talent Management department were to manage and negotiate the contracts for the on-air talent associated with NBC Properties — the Olympics being the largest of those properties,” said Ganter. “That process allowed for a lot of interaction with other segments and gave me the exposure I needed to land a gig with NBC Olympic.”
Ganter’s experience with NBC was not his first foray into the entertainment industry. Between earning his undergraduate degree in economics at Penn State, where he was also a defensive back on the Penn State football team, and returning to Smeal for his MBA, he accepted a position as executive assistant to the president of the Jonas Group — a talent management company that included clients The Jonas Brothers.
After rapidly proving success in the industry, Ganter was personally requested by Joe Jonas of The Jonas Brothers to act as his executive assistant during The Jonas Brothers’ U.S. and international tours.
“I was instrumental in the day-to-day management of Mr. Jonas’ personal brand across all spectrums of his career,” he said.
Ganter returned to Smeal in 2012. He will graduate with his MBA in May.
About the Penn State Smeal MBA program The internationally ranked residential Penn State Smeal MBA Program positions students from around the world for their future careers. The two-year program, based on the University Park campus, begins with a focus on business fundamentals. Through summer internships with top companies and concentration opportunities in areas such as finance, marketing and supply chain management, students then personalize their Smeal MBA experiences to align with their career aspirations. Learn more at www.smeal.psu.edu/mba.