Dan Steir’s production resume is the stuff of sports media dreams: SportsCenter, Outside The Lines, NFL Countdown, ESPN’s college basketball coverage, and the most epic of them all, the Super Bowl.
As senior vice president and senior coordinating producer at NBC Sports, Steir manages a busy list of TV projects. Despite that, the LSA alum devoted three days to helping facilitate the Opportunity Hub’s Flash Internship: 3 Days in Sports Media, where 12 LSA students were given an insider look at the industry through hands-on, immersive experiences.
Here, he shares how the Michigan network has impacted his career and his advice for succeeding in any industry.
It’s a jam-packed three days for our flash interns and they’re learning from all different kinds of perspectives across the industry. Ultimately, where do you see the value of this flash internship experience for our 12 students?
A common theme that came up in the first day was get exposed to different areas of different businesses. This flash internship has created that kind of hands-on exposure for the students, and that is how you find out if something really interests you.
It’s safe to say that the Michigan connection is helping our 12 students throughout this trip. How has the Michigan connection helped you navigate your career and progress through the different stages of your professional life?
I’ve come across a bunch of different people in this industry and other industries that have gone to Michigan. Just based upon that, they’ve been much more open in listening and guiding, and much more receptive to opportunities. That common thread has enabled people that I’ve interfaced with to be more receptive and accepting, and more willing to listen and offer help.
What sorts of philosophies, mantras, or pillars have you tried to live by throughout your career that you’ve found to be particularly instrumental to your success?
Curiosity is a big one. Be curious. I believe in being proactive, and I believe in learning how things are done, doing your best to master how things are done, and then improving how they’re done. And be really helpful when you're on a team. Those are my overriding mantras. I also think it’s important to anticipate things in advance. If I’m an intern and I’ve got to go get a coffee, I get the coffee before being asked. Another general principle that I gained from Michigan is to learn what you need to know. During my sophomore year, I was in an Arab Israeli conflict class, studying for the final. I read this sentence in the textbook with my friend, and he claims that he was the one who identified it, but I think I was. Anyway, I said, “that’s going to be the essay question.” And it was. It was an epiphany for me to learn what you need to know. Learn what you need to learn. Learn how to be who you are, how to operate, and how to function.