As she headed off to her second Super Bowl with the New England Patriots, Suffolk University alumna Lauren Spencer ‘15 shared what it’s like to work in her “dream job” — and how she got there:
Describe your typical work day:
In season, on a normal day, I’ll come in and look at our big calendar where we plan out the content for all channels. It helps us keep tabs on what’s coming in — from our video department, our website writers, or the content we’re creating — and then I write the social messages that go with that content when we post it.
Most days during the week we have a press conference with Coach Belichick. That’s usually in the morning so we’ll carry that live on one of our platforms, most often Facebook or Twitter.
Mid-day we have player availabilities. That starts with the practice, where there’s a 10-minute window where I can go grab content. Then there’s an open locker room period, which could include a press conference with Tom Brady or one of the other captains. Then the media has 45 minutes of locker room access to get content for their stories. If I need anything from the players — like a quick video shout out — I can get it then while the players are available.
How does that change leading up to the Super Bowl?
Thankfully this year I feel like I know what’s coming — because we did it last year! We’re going to have so much content for social. Our content team is launching a 24-hour network they’ll be operating out of Minneapolis. There’s so much going on, so we won’t have a shortage of news to share. It will be a grind for sure, but the excitement that comes along with it is incredible.
What was it like celebrating the Super Bowl win last year?
I got to ride in the Duck Boats during last year’s victory parade. We went right by Suffolk. I did a double-take! I took a photo of Suffolk’s huge banner. Growing up in Boston we were pretty spoiled having all the parades, but then to be riding in one was surreal. Sometimes I pull up the camera roll on my phone and look back at it, like “Oh, yeah, that really happened!”
How did you land your job?
I did a full-time, season-long media relations assistant position with the Tennessee Titans down in Nashville after graduation in 2015. It was a great first step, because it was a full-time role but it was temporary. So I got a taste for the job, but I wasn’t committed to moving halfway across the country. It was hard being away for Thanksgiving and Christmas!
In May of 2016 I got a similar seasonal role with the New England Patriots, and this May I was hired full time in my role as social media coordinator. It’s competitive and it’s tough to get a full-time position, but I have great mentors and bosses who encouraged me to go for it.
Do you still get to enjoy the games?
I attend all the home games and this was my first year traveling with the team. That’s been really cool because I’m not just getting football content. People are intrigued by the process — the guys on the plane, in the hotel, in the destination city. From a personal standpoint it’s been rewarding seeing so many new places, flying in the team plane. We even went to Mexico for a game this season.
How did Suffolk prepare you for your role?
Going to Suffolk was a huge advantage because of the proximity to so many opportunities. I lived on campus and then in the North End. I had internships with minor league baseball, the Boston Globe, the Boston Breakers, and the Boston Celtics. I was so close to my internship with the Celtics that I could walk over five minutes before work started. I learned so much from the hands-on experiences I had and that solidified my interest in the field.
Is this your dream job?
Yes. I grew up a Patriots fan. I was in third grade when the Patriots won their first Super Bowl in 2002 and now hopefully I’ll be there when they bring home their sixth. I remember watching games with my dad, drowning in his giant Patriots sweatshirt, and now I’m on the sidelines working the games. I’ve always loved to write and wanted to be in sports journalism, so to combine that with my love for the Patriots is really special.
What was the most surprising part of your job?
When you’re a fan you don’t realize all the work that goes on behind the scenes. It gives me an appreciation for how all of sports and entertainment works.
What are you most proud of?
The work we’re about to put in for the Super Bowl. I know I’ll be proud of my whole team. We have 4 million Twitter followers, so we work hard every day for a really large audience. I’ve certainly made little mistakes along the way but this job has pushed me to be on top of my game, do my best work, and learn from others.
What’s the biggest perk of working with the Patriots?
Game days. Those are the busiest day of the week, but there’s so much excitement. I get up at 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning and I’m so excited to go to work — not a lot of people can say that! We’re right in the action, feeling the energy from the crowd. There’s no material perk that would rival that excitement.
Do you have a favorite player to cover or work with?
I’m lucky because no one in our locker room has ever given me a hard time or been hard to work with. Everyone’s been super-cooperative and really fun. Matthew Slater, Devin McCourty, and Duron Harmon are three of our captains and they’re so great. Duron made a video after a win where he was really hyped up and it made for great content for us. It’s just them and their personalities coming through which is great to have on our channel -- it’s like hitting the content jackpot.
Tom Brady is always so in-demand as far as media requests. To work in his presence and to have him to build content around is something we’ve been spoiled to have. There’s no one like him and anything Brady-related we post does extremely well — whether he’s throwing four touchdown passes or sitting in a chair.
A decade ago, social media wasn’t necessarily considered a career option; now it’s a critical part of communication strategy. Where do you see your career going?
Social media is where everyone gravitates toward now. It’s personally where I receive most of my news. As a journalism graduate, I enjoy being able to incorporate writing into my work along with other types of content creation. We’re still a growing department and the importance of social will probably become even bigger than it is now. Hopefully as we grow I’ll continue to take on more responsibility. As the field grows there will be more platforms, more opportunities. There always will be a need for content even though how it’s distributed might change.
What’s your favorite Suffolk memory?
I played soccer for four years at Suffolk and made so many close friends. I think sports helped me cope with a job where I’m always adapting to whatever’s thrown at me. I made really great friends and learned life lessons I carry with me.
What advice do you have for students?
There’s no way I would have had the opportunities I have now without starting small, interning. One experience leads to another. No experience is bad because even if you hate what you’re doing that’s something you can cross off your list. And it doesn’t have to be a full internship; you can shadow someone for a day, or connect with someone in a field that interests you.
Celebrating the Patriots' Super Bowl LI victory on the field in 2017.
- Andrea Gimler, images courtesy of Lauren Spencer