Carrying on the legacy of her dad, Emma Bronsteader, a junior Sports Media and Creative Media and Entertainment double-major, completed her second internship with the Olympics this past February. Sitting in the same seat in Stamford, Connecticut as she did for the 2020 Tokyo summer games, Bronsteader described a sense of deja vu being back as a production assistant intern for the 2022 Beijing winter games.
Bronsteader credits her involvement with the Olympics to her dad, Paul Bronsteader. Paul, who already had an established career as a freelance producer, started working for the world feed of the Olympics when he was around 30—his first games being the 2002 winter games in Salt Lake City. After experiencing his first Olympics, Paul wanted to get involved working with NBC to produce the American broadcast of the games. With the help of a few friends, Paul got a position as a turnaround associate producer for the 2004 summer games in Athens and continued working for NBC until 2018.
Watching her dad work for the Olympics for years, Emma says it was always something she wanted to get involved with. Emma first applied to be an intern for the Tokyo games in 2019 when it was scheduled to take place in 2020. Although she got the internship, there was a big question if the games were even going to happen due to COVID-19. It all worked out, however, and Emma was able to start living out her dream of working for the Olympics.
“The Olympics have always been something I’ve been really interested in,” Emma says. “Just growing up and always watching my dad go to the Olympics, it was just so elusive and exciting. I always knew I wanted to be a part of it.”
A nerve-wracking experience, Emma says she had no idea what to expect for her first games. Assuming that she would have minimal involvement and would just be “running to get people coffee,” Emma was shocked with the responsibility she had as an intern. Thrown into a group of four production assistants, Emma says it was a blessing that she was able to gain so much hands-on experience.
After her first Olympics, Emma recalls going on a walk with her boss when he asked her if she would want to come back for the Beijing games. Answering with a resounding “yes,” Emma was ecstatic to be asked back.
Emma says she thinks that once the Olympics get a hold of someone, they don’t let go too easily. Paul, who now works a full-time job, still gets calls from NBC asking if he’ll come back to help out. Picking up right where her dad left off, Emma says the Olympics have become a Bronsteader tradition.
“[My dad’s] last Olympics was PyeongChang in 2018, so there’s been a Bronsteader at every Olympics since 2002 which is so cool,” Emma says.
At both the Tokyo and Beijing games, Emma’s job was to find and catalog shots for different parts of the broadcast. Focusing primarily on the American athletes, Emma and her team would take clips of their events to file until the visuals were needed for a project. Going into her second Olympics with more experience and confidence, Emma says she was excited to work on preparing projects by herself.
A highlight of both of her internships, Emma says her team oversaw producing the closing credits for the Tokyo and Beijing games.
Ending her internship with a rewarding, full-circle moment, Emma remembers tearing up as she watched her name appear on screen next to a shot she pulled for the Beijing games.
Amidst the invaluable experience, Emma says her most memorable experiences were with her coworkers. Morning coffee runs, goofy moments in between hard work and watching the Super Bowl with her team made the weeks fly by.
“It was just nice to get back and connect with my coworkers because everybody is so awesome and remembered me, and we all keep in touch throughout the year,” Emma says. “I knew more of what I was doing when I got to Beijing, so I felt like I was actually doing something for the team… My dad always talks about how his best friends are the people he worked with at the Olympics, and… I feel like [my coworkers] have taught me so much just by being there, and they are all so supportive.”
After a successful second Olympics, Emma says that although it’s realistic that she could work for NBC after graduation, she’s not sure she would want to. Certain that she wants to work in post-production rather than producing live TV, Emma says her dream job would be to work in video production for the Chicago White Sox. Keeping her options open, however, Emma says she’s willing to work for any sports team except for the Chicago Cubs.