This Week's Spotlight Shines on Agam Mittal
By Nicola Karasik
Get to know our VP of Communications, Agam Mittal!
Q: What is your story?
A: I would say the best place to start any story is at the very beginning, and my beginnings were in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where I spent most of my early childhood. I loved it there, but my parents wanted to move to a city, and I found myself in the suburbs of Maryland when I was just seven years old. From that point onwards, I went on to attend four different schools, always meeting new faces and adjusting to the fast-paced lifestyle in a DC suburb. The only constant through it all was my love of sports — especially basketball, everyone’s favorite sport in North Carolina. My first sports memory is shooting hoops on my first basketball hoop on our driveway when I was five years old and talking about basketball with my sister and dad. Growing up just ten minutes away from Wake Forest, where Chris Paul was my idol, I began to watch the NBA; over the years, I became more interested in other sports as well. Going to school in DC — where I’m just a few miles from Nationals Park and Capital One Arena — have made me an even bigger sports fan than ever before. When I’m not watching sports, I’m usually doing my engineering homework or listening to music.
Q: Who do you look up to in the sports industry?
A: There are many athletes, coaches, journalists, and broadcasters who I admire in the sports industry, but my role model — someone I aspire to be like one day — is Shams Charania, who is a sports reporter for Yahoo Sports covering the NBA. He worked his way up the totem pole in the sports journalism industry and is now one of the best reporters in the industry despite being just 23 years old.
Q: What experiences do you have working in the sports industry?
A: My experiences working in the sports industry are more limited than those of others because I am not pursuing it as a career, but I am a sports reporter for the GW Hatchet and I have had the opportunity to see the workflow of sports journalism and all the people involved with making college athletics possible. Working as a sports reporter for the Hatchet has been one of the highlights of my college experience. It has taught me the fundamentals of sports media — how to interview athletes, what goes on in the press box and in the broadcasting booth, and everyone involved in making a college athletics event possible. Over the past three years, I’ve covered almost every varsity sport at GW, with an emphasis on women’s basketball and baseball. Watching GW baseball has introduced to me to a sport that I never watched before, but one that I have grown to love recently.
Q: What are your experiences working outside the sports industry?
A: Outside the sports industry, my academic background is in the intersection of healthcare, biology, and engineering. I’ve shadowed at the GW Hospital and the local rehabilitation hospital back home, worked in two biology labs, and most recently I spent my summer in Branchburg, NJ working as a research and development IT engineer at Merck, which is a pharmaceutical company. However, working in the sports industry has always been a feasible career option for me, and it is not something that I’ve completely ruled out. But in the classroom, I’ve always been a scientifically-minded student and I hope to use those skills in an area where I can impact people’s lives through research and development.
Q: If you’re pursuing a different industry besides sports, why did you join SBA?
A: Although I am pursuing a career outside of the sports industry, the SBA has given me an opportunity to spread information about the sports industry, and my love of sports, to other people at GW, where sports has traditionally taken a back seat to politics in terms of student interest.
Q: What are you excited about this year for the SBA?
A: As the Vice President of Communications, I want to fulfill the mission of our organization at its core: to bridge the gap between students and the sports industry by exposing as many GW students as possible to the wealth of opportunities available in the DC area. Last year, while being a great stepping stone for us, was a building year; I see this year as our first chance to really make a lasting impact on students by hosting networking events, co-sponsoring talks and conferences, and establishing standard operating procedures within the organization for those that take on my role after me.
Q: What has been your favorite internship experience in college so far and why?
A: Working at Merck (summer 2018) was my favorite internship experience because it combined my two interests — the healthcare industry and IT — in an impactful, open working environment that brought out my most relevant skills.
Q: What is your dream job?
A: For a few years growing up I wanted to be an athlete, but once I realized that wasn't possible I decided that I wanted to be in sports journalism. Even though I no longer intend to go into the sports industry, writing about college athletics for the past three years has given me a taste of what it's like to be an unbiased observer of sports, as opposed to the fandom that I am so used to.
Q: What is something you wish you had known about going into the industry before college and applying to internships?
A: I wish I had known the importance of sending follow-up emails after networking or meeting with professionals in the industry, because they allow you to create a lasting and more memorable impression for later on.
Q: What makes you get out of bed in the morning?
A: What motivates me is knowing that people are out there working extremely hard to achieve their goals and making the most out of every day, and that I should make the most out of my days too. I know that I can't take waking up every day for granted and that I should take full advantage of every day I am physically and mentally fit.
Q: What is something unique you have to offer to the industry you want to pursue?
A: I've worked in a lot of different settings and environments already, and I haven't ever held a full-time position yet, meaning that any industry I pursue will be getting an employee that can adapt to a variety of situations and scenarios.
Q: What is one thing people should definitely know about you?
A: One thing that people should definitely know about me is that I love food, especially unhealthy food. One day I want to travel to every Major League Baseball stadium and eat a burger at all 30 of them.