Dalton's career path leads to ESPN

2012-07-19T02:45:00Z 2012-07-20T09:12:46Z Dalton's career path leads to ESPNBy Jack Denker / Tribune Correspondent Fremont Tribune

Growing up in a home without cable television, Joslyn Dalton, a 2004 graduate of Fremont High School, never really paid much attention to ESPN.

“My parents wanted to save money,” Dalton said. “They wanted their kids to be avid readers and get involved in extra-curricular activities. As a result, I never watched ESPN, let alone dreamed about working for a media network.”

Today — eight years later — Dalton not only watches cable television, but she insists it’s an integral part of her life. That’s because Dalton now works for ESPN (the worldwide leader in sports media).

My experience at ESPN has been extremely gratifying,” Dalton said. “Our work directly influences the sporting landscape of the entire world. I feel extremely blessed to be surrounded with some of the most talented teammates in the industry.”

A standout athlete in high school, where she won four gold medals in cross country and track as a senior, Dalton’s journey to ESPN has been a decorated one.

She attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln on an academic and athletic scholarship. She lettered in both cross country and track for the Huskers and earned first-team Academic All-Big 12 honors (four times). As a senior in 2009, she was named captain of the women’s track team.

Upon being awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, Dalton attended the University of Central Florida to pursue a double master’s in Business Administration and Sports Business Management.

While in graduate school, Dalton worked for the Orlando Magic, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Fire and former professional golfer Annika Sorrenstam’s Academy.

After graduating from UCF in December of 2010, Dalton went to work for ESPN in February of 2011 as the Associate Manager of espnW projects. Dalton said espnW is an online destination for female sports fans and athletes.

“Starting at the company with espnW provided me with a fantastic experience,” Dalton said. “I worked in a start-up environment with the backing of an industry-leading brand. I am lucky to have a plethora of driven, smart, successful women to look up to along with the men here at ESPN.”

Dalton’s career growth with ESPN started almost immediately. She accepted her current position as Digital Media Strategy Project Manager for ESPN in April of 2012.

In this role, Dalton works as the Chief of Staff to Rob King, ESPN's senior vice-president of editorial, digital and print media. Dalton said her new role with ESPN has allowed her to see the company from a more holistic view in that she works with leaders in video, print, mobile and multiple ESPN.com web platforms.

“Once I accepted my first position with espnW, I worked hard to consistently produce quality work,” Dalton said. “At the same time, I invested in meeting leaders and innovators across the company. In doing so, I was introduced to not only great people with awesome advice, but I was presented with a tremendous opportunity to grow my career.”

Multiple perspectives and experiences from others have helped make the 26-year-old Dalton a more dynamic business professional early in her career. One example of this is the work Dalton did on The Power of IX, which was ESPN’s companywide four-month initiative that recognized the 40th anniversary of Title IX.

The Power of IX debuted on espnW on March 26 and ran through June 23 (the anniversary of when Title IX was passed into law). Dalton said she had the opportunity to assist the initiative’s leaders in planning and early implementation of a few multiplatform (television, online and print) projects.

“It was awesome to see the company invest in the celebration of how far women athletes have come over the last 40 years,” Dalton said. “I am a Title IX baby, who has benefited from a college athletic scholarship and NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship dedicated to females pursuing a career in athletics. I would not have the education or career I have today if it weren’t for the opportunities many women fought for before me.”

Dalton, who is based at ESPN’s world headquarters in Bristol, Conn., said her work has allowed her to meet many celebrities, entertainers and star athletes; including Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who won six medals (including three gold) in the women’s heptathlon and long jump in four different Olympic Games. Dalton also attended the ESPYS on July 11.

“In my short time with the company,” Dalton said, “I’ve focused on growing my professional skill-set to better perform at my job while actively learning from mentors along the way.”

Even though she grew up in a home without cable television, Dalton said that today she can’t imagine living without it.

“Millions of viewers consume ESPN on a daily basis,” Dalton said, “and the impact of our decisions directly affects our country’s sporting landscape. No two days are the same. ESPN is a fast-paced business, changing every minute with seamless storylines and breaking news. Needs are always evolving, so I have to be ready to go in many different directions.”

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