Mark Daniels '07
Describe what you are currently doing for work and your path.
I'm a Patriots beat writer for MassLive.com (read article). I've been covering the Patriots full-time since 2014. I spent the past eight years as the Patriots beat writer for the Providence Journal. It's my job to be an expert on the Patriots, go to every game and provide coverage year round. I've been to five Super Bowls and to the White House twice. It took a lot of work to get here. When I graduated in 2007, I worked at the Boston Herald as an editorial assistant. There, I edited statistics in the sports section until 1:30 a.m. It wasn't glamorous, but it did get my foot in the door. That led me to covering and writing about various sports - MMA, college and high school. That led me to covering the Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins for the Boston Herald. That's how I landed the job covering the Patriots full-time for the Providence Journal.
How did your education in your major and COLA prepare you for life after college?
At UNH, I started to write for the student paper as a sophomore. I became the sports editor my junior year. That led me to my passion of writing about football. During my junior year, UNH football earned a No. 1 ranking for the first time in school history. I loved covering that team. Ricky Santos was one of the best quarterbacks in FCS history and receiver David Ball broke Jerry Rice's receiving records. I covered UNH football for two years and when I graduated, it was my goal to write about football for the rest of my life. The internship in the journalism program was also huge. It wasn't easy since it wasn't a sports writing internship, but I learned a lot.
What person or course most influenced you while at UNH?
Lisa Miller was my favorite teacher. She had the right amount of push and constructive criticism that helped me improve as a writer. I loved taking her classes. I felt like she believed in me and I became a better writer because of her and her support. Journalism classes at UNH aren't easy. I had the passion for this, but needed refinement like a lot of students.
What advice do you have for students interested in your field?
If you want to be a sports writer, you need to write about sports. I wouldn't be here if I didn't cover UNH football for the student paper. I tell younger writers all the time that the key in this industry is to write as much as you can and also make contacts in the journalism field. If you want to get a job in this industry, it helps to network. Of course, if you want to write, you need to refine that skill. That means writing for the school paper and landing an internship (or two) that will allow you to work on your craft. It's not an easy business to get hired, but the people who grind and love it are usually the ones who succeed.
Anything else you'd like to share?
I love my job. It doesn't feel like a job since I talk to professional athletes and go to sporting events for a living. I wouldn't be here, however, if it wasn't for my work ethic. That started at UNH.