Ty Reeves watched UConn basketball growing up, but never imagined that one day he’d be accompanying the women’s team to two Final Four appearances as one of the players the Huskies practice against. And that’s hardly the only opportunity he seized during his time at Storrs.
Whether working as a student journalist at UCTV or the Daily Campus, or as an intern with the Athletic Communications Department, Ty was determined to make the most of his four years at UConn, in every venue from the classroom to Gampel Pavilion.
Now, as he heads off for a job in New York City, he leaves behind a piece of advice for the Huskies following in his footsteps: time goes by quicker than you think, so make the most of it while you can.
Why did you choose UConn?
UConn was always my dream school. I watched the men’s and women’s basketball teams growing up, but I didn’t get to actually visit the campus until my sophomore year of high school. I fell in love with the campus and the atmosphere. Even though I was still in Connecticut, it felt that I was in a new place. After that visit, I knew this is where I wanted to be. So when I got my acceptance letter, it was a no-brainer that I was coming to UConn.
What’s your major and why did you choose it?
I’m graduating from the University as a Journalism and Communications double major but when I came to UConn I was just a Journalism major. Most students nowadays, I feel, choose to study Engineering, Business, or something in the STEM fields. But for me I knew that wasn’t my calling. I’m not good at math, I didn’t really enjoy sciences, but I knew I enjoyed writing and loved sports. I felt Journalism would set me up to achieve my goal, which was to work in sports media. I got a lot of criticism about choosing it as my major. Many told me it was a dying field and that there was no money in it. But what I’ve learned studying the field here at UConn is there are tons of opportunities and fields you can pursue with a Journalism degree. You don’t have to just be a print reporter. The industry is evolving, and it has created so many opportunities in the field for Journalism students to consider as they head towards the real world with a Journalism degree.
What are your plans after graduation?
Right now I’m fortunate to say I have accepted a position to work in a client-management role with an entertainment company in New York. I’m beyond grateful for the opportunity that I’ve been given. But the sport media industry has always been my goal, so I’m keeping my options open.
What activities were you involved with as a student?
I was involved with a lot during my time on campus! I spent some time with UCTV and the Daily Campus and got to be a member of the Club Baseball Team. But a majority of my time was spent as an intern with the UConn Athletic Communications Department, the UConn Sport Business Association, and the UConn Women’s Basketball Program.
I had the opportunity to intern with the Athletic Communications Department for the last four years, working under Pat McKenna and Bill Peterson. I’ve got to learn so much about college athletics during that time and have gotten to work in areas such as official statistics, media relations, and more. Through this department I’ve also gotten the opportunity to work for major media companies like SNY, FOX Sports, and CBS on UConn game days. This past March I also had the opportunity to work at the Women’s Big East Tournament and the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight games in Bridgeport.
The UConn Sport Business Association was the first organization I got involved with on campus. It’s a unique organization that connects students with accomplished sports professionals. It’s been a privilege for me to say I had the opportunity to serve as President for the last year, and it’s been a joy to watch the club grow over the last four years. For me, a lot of the opportunities I’ve gotten on this campus, I owe to the UConn Sport Business Association.
The last amazing activity I’ve been able to participate in at UConn was being a practice player for the UConn Women’s Basketball. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to practice side-by-side with some of the greatest basketball players in the country, and to learn from arguably the greatest coach ever. Having the opportunity to form relationships with not only the players, but the coaching staff and team managers as well. They’ve made me feel, especially this season, that we truly had an impact on this program. Through the team, I had the opportunity to go to two consecutive Final Fours. Two experiences that I’ll never forget. Overall, I’m forever grateful for all the memories the program has given me.
How has UConn prepared you for the next chapter in life?
UConn has taught me that nothing in life comes easy; that, if you have a goal or a milestone you want to reach, you have to be willing to put in the work. That was the case in the classroom and with gaining experience around campus. I believe that I’m mentally ready for the challenges and work the real world has to offer. And I credit my time at UConn for preparing me for that.
What’s one thing that surprised you about UConn?
When you think of UConn you think of a big flagship state school. But for me I was surprised how small the community around you is. It feels like you see the same faces every day. I’m not saying I know everyone that attends the University, but to an extent it almost feels like I do.
Any advice for incoming first-year students?
The advice I’d give to incoming students is: four years goes by super quick, so make the most out of it. If you have an interest that you want to pursue, do it. If you have a specific industry you want to get into, join organizations that are going to help you reach it. The classroom is only one half of the puzzle, getting involved is the other. Yeah, a 4.0 GPA looks great, but it’s the experience that gets you places. Socially, just have fun. Make as many memories as you can. Meet as many people as you can. If you do these things, these will truly be the best four years of your life.
What’s one thing every student should do during their time at UConn?
I’d say go to as many basketball games as possible. As someone who’s been able to watch games as a fan and an employee, nothing beats the atmosphere inside Gampel. We are lucky to have two of the best basketball programs in the entire country. So why not watch as many games as you can before your time is up?
Who was your favorite professor and why?
Honestly, there are too many professors who have had an impact on me to specifically choose one favorite. If I could mention a few: Marie Shanahan, Steven Kalb, Mike Stanton, and Steve Buckheit. All of them are great professors that pushed me and showed me that I’m capable of whatever I put my mind to on the journalism side of things. Chelsea Guest taught my Media Literacy and Criticism course. I learned so much from her: how to site sources correctly, how to write for academia. She helped me tremendously on the communication side of things. And one last person I owe a lot to is my SSS counselor Yesenia Cajigas. She’s been there for me since the first day I arrived on campus in 2018. She’s been a huge support system and a true advocate for me throughout my time here at UConn.
What’s one thing that will always make you think of UConn?
I think I’d say my group of friends. I’ve been lucky enough to meet some incredible people at UConn and form relationships that will last a lifetime. Just being around them and thinking back, not only the memories, but all the things we’ve accomplished together and as individuals is something that will always remind me of my time in Storrs.