Metamora High School graduate Matt DeFreitas went for the gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
DeFreitas interned for NBC in New York logging results for the Olympics.
“Dr. (Paul) Gullifor, the head of the Communication department at Bradley University told a bunch of students that he had secured NBC coming to Bradley to interview for working at the Olympics,” DeFreitas, a senior at Bradley, said. He said we needed a cover letter, an application, resume and the whole nine yards basically so that the school looked good with the applicants.
DeFreitas originally said he had no intention of trying to make the cut.
“I had had disappointments with other internships not working out before so I didn’t go to the meeting or apply because I didn’t think I’d get it,” DeFreitas said. “A few days before the applications were due, I talked to Dr. Gullifor and asked if I could still apply. He said that if I could get everything together in time and basically put together a perfect resume, that he would submit it.”
Out of the 92 applicants, 43 received interviews with NBC.
“Once we got the interview we sat through classes on what we would need to know for the jobs and had lessons on how to act in an interview,” DeFreitas said. “They gave us lessons on how to shake hands, what kinds of suit to wear, how to answer questions and basically everything you’d need to know if you had never had an interview before.”
DeFreitas interviewed with NBC on April 28, 2011.
“My interview was only 20 minutes and didn’t even feel like an interview,” DeFreitas said. “All we did was talk about the position.”
DeFreitas was told he was one of three interns offered a position July 25, 2011.
“At first I was shocked because I originally didn’t think I’d get it,” DeFreitas said. “I was doing an internship at WMBD during the time I got the one with NBC.
“At first, I waited about a day because I wanted to make sure that I didn’t get a retraction letter saying they had made a mistake or changed their mind.”
DeFreitas worked in New York at 30 Rockefeller Center from July 19 through Aug. 22 logging statistics.
“As a logger, what we would do is sit there and any event that we were assigned to, we would time card everything,” DeFreitas said. “If someone got a point, we would pause it and then enter the time of the point, the country and all the different variables for the sport. If the sport you were assigned to was three hours, for instance, you would sit there the whole time and keep doing that.”
Page 2 of 2 - While logging, DeFreitas worked on fencing, weight lifting, women’s basketball and table tennis but one sport in particular remained DeFreitas’ favorite.
“The biggest honor for me was getting to log the quarterfinal through championship of the men’s basketball,” DeFreitas said. “I got to log the whole of the men’s quarterfinals up until the gold medal match of the United States against Spain. It was an honor to log the gold medal match that the U.S. won.
“It was something I’ll never forget because it’s a gold medal for your country and it’s a sport that is really popular in the country and most people know and watch.”
DeFreitas said working for the Olympics was something he will always remember.
“It’s definitely a big resume builder,” DeFreitas said. “You never forget the experience and how hard you worked. You know it’ll give you just a little advantage over your fellow competitive students going for the same jobs I might be.”
Although his future is still wide open, DeFreitas said his sports story began in his hometown of Metamora.
“My time in Metamora basically got me started in what I wanted to do now,” DeFreitas said. “I was the public address announcer for the freshman and sophomore football teams as well as girls basketball and volleyball.”
DeFreitas, a sports communication major with a marketing minor, said he wants to further what he did at Metamora in his career.
“I want to be a play by play commentator for radio or television,” DeFreitas said. “When I was a sophomore in high school, I watched Celtics games on ESPN. Seeing the commentators and knowing they got to go to the game and talk about it and people had to listen made me want to do that.”