GSMP 2015 Site Visits: Hanna Fauzie at ESPN

By Brian Canever October 01, 2015

Read the first part of the Site Visit at ESPN with emerging leader Carla Bustamante and mentor Marina Escobar

Following lunch in the ESPN Café, one floor below the new learning center where Drs. Sarah Hillyer and Ashleigh Huffman of the University of Tennessee’s Center for Sport, Peace, & Society are conducting interviews, Hanna Fauzie and her mentor Kimberly Wilson make the short walk upstairs and take a seat.

Like the morning interview with Carla and Marina, the 30 minutes Hanna and Kimberly spend in front of the microphone is more like a conversation than anything else.

Both women come from different backgrounds but share similar stories of how they’ve arrived at their current positions: Hanna, as managing deputy editor of the Koran Sindo and one of Indonesia’s only female sports journalists, and Kimberly, as VP of affiliate marketing for Disney and ESPN Media Networks.

“My passion for sport was ignited by the 1994 FIFA World Cup hosted by the United States,” Hanna says. “I was in junior high school, but can remember sitting with my family around the television watching every game. I was so amazed.”

“After the World Cup, I realized I could be involved with sport, even if I wasn’t an athlete. And that’s when sports journalism came to mind.”

For Kimberly, her journey also started thanks to a single moment. Years after leaving college to pursue work as a paralegal, she found herself in a movie theater with a friend watching the onscreen story of an African-American woman who found success as a TV executive.

“That moment I decided to go back to school. I was 28 years old,” Kimberly says. “I sent a letter to BET (Black Entertainment Television) in Washington DC and asked if I could intern. I was working full-time and living at home, and the woman told me they couldn’t pay me. I was the oldest intern in my class. And I haven’t left media since then.”

Of course, there have been trying moments along the way. Hanna and Kimberly, however, struggle to find a time when they let no stop them from plowing forward.  Instead, they’ve both taken advantage of every opportunity and put in the extra time in the office to ensure that no chance is wasted.

“A lot of time what separates people is opportunity,” Kimberly says. “And when I hear Hanna’s story, we were both inspired to do something and we didn’t waver. It was a movie for me. It was a soccer match for Hanna. And that put us on the path to doing what we love.”

Hanna nods in agreement. She’s carved a path for other women to follow, but knows her work is not finished. With greater visibility of women like her in the industry, she hopes to show that careers in sports media are a true possibility for aspiring female journalists in Indonesia.

“When young women are told no, they should take that as a trigger to pursue their dreams and achieve their goals. Don’t ever let no eat you alive and become an obstacle.”

Listen to the Center’s podcast conversation with Hanna and Kimberly at the link below