Small School to BIG Apple

By Sam Roberts – 1851 Contributor

Daniel Mickens (pictured right) poses for a picture with his cousin while attending a Final Four matchup during the NCAA March Madness Basketball Tournament.
Photo Courtesy of Daniel Mickens

Q: How are you doing today? It’s nice to hear from you again! Thank you for taking time for this interview. 

A: I’m doing good thank you! And no problem! I’m glad I could join!

Q: Tell us a little about yourself. How old are you? Where are you from? Who is the real Daniel Mickens? 

A: My name is Dan Mickens, and I graduated from Lasell back in 2015, which is terrifying to think about. I was born and raised in New Jersey, and lived my entire life there until I moved out to Boston for school. Now I am back in New Jersey working for CBS living my dream and following my passion for sports.

Q: Much like yourself, I am passionate about the sporting industry as well. How significant of a role did the sporting world play in terms of the position you are in today?

A: I remember watching videos of myself playing baseball at 2 years old and from that point on I knew sports had to be a part of my life. Pursuing a career in it has always been my dream, and due to my outgoing personality I have been able to expand my networking and build myself up to where I am today, along with the help of a few key people. 

Q: That’s incredible! So, as an Alum of Lasell University, you know that Lasell is a very small private institution. With that being said, how did you discover Lasell? What led you to earn your degree as a Laser opposed to somewhere else?

A: Funny enough I stumbled upon it by playing AAU baseball and my team ended up having a tournament in the Boston area which is where I then met Jason Powers, who was the pitching coach at the time, and he reached out to me. I knew I wanted to get out of New York to explore a little, so I took a visit, loved the campus, loved the people and made my choice. One of the other decided factors was the generous offer that Lasell granted me to help me afford to go to school, so that was a big piece as well. And the last reason would be that the Connecting Learning programs at Lasell are highly regarded and due to this I was able to get hands on work right away and immerse myself in the industry. 

Q: Speaking of hands on work, which companies/organizations did you work for as an intern during your time at Lasell? 

A: My first ever position I had was going into the summer my sophomore year of college as an intern for an independent league baseball team, the Newark Bears. I got there for a day, and they had me stocking concession stands, and after about two days I walked into the operations office and said it was not working out for me. I then reached out to a former Lasell Alum who worked for a company known as Click Z who connected me into a reporting/editorial role for the company where I ended up getting a position for that company. With them, I was able to get 40 articles published to their websites where I was able to build a strong portfolio. The summer before my junior year I was able to get an internship with MLB productions as a programming intern, through someone I knew who worked for the league office. Working with MLB network I was able to develop stories, spark viewership, create ways to generate more revenue, and a bunch of other miscellaneous tasks. From there, I came across CAPA which is a study abroad program from Lasell to work with international affairs, where they connected me to internship opportunities based on my interests. That’s how I gained a job as a front office intern for the Sydney Blue Sox in Australia. Then I came back and for my senior year I ended up at NESN as a sales intern, which introduced me into the field I am in today. NESN also landed me my job at CBS due to my boss pointing me in that direction after my job came to a conclusion. 

Q: I can see you most certainly kept busy during your time at Lasell! What was your favorite intern position?

A: I would have to say working for the Sydney Blue Sox. This position allowed me to work with sports from an international standpoint, and it was truly an experience that is hard to find and even harder to duplicate. 

Q: So let’s shift gears back to your current role with CBS. What responsibilities does your job entail?

A: Primarily I am what’s called an account service representative, meaning I handle daytime programming. I have a team of 5 assistants that I manage in order to ensure everything is smooth sailing. I am essentially the right hand man to our SVP who points us in the direction of where we need to go. I make sure everything is running smooth with the sales, marketing, and production departments with all the other teams. I have done work with “The Talk”, “The Price is Right”, etc… so it’s a bit different than sports, but nonetheless something that I love. I also have to work on bringing in new business to help maintain and even grow the business going forward… a professional emailer is what I might call it haha. 

Q: Sounds like work life has kept busy even after college! So, what does a typical day in the life of Daniel Mickens look like?

A: Pre-COVID, I would wake up, get to the office around 8:30, and go through what we have airing on that specific day to make sure everything looks good. Fix any issues that may need to be addressed. I would then have a 10:00 meeting with the SVP, my boss, for the daily update with business in certain accounts. From there it would consist of shooting out emails to other correspondents and answering back to responses we received. Then, I would set up a lunch with clients to build a stronger relationship for a couple hours during the day. In the afternoon I would have a daily check in with the 5 assistants I have to make sure everything was going right, and adjust any hiccups they may need help with. Then I would be on calls to coordinate the campaign for the client who we may be talking to to conclude my day. On occasion we would have a happy hour with clients later on at night a few times a week, and as you can see pre-COVID was a lot more fun than now, but hopefully we get back to that soon. 

Q: A very personal business prior to COVID, I guess the restricted work day isn’t as fun as it was pre COVID.

A: Oh it has been a struggle. I am not a fan of it, and I cannot wait to get back to normal, but it’s best to keep everyone safe. It’s been a huge obstacle that we have to overcome, but our team has done a phenomenal job in the process. 

Q: Do you believe you have found your dream job? Or is there something bigger that you are seeking for your future endeavors?

A: Not my dream job at the moment. It is hard to say. Even after I graduated I wanted to stay in sports to some capacity, but working in the industry is very competitive. There are a limited amount of jobs. However, I plan on transitioning back into sports someway somehow in the future. For now I am incredibly happy with my position, but I just have a passion for sports that makes me want to get back to that side of the game. Other than that I am a very outdoors kinda guy, where I have dreamt about building up enough capital to create my own hiking/outdoors company to disconnect from the city life and admire the world in which we live. I don’t see that being a 100% full time job, but it is still a dream to carry out alongside my current job. As of right now sports media is the goal to get back into, but as for my dream job I will let you know when I find it haha. 

Q: If you could go back in time and tell yourself anything or give your past self any tips or advice, what might you say?

A: Honestly I would just tell myself to relax and decompress. To enjoy life every once in a while to appreciate all the hard work I had been doing. To take a couple things off my plate to remind myself that my life needs a self reflection point and that I need to enjoy life along with all of the work I do. I often put a lot of pressure on myself and ran 1000 miles a minute and I wish i told myself to slow down and enjoy life a bit more. 

Q: So by working all those different internships alongside your education, was it a bit too much to handle?

A: Yes and no. I wish I had given myself more time to enjoy college before entering the “real world”, however all those different internships guided me to the job I am working today and that is what it is all about. 

Q: What advice would you offer the current Lasell community in regards to the individuals who may want to follow in your footsteps?

A: Similar to what you are doing now, establish relationships to alumni to increase your networking. Looks for the people in your field of interest because reaching out is only going to benefit yourself in the long run. I got my internships and current job due to reaching out to Alums and networking, so it is key. Also take advantage of what Lasell offers. They have phenomenal programs that are not only beneficial to your resume, but also prepare you for life after college. Lastly, build relationships with your professors. They are there for you, and they want to help you in the long run. Establish a positive relationship and continue to grow it from there. 

Thank you for your time Dan! Take care and stay safe!

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