Associate Director of Stats and Information Jennifer Gode | SCSU JRN ’06

As the associate director of Stats and Information at ESPN, Jennifer Gode runs everything related to sports statistics and data. Gode graduated from Southern with a B.S. in journalism in 2006 and continued her education by receiving her master’s in organizational leadership from Quinnipiac University in 2017. She also volunteers as the co-chair of Women at ESPN, ensuring the company strives to create a diverse and inclusive environment. 

Interview by Jaylen Carr and Ali Fernand. Anaswers were condensed and edited in Fall 2023.

Describe your current job at ESPN.

We do any number you can imaging, that comes from our group. Historical context, box score data, live play-by-play, the whole gamut. My job is to run our stats and analysis side of the group where we are very much game-focused: your box score, game card score, stats, all of that. I run a group of about 90 and I help create strategy and guidance for our staff. 

Can you describe your work before getting hired at ESPN?

I had started working at the Connecticut Post at the sports desk. I did freelance previews for sports. There was an opening at one of those newspapers for a news reporter. So not necessarily sports, but I needed a full time job. I was writing news articles which were fine, not as exciting as sports. Going to planning and zoning meetings and town council meetings were not really fulfilling for me. 

What was your experience as a Journalism major at Southern?

The Journalism Department was great. It was such a small, close-knit group that everybody was in classes with everybody. And it was the same three or four professors for everything. So once you met them your freshman year, you kind of just build relationships and have them 

throughout the rest of your career. So it was really exciting to be able to have them see my career path and grow throughout my four years.

Were you part of any campus media?

I had originally started just writing news articles and then I took over as sports editor (at the Southern News) for my last year. It’s just a different experience here with people who have very similar interests and career paths as you. It was an opportunity to go to sporting events and, you actually had to go and watch the game to be able to talk about the game and then write a story later that week.

Is there any advice you would give to journalism students today?

The climate and landscape of journalism is constantly changing. So what you think you’re going to do when you leave school is probably not what you’re going to actually do. So being able to watch business news and know what’s coming up. It’s being able to pivot. So I think my ultimate advice would be be open to anything and know that what you step into in two years is probably not the same job that you have today.