Loyola Magazine

Emmy Award-winning Hound

Loyola graduate wins Emmy for her work on NBC’s Olympics coverage

It’s been only three years since Suzanne Lee, ’10, graduated from Loyola and she’s already achieving greatness. Lee won an Emmy award for “Outstanding Live Event Turnaround” as associate producer on NBC’s coverage of the 2012 Olympics in London.

As an undergraduate, Lee majored in marketing and worked in the athletics department. After graduation, her career took off as social media coordinator for The Voice, integrating fan reactions from Twitter and Facebook live during the broadcast.

Her hard work paid off during the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Sept. 22 when The Voice won “Best Reality Competition Series.”

Of the win she said, “I’ve been working on The Voice since season one when it was just a thought. I feel like I’ve really grown up with the show so I’m really excited for everyone on our crew. I’m in constant awe when watching the best people in the business execute the craziest things to make our show look the way it does (i.e. various set designs, wardrobe requests, last minute show changes, The Voice band learns hundreds of songs each week, etc).”

When she’s not working on The Voice, she’s producing highlights packages and writing voice-over scripts on the newly launched 24-hour sports network, Fox Sports 1.

In addition to broadcasting, she’s worked with her father, Jim Lee, a former basketball standout at Syracuse University, on the design for the cover of his book, Fifteen Feet for Free.

What made you choose Loyola?

I knew the school had a great reputation and I loved the campus. So I met with the athletic director about going to Loyola and wanting to do marketing with a sports focus. He walked me through how I could get the most out of my degree.

Did you have a favorite class?

I took a sports marketing class with David Gerrity (associate athletic director at Loyola). I enjoyed a project we worked on creating a mock-up of a marketing plan for a new NFL team in Southern California. He really gave us creative freedom.

You spent four years working in Loyola’s athletics department. What do you think you took away from that experience?

The athletics department is such a fun environment and I learned a lot since it was such a hands-on job. During the day, I’d worked in the office, and then at night I’d film games and put together running stats. I was lucky enough to work with great people.

What type of responsibilities did you have as associate producer of NBC’s coverage of the Olympics?

I worked in the control room with the director and producers getting the taped elements and highlights ready for the broadcast. Work started at 2 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, since the first show started at 4 a.m. in the United States.

Did you a have a sport you were particularly excited to watch?

I loved watching the USA basketball team. But I think it’s also fun to watch the lesser-known events like archery or race-walking.

What other work have you done since graduation?

After I graduated, I went back home to Syracuse, N.Y., and worked as an assistant to the general manager of the Syracuse Chiefs, a minor league baseball team. In October 2010 I moved out to California and started working on The Voice doing social media integration. While they’re on hiatus, I produce highlights packages and write voiceover scripts for sporting events on the show, Fox Sports Live, which airs on the newly launched Fox Sports 1.

How do you choose what to showcase on the air for The Voice?

First it has to be approved by the legal team. Once it’s been approved, I try to pick something funny that will enhance the show or add to it. Celebrities commenting on the show are always popular.

How do you think Loyola prepared you for your career?

I studied abroad in Rome and I think that gave me the courage to move all the way across the country to California. The Career Center was also a great resource. Before I moved, they helped me connect with alumni in Southern California that I still talk to all the time. I appreciated the Loyola support.

Do you have any advice for current students looking to succeed after graduation?

I would encourage them to get involved in and take advantage of everything Loyola has to offer because there is something for everyone. Networking is a big part of the industry I work in. You never know who you might meet so put yourself out there, but do so intelligently. It’s important to be patient but persistent.