Jamal Collier

The San Diego Padres, after losing 17 of 20 games, had lost for the 18th time against the San Francisco Giants. Immediately after the defeat, simultaneous press conferences were held.

None of the reporters present wanted to speak with the losing team — except Jamal Collier, who was interning with Major League Baseball during his junior year in college.
He said it was one of his favorite reporting experiences.

“The only person in the media room is me,” said Mr. Collier, a Bolingbrook, Ill, native. He said he had to approach the Padres’ manager and show he was ready to get the story.

“It was no time to be awkward,” he said. As a sports reporter in The New York Times Student Journalism Institute, one of his projects is covering the New Orleans Zephyrs, a minor league team. This is the perfect opportunity for him to soak in the sun and cover a subject he is passionate about.

Mr. Collier applied to The New York Times Student Journalism Institute two years ago, but was denied.

This year it was diligence, not to mention his portfolio, that landed him a spot. Despite the previous disappointment, Mr. Collier said he realizes he was not ready at that time.
“I would have got my butt kicked,” he said.

Mr. Collier is a recent graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While in college he interned with Big Ten Network, The Daily Journal in Urbana-Champaign and Suburban Life Publications. He was a copy editor and sports reporter for The Daily Illini, the university’s student newspaper.

He developed an interest in sports news during his time as a baseball player in high school. He said he liked the fact that as a sports reporter, his friends consider him a reliable news source. A proud Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Steelers fan, Mr. Collier said the Steelers were the only team that could affect his Sundays.

He will do another internship with Major League Baseball for the remainder of the baseball season shortly after the institute ends.

Mr. Collier jokingly explained that his good looks and personality set him apart from his peers, but that his diligence is what makes him a great journalist.

“It’s cliché, but I never want the other guy to outwork me,” he said.

This post has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: May 23, 2014

A previous version of this article misstated a detail of the San Diego Padres’ record at the time Mr. Collier reported on the team’s 18th loss. The team had not had a 17-game losing streak.