You’ll often find University of Wisconsin Oshkosh student Bob Patel behind the scenes.
Patel, 31, works as the video director for UW Oshkosh Athletics through the Student Titan Employment Program (STEP), which offers students high-impact learning opportunities outside of their classes.
Beyond his role as a STEP intern, Patel is an Iraq War veteran and a nontraditional student.
“UWO had opened my eyes to the inner working of athletics,” said Patel. “When I first came here I want to be a football coach but I knew I had to work my way up. Then, I found something I enjoy doing as much as coaching and that is working with video in football.”
When Patel began his college career in 2000, he said wanted to become physical education teacher to coach and work with children. Two years later, Patel enlisted in the National Guard and started basic training. In early 2005, he took a hiatus from school because he was deployed to Iraq where he served his country for more than a year.
Now, back at UW Oshkosh with a couple of deployments under his belt, Patel works in his STEP role as the video director for UW Oshkosh athletics; his job provides him outside-of-the-classroom lessons linked to his major, which is radio-TV-film.
“UWO athletics help nurtured my interest in video,” said Patel.
Patel has held been in his role with UW Oshkosh athletics since the fall of 2011. That same year UW Oshkosh received a video board for J.J. Keller Stadium and Athletic Director Darryl Sims gave Patel control over the project, which gave Patel many opportunities to learn, he said.
Through his internship, Patel oversees video production and supervises other interns. He uploads weekly videos with new content for corporate partners and special presentations and organizes the inventory. He is ultimately responsible for what is shown on the video board during games, according to UW Oshkosh Athletics.
Patel said some of the biggest lessons he’s learned is how “to deal with various people in various roles such as working with my production team,” which are lessons he’ll take with him into the workforce.
Patel has also honed the skills he needs to do his job by using video software and production equipment, he said.
Patel plans to graduate from UW Oshkosh within the next year, he said. While he still has hopes of coaching in some capacity in his future, he hopes to take what he learned from his STEP internship and apply it to his passion by working in a football program or at a stadium doing video production.
The Student Titan Employment Program (STEP) offers students quality educational experiences while providing faculty and staff members with needed assistance in areas such as media services, student-faculty research, supplemental instruction, library assistance, instructional technology and academic computing support and Web page development and maintenance.