Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Winter Break

How many of you are taking advantage of your time over winter break? The time we all have off during the Holiday Season is a perfect time to be making new connections, networking, volunteering, or interning for a few weeks. Be proactive and learn what and who is around you. There may be people or organizations in your own home town that would be worth setting a meeting with. Do a little research and help yourself out. Who knows, maybe you could line yourself up for a summer internship!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fulfill your responsibilities

There are countless volunteer opportunities for us as students of the sports industry. We are constantly being offered opportunities to play a role in sporting events, whether it be within our own college athletic departments, for outside local sports organizations or even for professional teams and leagues. We should, by all means, take advantage of these opportunities, as not only is it a resume builder but it is also a chance for us to see how sports operate and for us to continuously build our network with professionals in the field.

Therefore, we need to be sure we are representing ourselves in a positive manner, as volunteer opportunities can often lead to something bigger and better for us. Also important to note is the fact that we are most often also representing someone or something bigger than ourselves, such as our program and university or the person who invited us to participate.

As a volunteer you are fulfilling a very important role, as events would not be as successful without the help from volunteers. A few pieces of advice in regards to expectations when serving in the role as a volunteer:
  • Arrive on time, wearing appropriate attire (ask before arriving if your contact does not tell you before hand)
  • Make sure you know the answers to frequently asked questions (customer service is key)
  • Be sure to serve in the specific role you were asked to serve (if you were asked to be an usher, watching the crowd and not the game - do just that)
  • Be sure to eat before you arrive as often times a break for food is not scheduled into your working session
  • Do not complain
  • Be sure to thank your supervisor for the opportunity
  • Do not expect to receive anything for free
Have fun!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Building Your Resume

For those who have never written a resume before, I suggest you start creating one now! It is so much better to start from scratch early on so that you can continually update and edit it as you progress in the sport industry. You will receive continuous feedback from peers, faculty, advisors, and other professionals on how to make it the best it can be. After all, this is the document that allows you to market yourself. This is the document which will distinguish you from your peers/competitors and is a snapshot of who you are for potential employers.

Everyone has their own ideas and preferences as far as resume writing goes, so you will receive conflicting feedback it all the time. Things like font size, structure, page number, references, what to include and what not to include, etc. Start out by including everything you think is necessary:
  • Objective Statement (what you want to do)
  • Education Information (university, major, GPA, expected graduation)
  • Relevant Coursework (classes you have and/or are taking)
  • Relevant Experience (work experience within sports)
  • Employment (additional employment)
  • Volunteer Work
  • Honors and Awards
  • List of References
By including all of this information, your resume may get pretty lengthy. But it's a great starting point. It will be easier to cut things down than it would be to try and add information. Start by loading your resume up with as much information as you think necessary and you can work [with someone] to cut it down to a more manageable and readable resume. Good luck!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Make a Good Impression

This past week I was in New York City assisting the New York Road Runners with the 2008 ING New York City Marathon. I have been lucky to have built a strong rapport with the Road Runners since working full time there and coming back to graduate school. I have been asked back the past 2 years and hope to continue this relationship. This year an undergraduate student from OU was invited to come along as well. As I mentioned in my previous posting, when I was a senior in undergrad I was invited to assist the Road Runners at the marathon - an opportunity that I am so glad I did not pass up!

I think this OU student had quite a similar experience as I had had a few years ago. Not only was he exposed to The World's Largest Marathon, but he was also exposed to some of the top running professionals in the industry and some of the most elite runners from around the world. He was quite brave to take on the opportunity - meeting new people, working in a city he had only been to once before, and doing it basically all on his own. The best part - everyone was so impressed by him! He did not complain once, did what was asked (and more), and took it all in as an invaluable learning experience.

The New York Road Runners will not forget him and will more than likely be asking for him back year after year (if of course they do not offer him a full time position before then - which would not surprise me!). I am proud of him and know that he learned the importance of making a good first impression.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Remember to...

When I was a senior in college, I was asked by a good friend of mine to assist him and the New York Road Runners during the week leading up to the ING New York City Marathon. He had made some great connections with individuals who were working full time for the New York Road Runners and had been asked several years in a row to come back to the city and help them out. There is so much that needs to be done during that week; the more hands they have to help, the easier it makes their lives and the event as a whole. However, as a senior in college and not having had much real experience with large-scale events like this one..I was nervous. I wanted to do a great job, not only for myself but for my friend, as I would be representing him - everyone would associate me with him and I had to prove that I was worthy of being there.

Before we left, my friend (who had been in the work force for several years and has had a lot of experience in the sport industry) had a talk with me. This talk was not because he did not think I would do a good job or embarrass him (after all he did choose me of all people to come with him to the race), but just as a reminder of what his expectations were for me and what I needed to remember while working for the New York Road Runners. I will never forget those things he told me. A lot of these things may seem like common sense, but for most, they are things that are easy to forget. Whenever working or volunteering at an event or for an organization, remember these things:
  • Never ask for SWAG (Stuff We Always Get): This is the free stuff that is given out at events that everyone always seems to want (i.e. t-shirts, hats, posters, etc). If you are working an event, don't ask to have those things. You never want to be known as the kid who constantly asked for the free stuff. If they offer it to you, by all means, take it and be thankful...but if they don't offer, don't assume you can take it and do not ask for it!
  • Be on time: On time means 15 minutes early. If you are told to be somewhere at 9:30, get there no later than 9:15. This will definitely impress those you are working for.
  • If there's nothing for you to do, ask: Often times when you are working/volunteering, there may not always be something for you to do or there may not be direction for you at all times. This is when you ask, "Is there something I can help with?" If they so no, that's ok, just wait. Don't look or act bored..just be available to help when help is needed.
  • Never complain: Even when there is nothing to do, don't complain. Don't complain that you're tired or hungry. People will get annoyed VERY quickly and will not want to have you back. Be respectful and don't complain.
  • Dress the part: Make sure you are aware of the attire expectations before getting to the event. You don't want to show up in jeans and a t-shirt when the organizers expect you to be in khaki slacks and a polo. Even if people around you are dressed down, that does not mean that you can "get away with it" too. Dress in a way that fits the part and keeps you looking professional and conscientious.
  • Have fun: You don't have to take everything completely serious; make sure to have fun and make those around you know that you are enjoying what you are doing.
These are just a few tips on how to be your best, make the most positive impact, and produce good work when at any event no matter the size or scale. You are not only representing yourself and selling your own personal brand, but more often than not, you are representing someone or something else.

I will be heading to the 2008 ING New York City Marathon this week...representing myself, my former boss, and Ohio University. I will be sure to make a positive impact.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Internship Opportunities - Check Out these Websites!

As I've mentioned, there are countless opportunities available to sport management students who are seeking internships. One of the hardest parts is knowing where to look. Here are several sites I have come across that may be of interest to some. Many of these organizations offer Internship Programs where they hire a "class" of interns for the summer, 6 months, or even a full year. Check out the websites of each respective organization, as each will offer more detailed information about their particular programs, the positions available, and how to apply.

  • National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA):
    • www1.ncaa.org/membership.html
  • Velocity Sports and Entertainment:
    • teamvelocity.teamworkonline.com
  • Octagon:
    • www.octagon.com
  • IMG:
    • www.imgworld.com
  • USOC (and affiliated National Governing Bodies):
    • http://teamusa.org/content/index/1544
  • Under Armour:
    • http://www.uabiz.com/careers/interns.cfm
  • Junior Golf Association:
    • www.IJGA.org
Also, please continue to seek out the information on internships which are available via teamworkonline.com. You can sign up to receive email notifications when positions of your interest come available. It only takes a few moments and it's worth it !

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

How to Start the Job/Internship Search

One of the hardest parts of a new job or internship is actually finding it! How do you start looking? Where do you look? Who do you talk to?... There are so many opportunities out there, in so many different areas that it becomes overwhelming and you don't know where to begin.

Though it is hard to know exactly what you want to do, and many people don't figure that out until they are well into their careers, we've got to start somewhere, right? Here's a short list of websites that can help you along in your search process. Looking into some of these may help you understand what's out there and what you need to do to get there.
  • workinsports.com
  • jobsinsports.com
  • teamworkonline.com
  • sportscareers.com
  • sportsbusinessjournal.com
  • team and league websites (NBA.com, redsox.com)
  • company/brand websites (Under Armour, Nike, Coca-Cola...)
  • national governing bodies (United States Olympic Committee, USA Track & Field, etc.)
  • Colleges/Universities websites
  • Sports Agencies websites (Velocity, Octagon, IMG, GMR)
Though several of the websites require a subscription/membership to be granted full access to the sites, most of them still allow access to view the internship and job postings. It's definitely worth checking out!

Browse the sites, find out who you would need to talk to within that specific organization. Do they offer internship programs (Under Armour, Nike, and Velocity do, for example). How can you apply; is there information directly on the website?

Additionally, use your peers and faculty members as resources throughout this process. There may have been 6 other students from your program who have been at an organization before you. there may be an alum that currently works there. Take advantage of the people around you - they will be able to help!