Lessons From a Recent Sport Management Grad
We have begun our 2009-2010 Blogging and welcome your comments!
The first contribution comes recent Ohio University Sport Management grad Ian Davie. I asked Ian to share his thoughts and tips for students as the new school year begins. I know students can hear it from their professors a million times, but sometimes it takes hearing it from someone in their shoes for it to sink in. Ian has certainly paid his dues in the sport industry since graduation. His life path since June 2008 includes:
-Staying in Athens, OH for 2 months to work with the Southern Ohio Copperheads (summer baseball league team)
– Living in Baltimore for 3 months and completing a PGA TOUR Internship with the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship
-Living in Bonita Springs, FL for 7 months looking for a job
-FINALLY, landing a great job with the Phoenix Suns as a Sales Consultant for past 3 months.
Getting a job is tough right now. You have to put yourself in the best position to succeed in a time when the job market is tough. Currently, my goal is to make 100 outbound phone calls a day. The point being; I talk to a lot of people and learn that many of them are unemployed right now.
When I was in college I did everything in my power to build my resume and succeed academically. One thing I did not do as well as I should have was work hard to get my name and resume into the hands of the right people. I had a good product (me!) and I didn’t promote it! I was a little too selective in the jobs I applied for and it ended up delaying my career for about 7 months. I don’t have regrets because I love working for the Suns where I am today; but don’t sell yourself short of the full potential of your opportunities.
I recently heard a speech from a respected professional in our industry. A former student of his was excited to have been hired to his new job. His first question to the student was how many other offers he got. The student, surprised by the question, replied that he had only applied for a couple jobs and he got the one; wasn’t that good enough? The professional’s point was how will you know what jobs you could have been offered if you limit your opportunities?! My advice is to send out your resume and a tailored cover letter to as many companies/teams as you can (companies/teams/colleges you would want to work for of course). There is nothing wrong with putting yourself in a position to get multiple offers and having a choice.
One of my friends at OU was the best I had ever seen at putting himself in a good position to get hired and he ended up with multiple offers and managed to skip the entry level positions (GO Jeremy!). He sent his resume out to new organizations and sport venues every week and simply asked for their advice on how he could improve his resume. The thing was, his resume was good and he was getting it in front of a lot of people. Don’t be afraid to think big. All they can say is no.
Be proactive! On top of sending out your resume, follow up with a phone call to show your interest. Showing persistence never hurts. Do something different to separate yourself and to be remembered. I read about a story where someone, Howard N., wanted a position with the New Jersey Nets. He sent the Nets a mini basketball with a note on it saying “In the first round of the NBA Draft the New Jersey Nets select Howard N.”… He got the job. You think someone would remember you if you did something like that? I sent something similar to the President of a company and he got me an interview with one of his teams. So remember, get your name out there and don’t be afraid to be creative! Be proactive and give someone a follow up call. Start as early as you can. Even if they are not hiring right now you can always keep in touch and build a relationship. It will give you a better chance of getting hired if they already know you. People do business with people they know and trust. Who in the industry knows you? For the people who you know, use them as resources! Ask them for help and to make a phone call on your behalf. Good luck and keep working hard! Then, once you make it – please, please, please repay the favor and mentor a sport management student as they struggle to break into the business as we all once have had to.
– Ian Davie