From June 6 to 8, Anderson University hosted its first sports marketing camp for high school students and I was fortunate enough to be able to chaperone and work at it. While there is no shortage of camps available for kids who are interested in honing their playing skills in one sport or another, there aren’t a lot of camps that exist for those interested in learning more about the business side and AU professor Greg Heberling wanted to change that.
During the three days, as many different sports as possible were represented and as many different individuals working in professions within those sports spoke to the attendees. While each had a different angle and insight, I tended to focus on areas where there was commonality in advice and counsel. What I discovered was a list of good recommendations for any student looking to enter a field where the supply of those wanting to work in that vocation exceeds the number of jobs available.
The top five suggestions given were:
u Be passionate. You have to want the position more than anything (be willing to relocate, work long hours, start at the bottom, etc.) and want it more than anyone else does. It may be that the only way to get your foot in the door is to move half-way around the country and sell tickets for a team that no one likes, but if that is what it takes to better your resume, create some networking connections in the business, and get started, then you need to be willing to do it.
u Never underestimate persistence. There is something to be said for being tenacious to the point that people know who you are and that you aren’t just a name on a piece of paper. Don’t be afraid to be determined and let them know that you truly want the job.
u Be coachable, be willing to learn, and be able to communicate. Too much of what we call communication today is something else much lower than the ideal. While it is nice to be able to tweet, text, and post, there is a real need to be able to communicate well face-to-face and in writing – skills that will never go out of date.
u Your attitude is always on display. While you may have to do a lot of menial jobs that you don’t want to and that don’t seem to fit with what you worked so hard to be able to do, the attitude with which you do them is always visible. Not only do others see your attitude in your actions, but they will also use what they see to judge you.
u Network. Those who are working in the positions today are those who found a way to get their foot in the door and stay. Study them (most have bios that can be found online), shadow them, and seek them out for advice.
While there were many more suggestions shared with the students, these are five that apply to anyone and are always good to be reminded of every now and again.
Emmett Dulaney is an Anderson resident and the author of several books on technology. His column appears Tuesdays.