The Glamour of the Industry

Starting with desire and ending with disappointment, this exemplifies my feelings towards my pre-career in the world of sports promotions.

Coming from a background in sports and a burning interest in everything involving the game, it was my goal upon entering college that I would become a part of the Georgia Bulldogs.  It became my obsession that anytime sports news came out, the Red & Black featured a sports story or there was a sporting event that night, I was at full attention.  It looked glamorous, fun and even exhilarating. My expectations were high and I thought it couldn’t get any better than to be working alongside those men and women in suits alongside th
e basketball court, in the press box at a football game, or in the score box at a baseball game.

One night at my sorority’s chapter meeting, we had a man from the Athletic Association come and speak with us about upcoming sporting events.  Upon introducing himself, he described his job with the UGA Athletic Department.  This enthralled me. Once again,

I was struck with the urge to get out there and get involved.  Shortly after our meeting I searched out his name and e-mail address through the UGA Directory and composed a rather long message to him.  I thanked him for coming to speak with our sorority, told him how much I enjoyed hearing about his job and asked him a few questions. Some of which included: if we could set up a meeting to discuss what his position entailed, how he got to where he is today and if he had any suggestions or advice towards my passion for entering this world.  He responded almost immediately with an overwhelming sense of kindness and we set up a meeting the next day.

Nervous doesn’t begin to explain how I felt that day.  As a freshman in college, I barely knew the bus system much less had I been into the business office of the Athletic Department.  Looking back now, however, I don’t know why I was so worried.  He was a very approachable man and someone that I now look to as a mentor.  He told me about his job and his preceding academic career. He even told me the ‘not-so-glamorous’ side of the industry.  It was an industry of hard work, long hours and little pay at first, but if you stick with it and keep your drive, you’d find what you were looking for.  This scared me a little, but I never let it show.  At the end of our meeting, he offered me a student internship with the Athletic Association’s Marketing Department.  I had made it! …Or so I thought.

My job consisted of making phone calls, selling tickets to events, making spreadsheets, and much more. I would go in three days a week for a few hours each day.  After a while of networking with others in the office, I saw another opportunity arise in the Promotions Department.  It looked much more attractive than a desk sports job.  The interns there actually went to the games, threw out t-shirts and gave away prizes.  It was all about the interaction with promotions and I looked at it as another door being opened.

What I didn’t know about their jobs was that there was a lot more work with no reward.  Not only did we have to work a minimum of two games every week, but we had to complete office hours too.  From creating, printing and cutting 2,000 flyers to rolling a box full of 200 t-shirts to fit into the t-shirt gun, office hours with promotions were no joke.  It’s not to say that I didn’t want to do the work or that I was lazy and didn’t want to put in the time, but it felt as if we (the interns) were doing all of the work and getting nothing out of it, besides a resume booster.  It’s difficult to enjoy a job when there is no return.

Everyone always says, you have to enjoy what you do or you won’t put your heart into it and I couldn’t agree more.  I have a passion for sports, one that has led me to taking a Sports Promotion Class and dreaming of a career in Sports and Entertainment Law.  With this being said, you have to try out different aspects of any career to discover what you do and do not like about the industry.  It has been my personal experience that I never again want to be the underdog doing the busy work.  Instead, I’ve taken a different approach. I figured out what I like about this industry and am going to run with it.

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