This post is part of the #YPSportsChat Blog Series! This series will give young professionals an inside look at the intricacies of the sports business world and advice on how to navigate it.
By: Bianca Cacho, @Bianca_Cacho
Sport is an incredible thing, never the same, always changing, mostly fun and always an experience. Most people just get to feel these emotions on game days but actually working…. that is a whole new level. At this point you are no longer a fan, you are apart of the sport world, as you know it.
Just like anything, the sport industry is a full learning experience.
All through college you hear “intern everywhere,” LISTEN. Trust me, the “real world” is tough already, I learned the hard way. Whether it’s operations, coaching, marketing, media or really anything else in the large spectrum of sport avenues, it is important to understand your PASSION. Take it from me, the sport world is a grind like no other and if you don’t love what you do you’ll hit your burn out way sooner than expected.
Luckily, my alma mater did a pretty good job of letting us know we would be making close to nothing fresh out, and that’s if we were lucky enough to get that first job out of college. If you don’t love what you do, you’ll question why you’re even, “wasting time.”
I was one of the “lucky ones." I put a lot of pressure on myself to get that job coming out of college. I promise, one thing I learned, rejection is okay and you will survive. After countless applications and rejections I finally reached the goal, I finally got my first job. I thought, wow this is great, I walked the stage with a job waiting for me out of the gate. I wouldn’t of had this experience if it were not for the most important skill in sport, and any industry, in my opinion. NETWORKING.
Network, network, network. Every opportunity I have had in my career so far has been jump started by some type of networking relationship I maintained. A wise A.D. once told me, “It is not who you know, it is who knows you.” That really stuck with me. Networking is just one piece to the puzzle, you must maintain and treasure every connection you make in this little world of sport. You never know when you will find an opportunity where someone can help.
You never know, you may meet you mentor.
Last but not least, be patient. It was not too long ago, April 2016 to be exact, where I was sitting in a classroom at Florida State University, freaking out thinking that if I did not land a job right out of college that the last four years of my life were a fail. That is not the case. Take time to breath and realize that everyone’s path to success is different, just because your group partner landed a job in sport does not mean you failed or did any less than them, it just means your path is different.
After you get your diploma, whether you stop at your Bachelor’s or move on to your Master’s, I can promise you, you will never stop learning. Everyday as young sport professional is an experience like no other, embrace it and make sure you’re ready for the ride!