Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

This is posted as part of our Summer Intern Blog Series. Be sure to come back each week as interns from around the country share their summer experiences with us!

By: Kelly Cartner, @kellyfavre4

Howdy! Last week, I discussed the the benefits of getting out what you put in to any experience and I hope it inspired others to look at mundane tasks in a more positive way. This past week as I continue my summer #sportsbiz journey, I came across another great lesson I would love to share with all of you. 

One of my adventures this summer is being the media relations coordinator for the Stockton Challenger, a United States Tennis Association (USTA) pro circuit event that is hosted right here on my campus at University of the Pacific for a week in July. The tournament director was in need of someone for this position and was running out of time, so once I heard about it, I looked at the job description and put in some serious thought. 

My background in regards to sport business ranges from marketing to facility and event operations as well as sales and sponsorships, but I have never had experience in media relations. It’s not that I dislike the area, it just so happens that I have never come across an opportunity to dabble in the field. To add to the mix, I don’t have any experience with tennis.  Sure, I like to play recreationally and pretend I am the next Serena Williams, but I don’t watch or read a lot about the sport. This was all adding up to make me ask myself, “How could I even consider this position if I have zero experience with tennis and media relations?” Although I wasn't sure if I wouldn’t feel comfortable attempting to do this job because I might mess everything up, I thought it would be a great way to get outside of my comfort zone.

As I was reading the job description, it dawned on me that this opportunity has knocked on my door and is giving me this chance to add to my repertoire! How exciting! Will this be out of my comfort zone? Yes! Will it be scary at first working in unfamiliar territory? Yes! Will it be a new challenge that I can learn from? Yes! Will it allow me to network with a professional sports organization along with creating a new network with other sports media personnel? Yes! I started to think this would be a great career move for me by providing many advantageous aspects making it impossible to not apply for this position. It fit in perfectly with my summer schedule and it’s another experience I get to add to my resume. 

I started the position a few weeks ago and although the event isn’t until mid July, there is plenty to do to prepare. I am now writing press releases, managing all the social media pages (@STKChallenger), along with running the website (stocktonchallenger.com), and working with our athletic department and the USTA organizing the event. I am constantly researching how to write a good press release, conduct/setup interviews and how to correctly run social media pages to gain followers and add exposure for our tournament. 

Taking this opportunity has opened up an entire new realm of sport business for me and it is all because I decided to take a step out of my comfort zone. I love doing the research and now have a new love for tennis as I find myself keeping a close eye on the French Open and subscribing to alerts to keep me updated on everything happening in the tennis world. 

It has been a little nerve-wracking at times because I want to make sure I am doing my best, but I continue to see the positives in this experience and am delighted that I took this opportunity.  As the event draws closer, I will write another blog on how it is developing and I am excited to share how the process has progressed! Getting out of your comfort zone allows you to grow, take on new challenges, and experience things you never would have been able to experience inside your zone. So, what are you waiting for? Get out and grow!   

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