As the summer winds down, we decided to showcase the many faces behind FOS, what they do outside of the site and what their career aspirations are! Today you get to meet contributor, Travis Gorsch!
What is your current role/year in school outside of FOS?
I am currently an intern with the Oakland Athletics in the Community Relations Department. I am also a Graduate Student at the University of San Francisco studying Sport Management.
What is your current role for FOS and how long have you been doing that?
I am currently a contributor for Front Office Sports which I began in June.
What drew you to FOS in the beginning and why do you think it is important for students and young professionals to know that this resource is out there?
The first thing that drew me to FOS was a tweet I came across on Twitter from one of their informational interviews with Franko Vatterott who was quoted saying “Industry professionals love it when students show them what their goals are and how they want to achieve them.” I decided to favorite the tweet and then next thing you know Russ and Adam reached out to me to gauge my interest in contributing for FOS. In my first class for grad school we were required to reach out to professionals in the sports industry. This was my first experience with informational interviews. Once I was done with the class I stopped reaching out to people since it wasn’t required. I hadn’t done an informational interview since March and this was around the end of May. I jumped all over the opportunity to not only help FOS but also start doing informational interviews again to create personal connections. This is a great resource to learn about the interviewees, what they do, and how you can do the same thing. My favorite thing about interviewing people for FOS is I learn something new from everyone I talk to.
Favorite professional sports team? Favorite venue that you have been too?
My favorite professional sports team is the St. Louis Cardinals. Getting the chance to meet Tony LaRussa during my internship with the Athletics has been one of the highlights. My favorite venue would have to be Carver Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, IA during Hawkeye wrestling meets. A close second though would be Busch Stadium III/Ballpark Village in St. Louis.
Career aspirations and goals?
My #1 goal right now is to complete my Master’s in Sport Management (Dec. 2016). After graduating high school in 2012 I set a goal to get my Bachelor’s and Master’s before my five year class reunion which I’m on pace to accomplish. As for career aspirations, I have always been interested in becoming an athletic director because of their influence on student athletes and being a former student athlete myself. I would love to create that same experience for the next generation of athletes that I was fortunate to have in college. Recently however I have also been very interested in exploring community relations opportunities at the professional level as a result of my experience with my internship with the A’s.
Words of wisdom?
Don’t be afraid to reach out to people. At first I was a little reluctant about reaching out to people. I didn’t think they would have time to talk to me with their busy schedules. That was the furthest thing from the truth. I wasn’t comfortable talking on the phone either but some of the best advice I’ve been told was “Get comfortable being uncomfortable.”Now I’m setting up face-to-face meetings with AD’s that I talked to on the phone when I go home in October. Take advantage of being a student and ask questions. I never thought I would have the opportunity to talk to college AD’s, conference commissioners, or GM’s in the MLB but I have been able to do just that. Take initiative and show them what your goals are and how you want to achieve them. They are usually more than happy to help you out because somewhere along the way someone helped them too. They are paying it forward and hope that you will do the same some day.
Secondly, do whatever you can do to get your foot in the door early. Even if that means volunteering or taking an unpaid internship. Do anything that will help you prepare for a future opportunity. After volunteering at the A’s Fan Fest I met the Community Relations Coordinator and Assistant which lead to my current internship opportunity in the Community Relations Department. Always be prepared for any opportunity that may arise.
By this time next year I see myself…..
… entering my last semester of graduate school in San Francisco and working in a Bay Area collegiate athletic department.