By: Adam White, @FOSAdam
Front Office Sports is proud to sit down with Alyssa Bosley, Professor for the School of Hospitality, Sport and Recreation Management at JMU. An alumna of both UConn and JMU, Alyssa loves spending time cheering on her UConn Huskies basketball team. A professional with over twelve years of experience, Alyssa was gracious in offering up her time and insight about what the 21st century student and professional needs to do to prepare for a career in sports.
How have your previous positions helped you get to where you are today? What are some of the key things you have taken with you from those positions?
Like many others, Alyssa found herself stumbling upon her positions saying, “There was really no set path. I was fortunate that one position just kind of led into another one. My first position in sports was when I worked in Minor League baseball. There I was exposed to what it is like to wear many hats. I came in with one title and by the time I left, I had experience in every single area.” She credits all the experience she gained in the minors to her level of success now by saying, “After working in minor league baseball, I took a job in the Athletics Department for JMU where the skills I had learned in putting on promotions at minor league baseball games transferred over perfectly.”Not only did she stumble upon professional positions, but also into teaching; she said, “I went on to get my Masters degree at JMU and then went on to become a full time professor. I stumbled into teaching when one faculty member left. It’s never something I would have thought of doing, but it is the most fulfilling job I have ever had.”
Sports have become a 24/7 industry. What are some things you like to do to make sure you have a good balance between work and your personal life?
Like most professionals, this is something she has “struggled with;” for her, “finding a work life balance was one of the reasons why moving to academia was appealing to me.”
Her best advice to find a work/life balance is that “You just have to unplug yourself; don’t respond to emails after a certain time.” And along with that you “have to understand what your priorities are.”
She would go on to emphasize time management saying, “If you work hard and efficiently during the business hours, you will have more time to enjoy yourself. Becoming burnt out is something that will happen very quickly if you aren’t careful.
How does the 21st century student prepare for a career in sports?
With all the technology at our disposal, Ms. Bosely recommended that, “Students embrace it and take advantage of what it gives you to network and to put yourself in the best possible place when you graduate.”
Although she recognizes the negative factors of social media, she also believes that, “this is a great way to learn, prepare and find out about what is going on in the industry.”
If you were to hire someone today, what traits would the ideal candidate need to have to succeed in the sports industry?
Her statements on this question echoed many of her fellow industry professionals; she said, “Passion, but passion for the business side of sports. I tell my students that if they are there just to watch the games, you are probably in the wrong major.”
Alyssa believes that you must “have a positive attitude because this is an industry where you start at the bottom and you have to work your way up. You are never above anything from tarp pulling to handing out giveaways.” She continued by saying, “You have to be a good team player, although a lot of the time you will be doing individual work, it will always be in a group setting.”
If you could have one position in sports for a day, what would it be and why?
With excitement in her voice, it was evident that she had love for her alma mater by saying, “I would love to be apart of the UConn Women’s basketball team. I would love to take a day and see what it is like to have a day in the life of that team.”
If you could change one thing about the sports industry, what would it be and why?
Not surprisingly, she is in agreement with most of the US by saying that, “I would love to change how corporate college sports have become. It’s not just amateur sports anymore; it’s a big business. It takes the fun out of it for me.”
“You just have to realize that you’re going to start at the bottom. I graduated from UConn with my undergrad and one internship and I thought I was ready to take on the world. You have to put in your time; you’re not going to make a lot of money.”
“You must take advantage of every opportunity to make yourself better.”
Ask yourself, “What am I doing today, to get myself where I want to be in the future?”
We would like to thank Alyssa for taking the time to give us her insight!