By: Ghazzal Rezvan, @GhazzalRezvan
Front Office Sports is proud to have sat down with Nicole Filia, Programming Coordinator at the National Football League. A Graduated of Loyola Marymount University, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English Writing with an emphasis in Journalism, Nicole has over four years of experience working for print and online media ranging from New York City to Los Angeles. In the past, she has acquired editorial, production and digital marketing internships at BULLETT Magazine and NBC Universal’s Style Network as well as E! Online, where her focus was on fashion, culture and entertainment content creation. Currently a Programming Coordinator at the National Football League, her responsibilities include publishing daily content submitted by the 32 NFL Clubs, as well as the scheduling of live streaming events with each club. She was gracious enough to offer up her time and insight in how to establish a work life balance,what the challenges are when breaking into the industry and why even though you are working, you must enjoy life.
How do you establish a work-life balance?
"Working in sports, that’s hard,” Nicole admits, “time management is very important”. Nicole suggests on planning two events throughout the month to look forward to on your days off, “like going to a Dodgers game or a concert with your friends” she said. At just 22, Nicole has accomplished so much in her career but notes it is important to not forget how young you are. She says to “make sure to have a solid work-life balance to stay sane!"
What are some of the biggest challenges of entering the industry?
As a person who entered the industry 10 months ago, this question seemed to be easy for Nicole to respond to, stating that “it’s very competitive. So many people want the same position as you do”. She continues saying how important it is to try and differentiate yourself, “ You went to college? So did everyone else. You have a degree that fits the job position? So does everyone else”. Nicole mentioned how unique working for one of the biggest major professional leagues in North America is, saying that “you’re only a 7-month seasonal full-time employee so someone can easily replace you by the time the next season starts. It’s very cut-throat!”
What advice do you wish you had received when starting your career?
Nicole’s best advice to people trying to break into the industry is to “never be afraid to ask for help from your connections. Never be too proud or too nervous to do that”. Another important piece of advice she gave is to find a mentor, “find a person’s job you want and see how they got it”. She also has some unique advice for females trying to work in the industry stating that females should “never doubt yourself and be really good at your job! Being a female in this industry it is so easy to have men make you feel inferior at times. Don’t ever let that happen”.
What’s the first thing industry executives look for in a new hire?
Nicole mentions how experience is not the only trait executives look for when seeking new employees, “it’s a mix of experience and personality. People want to work with people they want to be around” she says. Nicole even mentions how her own boss has said to her that at times he hires people who are less qualified for a position because they are more likable than someone with many years of experience but an unlikeable personality.
What skills or experiences are vital for newcomers?
Nicole stresses understanding your place in the company you work for and to “really understand a hierarchy of a corporation and the corporate world and know your place” she says. “As much as these people are your friends, they still have jurisdiction over you” she continues. Nicole also says being grateful is an important trait a newcomer should have. “Never complain” she says and mentions that whenever it gets very stressful at work she reminds herself that “thousands of people dream about this job everyday and I am living it”.
What are key trends in the industry?
Digital is everything. Social is everything” Nicole stresses. “When you write a headline does it work as a hashtag? You have to think of everything on a digital realm” she continues. Nicole says the reason for this trend is because of the way fans consume sports. It has changed drastically since our parent’s days, and that “people have this sense of urgency. They want it now. They need it now. They have a fear of missing out on things” meaning the way leagues connect with fans has changed. “Everything is about connected devices. Digital monetization” Nicole adds.
Try to enjoy your life. I know it gets very stressful and you get very overwhelmed. Don’t forget your age. People start getting so serious so soon.
We would like to thank Nicole for her time and insight! You can follow her on Twitter here!