Beginning Your Sports Career as a New Graduate

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Soon you will trade your cap and gown in for a suit and tie, or a mascot suit if you get lucky.

Here’s a great place to begin with some words of wisdom from industry professionals on getting your sports career going. (Photo via

Getting a career in the sport industry off the ground can be difficult. There will definitely be points where you get confused about what to do or where to go, especially coming right out of college or graduate school. That being said, how you handle early successes is just as how you handle those frustrating moments.

Having experienced many of these highs and lows ourselves, we talked with a few sports business veterans to see what words of wisdom they had about the initial stages of a career in sports.

“Keep building your resume as you look for that first job however you can…those experiences will help you out in the long run. ” — Nick Schmidt, Athletic Director, South Puget Sound Community College

“Never do a project or job simply to ‘get it over with’, even the smallest task is a chance to learn something new and grow.” — Austin Koon, New and Creative Media Producer, University of South Carolina

“Have dreams. That may sound silly, but it’s important. Know what your goals are — no matter how lofty — and do everything in your ability to work toward them. ” — Brandon Penny, Content Development Manager, Team USA

“Never stop learning. This will separate you from everyone else. Read a book. Do a tutorial. Listen to a podcast. Take someone from a different department out for coffee to pick their brains.” — Samantha Hughey, Brand Manager, adidas

“Never lose sight of your longer term goals and working towards making them a reality, but remember that the best way to get the job you want next is by doing your current job better than it has ever been done.” — Zach Soskin, Grassroots Marketing, adidas Football

“Remember that experience & meeting people is key. Making connections and getting to know people face-to-face will set you apart from a stack of resume’s.” — Jeremy Guy, Assistant Commissioner for Communications and Social Media, Mid-American Conference

“Sports aren’t exciting 100% of the time. In the dull moments, find a way to be productive and better yourself. You will thank yourself later.” — Ryan Ritchey, Director of Media and Public Relations, Louisville Bats

“Don’t limit yourself and always be willing to do whatever work gets thrown your way as an intern. You may discover you really like or are really good at something you hadn’t thought of before and that can open up doors to more full-time job opportunities.” — Chadwick Fischer, Digital Content Coordinator, Cincinnati Reds

“Take every opportunity to network to connect with others. Be motivated to embrace each opportunity and take action to make your dreams become your reality. Persistence in learning and growing is the name of the game post-college and graduation.” — Karen Freberg, Associate Professor, University of Louisville

*This post was co-written by Joe Londergan and Chase Kostellic

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