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Friday, July 12, 2024

Who are You when Work Isn’t Looking?

What you do isn’t the only thing that defines you.

“So, tell me a little bit about yourself.”

–The first question in any job interview ever.

When I am asked this I begin to talk about how I am a student at The Ohio State University pursuing a dual degree in Strategic Communication and Sport Industry.

I then talk about the various internship experiences I have had and what they have taught me, and how those skills apply to the job I’m interviewing for. I finally conclude with what I want to do long term, and how the job I am interviewing for fits into my life, and usually why I want the job. BOOM. Great answer, right?

I guess for interviewing purposes it is not half bad, but did I really answer the question at hand? Do the people interviewing me actually know anything about Casey Sudzina?

Not really.

The question I answered was, “So, tell me about your experience and why we should hire you.”


Now, you might be thinking, “But Casey, isn’t that what the interviewers want us to answer?” and my answer is for the most part, yes, but it does not hurt to reveal a little about yourself as well. I mean hey, I am guilty of it myself too. What I want to point out to all professionals is that just because you answer the interview question that way, it does not mean that is yourself. You are not your job, there is a lot more to you I am sure of it. It is so important to be able to separate those two selves.

All too often, people allow their jobs to consume their lives. What someone does for a living becomes who they are as a person. While I am sure you are a great professional, it should not take away from your true personality characteristics. It is especially difficult in the sport industry. Most of us grew up on sports, both as an athlete and a fan. Once you are a professional and no longer an active athlete, the job may become a substitute for the large part of your self identity that was once filled by being an athlete. It becomes difficult to separate.

I have been struggling with this a lot recently, as most do, especially in college when you are still trying to discover exactly who you are. To be honest, I really didn’t even know I was struggling with it until a recent phone conversation with a fellow industry professional. I had been feeling a little off beat, but could not pinpoint the reason. After the conversation, I thought about it and realized I was not spending enough time on the things who made me who I am.

So, I asked, “Who are you Casey?”

Well, I am a loved daughter and granddaughter. I am a proud big sister. I am a dedicated friend I am an buckeye for life. I am a Niles Dragon. I am a lover of coffee. I am an avid foodie. I am a Chipotle fanatic, and guac is bliss for me. I know the ups and downs (but mostly downs) of being a Cleveland sports fan. I am a small town girl with (really) big city dreams. I am from one of the biggest, loudest, Italian families you will ever meet. The game of soccer will always have a piece of my heart (and two pieces of my ruptured ACL). Running takes my stress away (once the misery of the act itself fades). Live music takes me to a place nothing else can.


The colors of fall make me feel alive, and the feeling at Christmas time warms my heart. Clear eyes, full hearts, cant lose is a mantra. A good book on a breezy summer day brings me joy. There is nothing better than a day on the lake with good company. Nothing brings on a good cry like some Grey’s Anatomy. I have a best friend who I am convinced is my soul mate. I have big travel aspirations, and a part of me is back in Europe waiting for me to return. Oh yeah, and I work in sports.

And well for now, that’s what I’ve got. I am sure there is more to come. My point is, find yourself. Know who you are, and make sure you are spending time on the pieces of you. Your job is just one small little piece of you, so do not give it more time than the other equally, if not more, important aspects of your life. It is the people, the places, and the experiences that make life worth living. Put yourself first. It will balance you and you’ll perform better at work and in every other important aspect of your life.

With all that, I challenge you:

Tell me a little bit about yourself…

Front Office Sports is a leading multi-platform publication and industry resource that covers the intersection of business and sports.

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