The Sports PR Blog has a GREAT interview with Jim Loria, of the Sioux Falls Stampede today. Jim provides some GREAT advice for students aspiring to enter the sports industry job market, and be successful. Some of my favorite quotes:
"During my time in Washington, my Caps’ boss used to always preach to me that “I wouldn’t become ‘someone’ in my life until I totally understood how sales, marketing, community, promotions, special events, etc. , all intertwined and rely on each other to succeed!“"
"Spend time honing your writing and speaking skills without question. Learn how to get in front of larger groups, especially your peers, and speak. Communications is vital."
"On the flip side, you can have the most decorated resume in the world but if you can’t “smile”… “look someone in the eyes”… “effectively communicate”, than the resume is wasted. I don’t think I am off base by saying that with most employers today, your resume (or referral contact) can get you the interview, but it’s that first glimpse of you & the employer when you first meet that probably cinches half of the door opening up for you or staying closed. How you dress matters! Just like a meal at a restaurant. First time your eyes gaze on the look of the meal delivered by the wait staff member will make your taste buds ramp up or turn off."
What amazes me is that this advice is what SO many industry professionals share with up-and-comers, and yet, so many students seem to think they are above it, or that it's just a bunch of garbage.
A great quote from Jack Nicholas, that I usually put on my class syllabus: "I always practice as I intend to play." The point is, use your classes as a way to hone your skills for the real world. This means demonstrate a professional appearance and demeanor. Body language says a lot more than students realize, and when they sit in the classroom and look apathetic, doze, sit cross armed, those are subliminal messages that tell me they think they are better than this. They always say that in an interview or on the job, where it really "matters" they turn their game on. What they fail to realize is that behaviors frequently become habit, and you never know who might see you. In other words, there are some students I would gladly recommend for a job or internship, and others for which I would hesitate, based largely on their behavior in my classroom. How you practice translates to the big game. And in this industry, in this job market, students need to be more prepared than ever.