Wednesday, June 22, 2011

HEAT up your Career with a Life in Sports

By Steven Glasser, BBA '10, former Peer Advisor

Just because you can’t play with the pros doesn’t mean you can’t work with them. Sport, like any other industry, is a business and is populated more by people off the field than on it. While ample opportunities are available, it remains one of the most challenging fields to break into. With this in mind here are some tips that can help turn your workplace dream into a reality.

1. Practice Makes Perfect – Translation: Experience is everything
If you are serious about a potential career in sport, no matter what medium -- whether it be broadcasting, journalism, management, coaching etc. – it is essential that you have sport related experience on your resume. No matter how small a role you play in an event or with a team it will continue to add to your credibility. Having just been a part of such an event will make you more desirable to potential employers. Opportunities are available in the form of internships, volunteer work and part time jobs. However, most of the positions are likely unpaid so that is something to account for. Still, these experiences go a long way towards helping you feel more comfortable around the industry. It will also prepare you for what can be an extremely stressful day-to-day environment. Ultimately, having this experience will help you be ready to pitch in right away when you do finally land that job.

2. Work on All Parts of Your Game – Translation: Diversify your skills
The importance of experience cannot be stressed enough, especially if this is a field you would like to pursue professionally. However, the biggest trap one can set is to develop only one skill. Part of getting the experience is not only learning what you would be doing, but also learning what everyone around you is working on and how he or she came to grow into that role. This can serve two-fold, giving you the opportunity to learn other parts of the sport field you are looking to get into and leading to potential career opportunities that you had not previously considered. The goal though is to diversify your skills to make yourself an increasingly marketable candidate to potential employers.

3. Take Advantage of Learning Opportunities – Translation: Get Educated
With the industry continuing to grow, more and more opportunities are becoming available in areas that didn’t exist even five years ago. While a Bachelor’s degree is now a mere formality to any position off the courts, those with graduate degrees are opening themselves up for further advancement opportunities. Getting your MBA or going to Law School can help to diversify you from other candidates and can open doors to management positions.

4. Call For The Ball – Translation: Focus on Networking
Building and using your contacts can go a long way towards helping you build a career in sports. No matter where you meet someone or what he or she does, it is of vital importance to exchange contact information. Building your network can help open you to opportunities in the industry that are not listed online or in publications such as Sports Business Journal . If you don’t know people who are in the industry don’t be afraid to reach out. Often on teams/leagues/companies websites there are e-mail addresses for notable employees in various departments. People in the industry are often very willing – and excited – to help out potential newcomers who show a passion for the arena and a true willingness to learn. It is imperative not just to build your list of contacts but also to put them to use. Make sure you keep people informed of what you are doing and check in to learn about new ventures they are currently involved in because you never know when an opportunity will arise.

5. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – Translation: Make yourself teachable
The sport industry is highly demanding and can be highly stressful. No matter what area of the field you may find yourself in you will always be subject to criticism. What separates the lifers from those who spend a short time in the industry is the ability to handle the criticism and turn it into teachable moments. In this field you will often make mistakes – some larger than others – and what you learn from these mistake usually proves to be more important than the mistake itself. If you can prove to those around you, the people who have carved out a niche in the industry, that you can handle yourself professionally in these moments and learn and improve from them, it will demonstrate the maturity needed to survive in the field. Never be afraid to ask questions, as people are always looking to teach and help out newcomers; and if you prove to be an adept student they will often go out of their way to help you start out your career.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Don't Get Beat: Experience Virtual Career Fair in Solo High Definition

Written by Priyanka Surio

Whether you own a pair of Dr. Dre's HD Solo beats or not, the Virtual Career Fair is a newly designed Career Fair option for students who either missed the annual career fair in the fall, or who wish to continue the job search hunt over the summer.

Employers are recruiting for full-time and internship positions, and they represent a variety of industries, including accounting, retain, biomedical, government, sports, education, construction, engineering, and insurance.

This virtual fair gives you all the perks you would normally get with a career fair with the minor spin of taking place over the internet in your own personal area where you can either be solo or with a group of friends. The convenience afforded with an online career fair is the true definition of High Definition.

The fair is going on now until July 15
. Students and alumni can participate by logging into CaneZone There you will see the companies that are recruiting. Click on the company you are interested in and you will see their profile and you will also find the positions they are recruiting for and their chat schedule. Click here or login to CaneZone for more info!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Slumdog Millionaire your way to Scholarships

Priyanka Surio

Jai Ho! So you want to be a millionaire? Answer this question and you could be well on your way! Which of the following will help you obtain free money?
A) Searching for Scholarships
B) Having a good essay that is proofread at least ten times (exaggerated, not really)
C) Making sure your resume is on point (sharper than a needle)
D) All of the Above
Did you choose D? That is the correct answer!

Now let’s explain why?

Searching for scholarships is the most obvious pathway towards free money. But what is scam and what is legit? This is where a second pair of expert eyes can help you discern whether your searches are effective or not. Make sure to always ask someone else (preferably an advisor or scholarship advisor) whether the scholarship you are applying for is a legitimate one.

Some sites and offices you definitely want to look to for scholarship money are:

• Anything funded by the government, to qualify always fill out the FAFSA on time
• Grants
• Scholarships funded for by private organizations, if you volunteer with an organization or a part of a national service, honor, or social organization you may want to see if they offer scholarships
• Fellowships
• Paid research assistantships, many Universities offer these for doctoral and master's graduate students
• Ask advisors in the Office of Prestigious Awards & Fellowships and the Honors Program to point you in the right direction

It helps to search for something specific that is tailored to your needs because that increases the chances of you obtaining the scholarship.

The word on the street is…the right word. Words can mean everything, especially when you are trying to convince a group of arrogant, ruthless judges that you are the “catch” of the day.
Make sure you are original with your work. Go to the Writing Center, where professors and graduate students can help you by proofreading your essay. You must be the one to start it off though, because essentially you want your essay to be a true reflection of yourself.

Would you ever want to watch a fitness commercial that didn’t have attractive and fit people on it? No, because then you wouldn’t believe the product they were selling. Your resume is your advertisement; a one page billboard of yourself to the potential scholarship committee. This is where they see all the perfections and amazing skills you have to offer. Thus, your resume should be flawless with regards to presentation regardless of what experiences you have, because there is always a way to market every experience in a meaningful yet effective manner. Let Toppel be your personal designer and help shape the edges just right while capturing you at your best angle. Refer to our resume guides and come in for walk in advising for a critique of your resume, cover letter, or essay.

A personal success story exemplifies what one can obtain as a result of employing these methods faithfully. I received the title of Benjamin A Gilman International Scholar a few weeks ago and have my entire study abroad trip paid for by the US Department of State. I will be able to take my classes, enjoy cultural excursions and have meals, boarding, and flights taken care of as a result; therefore, I almost feel as if I have won millions. The treasure here is the ability to explore the other half of my heritage amidst learning about a new culture.

All in all, if you follow the methods outlined for you, then you have put together all the ingredients needed for the application to scholarships.
You need to stay organized and most importantly FOLLOW UP! Like Jamal Malik do not give up. Like him, you have nothing to lose, only to gain. Whether it is experience with applying, creating a resume, writing good essays, conducting professional interviews, or simply knowing random facts that have no practical application for future feature in a reality TV show that will grant you millions, you can use a growth in professional development and hopefully funding.