Surely you’ve heard the phrase, “It’s not what you know but who you know.” When it comes to success in sports careers, your connections form an important part of a greater whole. Along with applicable knowledge and usable skills, good connections and a strong network are major contributors to your success.
Why Are Connections So Important in Sports Jobs?
In the world of sports, it takes many different people with an array of skills doing a variety of jobs to accomplish a goal. For this reason, it pays to know people in all types of jobs connected with sporting events and sports businesses. If you are looking to build a successful career, surround yourself with people who have skills and knowledge that complement yours. Similarly, associate with more experienced people to add to your own repertoire of skills by learning from others and continuing to grow.
Additionally, while the world of sports is a community that pulls together, it is also a naturally competitive industry. Therefore, you need to give potential employers reason to choose you over competing candidates. By forming a strong network in the sports industry, you can strengthen your resume with recommendations from influencers and leaders, learn about potential job opportunities, and discover new prospects.
How Can I Make the Most of Sports Networking?
To make your network work for you, make sure you stay top of mind for people who require your specific services. You want potential employers and clients to know that no one else is better suited for the job than you, in no small part because your network is singing your praises.
Think of even the briefest meetings as opportunities to share your elevator pitch, a brief summary of what you do for a living. Your elevator pitch should be easy for you to remember and memorable to the person you are meeting. Your pitch allows you to explain what you have to offer in one or two sentences. If you craft an effective elevator pitch, you increase your chances of making a great first impression. Once you have your elevator pitch down — what you do, how you can help and what makes you unique — back it up by being a reliable, trustworthy and efficient employee.
How Can I Build My Network?
One of the best ways to start building your network and find jobs in sport administration is by being active in your degree program. While some people are happy to attend classes, complete their coursework, and go it alone after graduation, they are missing out on all your school can offer in addition to a great education. First, connect with your professors. In Arkansas State University’s Master of Science in Sport Administration program, you will have the opportunity to learn from some of the most successful people in the sports industry. Do not resign yourself to being a number in a classroom. Rather, introduce yourself to your professors and tell them your goals to signal your eagerness to make meaningful connections with sports professionals. Your professors may be able to point you in the right direction and help you get started in sports networking.
Second, use your internships as chances to build a foundation for your career. During the MS in Sport Administration program, you will complete two 7-week internships that provide you with work experience in organizational settings. The internships are your opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the sports industry professionals you will meet.
Finally, build connections with your fellow students. The educational journey you are all taking together does not have to end at graduation. Stay connected in person and online. Update one another on career goals and employment situations. Make efforts to reach out and help fellow students with no expectation of a payoff. You’ll likely find that what you put into your network returns in some other shape or form to benefit you in the future.
No need to wait until you graduate to grow your network. You can start reaching out and making those connections the moment you envision yourself pursuing a sports career. Success in the world of sports is a collective effort, and success multiplies when people help one another. Your network will be one of your most powerful tools when it comes to career advancement — so prepare your elevator pitch and start connecting now.
Learn about the A-State online MS Sport Administration program.