Friday, October 11, 2013

Leaving your Mark: Work with others to achieve your goals

By: Mark Gress

As part of the Sport Management 601 graduate class that I teach at Drexel, I recently invited a guest speaker named Matt Crevin to “visit” class via Skype. Matt has spent the last 20+ years working in the Public Relations Department for the San Francisco 49ers. For most of that time, he has served as the Public Address Announcer. In addition, he has also held positions at FedEx and Microsoft. His most recent ventures include authoring a book titled, “Get in the Game”, as well as running a sports consulting company called Voice of the Box.

During his guest speaking appearance this week, Matt introduced his four P’s of pursuing a career in sports:
  • Position yourself to your target market
  • Promote yourself with integrity and professionalism
  • Package your “brand” in a way that creates awareness
  • Partner with others to help you achieve your goals
For me, it is hard to put one ahead of the other or rank them in order of importance. I think they are all very crucial to consider as you develop a game plan for your sports career. However, the last one always seems to resonate the most with me because of my personal experiences.

Matt’s description to “partner with others to help you achieve your goals” can take many forms but my takeaway is to simply develop relationships and network. One of my greatest examples of this comes from my first job after graduating from Drexel with my Bachelor’s degree in Sport Management. As a graduating senior, and the first to complete their SMT degree from Drexel, I had a unique plan of study to say the least. For the last few terms at Drexel, I was averaging between 18-20 credits per term and I often took classes with freshmen and sophomores in order to graduate early.

I had a couple of classes with a student named Andrew. Andrew had been interning (unpaid) at a local, South Jersey-based, small business near his home. Andrew and I would periodically talk sports and have discussions about classroom topics. When he learned of a position that was about to become open at the company where he was interning, he told me to apply and also recommended that I send him my information. He shared my resume with his bosses and suggested that they bring me in for an interview. After a phone interview and several in-person interviews, I landed the job at Turnkey Sports and Entertainment. Andrew later interned (paid) for me after I was hired on full-time at Turnkey.

Fast-forward a few years after I had left Turnkey to rejoin my alma mater as a career counselor for SMT. With that, I had brought many of my connections from the sports industry and from Turnkey with me. I reconnected with Andrew who was exploring Ticket Services roles in professional sports. After he spotted and applied online for a role with the Oakland Athletics, he asked if I could put in a good word. I immediately reached out to his future boss to do just that. Andrew also asked his former bosses at the Philadelphia Eagles to give a recommendation on his behalf. With that support and his credentials, Andrew landed the job.

So as Matt states, partner with others. Build mutually beneficial relationships. Ask for help and offer to help.

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