28 February 2012
Finding a job in sports: How hard could it be? (Part Two)
This is the second part of Dan Williams' story about his experiences finding his first job. When we last met Dan, he was waiting...
Then, as I was walking to my intermural basketball game on Tuesday, January 31st, I received a phone call from a Florida number at 4:57PM (yes, I remember the exact date and time…deal with it). The first thing that ran through my head was, “Well, here we go.” I answered and it was the Senior Recruiter from the Orlando Magic. Here is a summary of how the conversation went:
“Hello, this is Dan.”
“Hi Dan, this is Karen from the Orlando Magic. How are you? Is this a bad time?”
“Well…I’m in my sweatpants, so I’m not professionally dressed…is that OK?”
“(Chuckling)No, no, that is quite alright! I wish I was in sweatpants right now. Anyways, Dan, I have some exciting news for you. We would like to offer you a Ticket Sales Representative position with the Orlando Magic! What do you say?”
“You just made my day! I have a smile from ear to ear right now! Thank you so much! My initial inclination is to say ‘yes’, but let me check in with my family and get back to you.”
“OK! Let us know by Friday.”
After calling my parents and telling them the news, they were ecstatic and wanted details on the position. So I sent them my offer letter and the benefits, etc. They said to jump at this opportunity and run with it.
I officially accepted a couple days later and everything has been a whirlwind since. Between finding a place to live (which I recently have taken care of), finding a truck (which has also been handled), spending as much time with my friends as I can before I leave Athens, and classes, the last month has been a blur, but I have loved every second of it. The biggest thing I have realized throughout this entire process is how blessed and fortunate I am to have such a loving and supporting family, amazing friends (and saying that is an understatement), and professors here at Ohio University who care an enormous amount about the success of their students.
If I could give any advice to younger students hoping to break into the sports industry, it is to befriend as many upperclassmen as you can and STAY IN TOUCH WITH THEM—AKA NETWORK. Instead of spending hours on facebook, email them once a month, call them. Hell, write them a letter checking in every now and then if you really want to stand out in a crowd. This will only help you out in the long run. Look at me—I wrote Yao a thank you letter after I met him four years ago, and have actively stayed in touch with him ever since and he is the man responsible for getting me a job. Also, BE PROACTIVE! Don’t be that person who waits for things to happen, go make things happen! If you want something badly enough, find a way to make it work, and don’t stop until you get to where you want to be. Yes, it may be hard, challenging and frustrating at times, but guess what—if it were easy, it wouldn’t be worth it.