SINC Alumnus Share Their Insights & Success Stories

SINC alumnus can be found throughout the sports business world  from Major League Baseball, to the NFL and NBA, to major brands like Under Armour and Nike. This success is a testament to the value and impact attending SINC can have on your career. Below, alumnus share their own personal stories from SINC and describe the impact it had on their careers.

 

Top Sports Executives Reveal "How to Land Your First Job"

By Gabe Sommella

If there is a "Super Bowl" equivalent for networking with sports executives, it's the Sports Industry Networking and Career Conference (SINC) at George Washington University. Each year hundreds of leading execs and hiring managers from the sports industry meet, host panel discussions, and interview college students to identify the best and brightest. 

As a freshman at the University of North Florida, I set out to find the advice of these professionals on how to land a job in Sports Marketing. At my first SINC [conference], I asked dozens of seasoned sports leaders the same question, "If you were me, what would you do in college to break into the Sports Industry?"

I've summarized their comments into three themes:

(1) Competence first, love of sports last.

Being a "fan" doesn't help the business achieve its goals. It is great to have passion by leave your fandom at the door. Understand that experience and competence in your field of specialty is what employers are seeking. 

(2) Intern experience trumps grades. 

Good grades are expected. They alone won't get your hired. Intern experiences, in your field, are high on their list of considerations. And, while it is sometimes hard to accept working for little or no pay in college, you have to live with the reality that you can either work for little now or work for little after you graduate. 

(3) Network your personal brand.

You cannot meet enough people in the industry, and that means at all levels. An "Associate" today could be a "Director" in a couple years. So the more people you talk to, the more relationships you have in common, the stronger your brand. All is takes is one connection to make all the difference. 

The interesting aspect about these three key themes is how they directly build on one another. If you work hard in class to gain full competence in your field, you should have no problem excelling at an internship. Excelling during your intern experience and being an asset to your company will broaden your networking and strengthen your personal brand. 

During my interviews, I observed that sports executives had many traits in common. They all possessed great communication skills. Each displayed a positive persona, was highly focused, and had great organization skills. Unanimously, they agreed that today's college aspirant has to be proactive and tackle this industry by starting early.

The SINC website spells out the keys to a successful start in the sports industry: "Securing a job in the competitive sports industry requires three components: knowledge of the industry, experience through internships, and networking." Those keys, along with the insights I gained from my interviews, will help you successfully land your dream job in the sports industry.

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