Sports and Entertainment Panel Recap

Michelle Tran, Steinhardt MCC 2017, talks about the Sports and Entertainment panel.

On Thursday Feb. 6th, the NYU Wasserman Center at SCPS, hosted a panel of professionals who are currently in the sports media and entertainment industry.  From golf, to baseball, and even Tough Mudder, the panelists provided expert insight about the sports media industry itself, the qualities of a best entry-level candidate, and day in the life experiences on the job.  Here are the 5 main tips that the 6 panelists shared:

1) Networking

There can never be too much networking.  All panelists agreed that the number one way to further your career is through networking.  Dan Asip, Manager of Service & Retention at MSG, explains how networking can determine your chances of moving up from an internship status to obtaining that full-time job position available in another department.  In order to be able to secure a job, you have to talk to the right people and build relationships with others who can support you when the time comes for interviews.  Go beyond just talking to people within your office.  Expand your horizons and expand your network of people to best serve your career.  Asip and the other panelists agree, creating relationships with your colleagues goes a long way.

2) The glamorous life doesn’t come cheap

The idea of working in the sports media and entertainment industry has a certain sexy and glamorous appeal to young and eager students.  A life being surrounded by sports legends, big-name executives, and star athletes appears to be the dream job.  But the journey to the glam and glitz is no easy task.  Leign Ann Minutoli, Assistant Brand Manager at the Topps Company puts it plainly: “Expect to be poor when you first start off.”  No career starts off easy or the way one dreamed it to be.  Adam Suritz, Tough Mudder recruiter, can attest to this reality as he himself started off as an employee in the Apple Human and Resources Department entering in employee work times.  Don’t expect to get the dream job right out of college.  Jillian Wright, Director of Corporate Sponsorship at the Staten Island Yankees, gives the example of moving to Staten Island for the job, and says you have to be willing to relocate.  Ultimately, don’t lose faith in your career.  Be able to adapt, improvise, and overcome obstacles one way or another.

3) Be open to working in different sectors of the industry

In order to thrive in this industry, all panelists agree that one must have an open-mind in applying.  Don’t confine yourself to just one sector of the industry.  You may want to work in the social media department, but do not confine your application to just this one branch of the company.  Along with applying to this social media position, maybe decide to apply to the communications department or the marketing department or even the fan development department.  The point is to go into the application process with an open mind in order to show versatility and willingness to try something new.  Who knows, maybe your interests can shift to a different department you never thought plausible just by simply trying it out.

4) You don’t have to be an avid sports fan

                 Just because you go into the sports media and entertainment industry, doesn’t mean you have to be an avid sports fan.  All panelists work with colleagues in their respective companies that have a variety of backgrounds that may not be revolved around sports.  Vanessa Bekono, from GroupM ESP, mentioned that in their company career changers with a background in a different industry and experience working with clients are an asset, and you can learn the entertainment and media business on the job.  All these recruiters are looking for in a candidate are work ethic.  Knowing the entire roster of the New York Rangers and freaking out when meeting client-athletes will more likely decrease your chances of being hired versus acting in a civil and professional manner within the office environment.  For Scott Lipsky, manager of digital media at US Golf Association, some background knowledge of the sport is helpful but in the end, it comes down to whether or not you can get the work done and finish the projects that are given to you.  You prove your abilities not by acting like a mad-raving fan, but by the work you successfully accomplish.

5) You are interviewing the job, as much as the job is interviewing you

In the interview process, it is not just about showing up to the interview, answering the questions, handing in your resume, and walking out.  Minutoli and Suritz agree

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