On any given day this summer, I have received more valuable advice from more successful professionals than I can even comprehend. However, one of my incredible mentors – Emily Black of MSBA 2015 and Hashtag Sports – told me something that has resonated with me in a way that nothing else has: “Happiness is having something to look forward to.” This is a simple quote that I’m going to carry with me over the next five weeks and beyond, as I truly believe it goes hand-in-hand with my MSBA experience thus far. I take pride in being able to say that I go to bed every night looking forward to what the next day will bring. While my dad has always preached to me that work shouldn’t feel like work, Emily’s reminder expands on what it means to truly be successful in what you are doing. Dad, I think you would be proud of what this summer has been for me; even in just the first three weeks, any expectations I had coming in were not only met, but far exceeded. The MSBA experience has not only proven that a career in this elite industry excites and invigorates me, but more importantly has made me wake up every morning looking forward to the little things as well.
“That is what is so unique about this program. Every moment matters. Whether I am growing professionally through day-to-day duties, expanding socially in our off-time activities, or progressing personally through Career Workshops, networking, and reflection, my days are filled with integral small opportunities that are slowly but surely painting a bigger picture.”
It’s pretty obvious how and why some of the experiences my fellow MSBAers have already touched on are so influential and life changing … not everybody gets to hear from top-tier sports business professionals and tour iconic sports venues day after day, week after week. While I am humbled by it, I am not surprised by this part of the program. I am surprised by how much I look forward to my daily commute with Eleni to Whistle Sports (where we intern together on the Brand Partnerships team). I love being treated as an equal at my internship, getting the chance to have my voice heard and play an integral role in big projects day in and day out. I am surprised by how much I look forward to seeing everyone at nightly programming and hearing about the amazing things they’re all working on, even after a long day of work. I am surprised by the fact that it’s not only the sports business professionals who are inspiring me, but that my inspiration is also derived from the determination and passion I see in the people sitting next to me … the people who aren’t afraid to chase after their dreams and who are helping me figure out my own. I love that I’m constantly surrounded by hugely successful people – whether well established or aspiring – who are pushing me to become the best possible version of myself. I love having mentors I can count on for invaluable insight and advice whenever and for whatever. I love telling Lorne and Bailey when something exciting happens at work and knowing their excitement matches mine. I love expressing to my friends and family how happy I am, constantly raving about how amazing my time here has been. I love waking up at six in the morning to workout … okay that’s a lie, I actually hate it. But what I do love is the fact that as soon as I get down to the gym I’m sure to find at least five friendly faces already down there, annoyingly ambitious yet wonderfully motivational. I love Sunday brunches after Saturday nights out. And even though I love my daily routine, who doesn’t look forward to a long weekend every once in a while? Especially when it’s a four-day weekend, dedicated to the Fourth of July, in NYC, with my MSBA squad.
This time to explore the city and bond with my classmates outside of our typical setting was long awaited, and some weekend highlights included an unreal view of the city from the top of the One World Trade Center, seeing the Yankees beat the Blue Jays, a picnic in Central Park, and even squeezing in some retail therapy in SoHo– but the weekend finally culminated yesterday with the long awaited Fourth of July celebration. Taking full advantage of a day off, my morning started with a trip to the laundry room along with some other not-so-glamourous chores, but doing so only built up the excitement and anticipation of our night to come. After some deliberation over the weekend, we decided we would channel our inner celebrity alter egos and head to 230 Fifth Rooftop Lounge in Midtown (a.k.a. the largest rooftop bar in NYC), where we were able to observe the firework show from 20 floors above the city, all among good company (and food, of course). The Empire State Building, which is apparently easily confused with the Chrysler Building according to Eleni (and I thought I was the blonde), was adorned in red, white, and blue, making our view even more incredible than usual. As fireworks exploded above us, I couldn’t help but remind myself that three weeks ago these people were strangers to me. Now they feel like family.
Moments like that are unforgettable; in addition to all of the little things that this summer has to offer, nights like those are the ones that I will hold onto forever. That is what is so unique about this program. Every moment matters. Whether I am growing professionally through day-to-day duties, expanding socially in our off-time activities, or progressing personally through Career Workshops, networking, and reflection, my days are filled with integral small opportunities that are slowly but surely painting a bigger picture. I know after only a month that I have found the industry I am meant to grow and thrive in. Most of all, I know I have found a lifelong family and a home away from home. I’ve always been a California girl *cue Katy Perry*, but thanks to MSBA, New York has quickly become a place I would be thrilled to call home. As easy (and sometimes tempting) as it can be to get bogged down with the busy schedules we all have, it’s pretty safe to say we are all up for the challenge. Why? Because one person’s success is all of ours, and with the support system and community we have at our disposal, success is pretty much a given. “Happiness is having something to look forward to,” and I look forward to a future full of happiness as I watch my dreams become my reality.