The month of June has flown by, which means that MSBA programming is at its halfway point. Throughout this journey, I and the 26 other MSBA participants have survived a night out in NYC together, ridden the hot dog in style at Luke’s lake house, dripped sweat at the Yankees v. Red Sox game, and continue to ask the most intellectual questions to professionals that I have ever heard in my life. It seems like we do it all and more, and I could not be prouder to be around people who truly want better for themselves and are willing to work hard to get there.
We have grown to be more than fellow participants; we act like the best of friends in the short month and few days that we have been around one another. Personally, family is everything to me, and my MSBA family has become a support system that I can rely on more and more each day, if needed. The friendships you make at MSBA, as I have heard countless of times, will never be forgotten and you will be grateful you made them years down the line. Just a quick side note: there may be future business partners, co-workers, bosses or simply best friends in the same room when we travel to an Office Field Trip, listen in on a Speaker Series or take part in a Career Workshop; the possibilities are endless to say the least.
A few takeaways that I have learned thus far are: to work hard and add value, make and maintain relationships, have passion and enjoy the process (even if it has not been directed to us all, I think it is of most importance out of all three).
“I hope all who are reading this are able to bear witness, in the future, to the hard work we (MSBA fam) have done this summer to make our goals come true.”
In an unpredictable industry like sports, if you want to be successful or have a goal in mind, you need to be willing to adapt and produce good work; it crosses over to any and every job in this world. Without the grit and grind to achieve your dreams, it just cannot be done. Talent can only take you so far; as Tim Notke has said, “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” There are so many people who desire to be in the shoes of the most notable sports business leaders today, that you need to stay on top of your game and continuously work on yourself, not only personally, but also professionally. Be a curious learner who either wants to be the jack of all trades or an expert at one thing; no matter what, learn what you like/dislike and work hard to get to where you want to go. Within sports and in society in general, you need to show and add value to your team or organization. We all have a purpose, so once you find it, cherish it and run with it as far as you are able to go. That is how success is achieved and how you become the next in line to be a general manager, C-suite executive or any other top leader that you can think of.
Now how are you even able to get to where you want to go, you ask? Connections. Relationships. Networking. Whatever you want to call it, you simply need to talk to people and surround yourself with individuals who will challenge you and want the best for you. As they say, your friends or people you surround yourself with are a reflection of you, and if you want to be the next leader in sports (or whatever industry you are in), make sure there are leaders and change-makers in your circle or at least a phone call, text or email away. SIDE NOTE TWO: The sports business world is very small (as I have learned this past month); therefore, your personal brand/reputation is key in it all. Anyways, besides making connections, you need to MAINTAIN them as best as you can. Everyone is busy, life is always on the go and it seems like time does not stop, yet find a way to make it happen. We all make time for what we prioritize and if a career in sports is a priority to you, you will find a way. Now, I am not saying stalk people on LinkedIn and email every person you meet, but try to organically create relationships that stem off of friendship and not just a business deal or professional favor.
Now the most important aspect of all, not just in a job but life overall, is to have passion and enjoy the process for what you want to do. Looking back at my past experiences, I can say with the utmost confidence that this summer has been the spark of what I can see myself doing for the rest of my life. As much as it is important to know what you do like, it truly helps most to know what you do not like. Sitting at a desk for 9+ hours a day with no human interaction is totally not a job for me. Throughout your own experiences with extracurricular activities or jobs/internships, you will have tasks that you strongly dislike and others that you like or love. Take note and engrave those lessons in your brain. You will have the desire to wake up and go to work if you have a passion for your job or find enjoyment within it. I understand that we all may have different views about what work should be, but for me, I want a job where I can see results, work that is project based and allows me to collaborate with a diverse, fun group of people, an area that is innovative and challenging, and all in all a career where I am motivated to do the best I can. We all are driven to a job for different reasons, but passion can never beat out anything else.
Now with a little less than a month ahead, there is still plenty to be done and many more memories to be made. I hope all who are reading this are able to bear witness, in the future, to the hard work we (MSBA fam) have done this summer to make our goals come true.