I feel like it wasn’t too long ago that I wrote about stepping into my first full time job at American University, but then again, it wasn’t. Now that I am entering week 3 here at Fordham, I wanted to take a second to write a little bit about my experience so far, and how the progression in the industry just simply makes sense.
Everything that I had heard about this place going into it has held true. Great people, strong emphasis on both athletics and academics, and a place that over the years has learned how to maximize its resources to provide a positive experience for students, staff, fans, and more. Even though it’s been a short two weeks, I know that there is a lot for me to learn, and this will be a great opportunity for me to grow in my career.
One of the nicest parts of stepping into this role was seeing how the progression I had taken in my previous jobs/internships/volunteer experiences have helped me get started on the right foot. Many times for those who are just starting up in the college athletic industry, you may feel frustrated or anxious to move up. Don’t be. There is a reason why there are so many small steps that need to be taken in order to increase your role and responsibility in different departments. I can honestly say as an intern first getting started, I was naive to the fact that there was so much that I was not ready to handle (and at the time thought I was). Stepping into this role at Fordham, while my responsibilities and work load have increased, it is clear to see why and how the internships and smaller roles that I had to take on earlier in my career have helped prepare me for this.
I have spoken about this before, but it is worth mentioning again: Separate the short from the long term any time you are stepping into a new gig. What do you need to know now, and what do you need to have on your radar for later. It is the easiest way to prevent yourself from becoming too overwhelmed and learning your role in the most efficient way possible. Along with that, you need to be able to find the perfect balance of patience, and ambition. What do I mean by that?
Patience: Trust the process. Embrace the smaller roles, tackle the tasks early on that are given to you by your supervisors, and have the “yes man” mentality in order to learn as much as possible. Do not get frustrated if you feel like you have more to offer. Your time will come, and there is a reason why you are not taking on those responsibilities yet.
Ambition: Stay motivated. Just because you are not getting to tackle some of those larger tasks yet, continue to learn, ask questions, and get involved any way you can. You will appreciate it more as you move up the ladder, and thank yourself for embracing the obstacles and small opportunities that are in front of you.
College athletics, just like any other industry, is a process. There is a reason why I walk in to work every day and see people in larger roles who have been involved for 15, 20 years. There is A LOT that goes into it. It is ever changing, and the experiences that you build on throughout your career all lend a hand in how successful you can be. Stay the course, work hard, and continue to learn.