Since this is my final semester as Director of Communications with SAGA before going
on Senior Internship, I thought I would address some of the things I’ve learned and thank some of the people I’ve had the opportunity to learn from.
Some of the lessons I’ve learned while in SAGA:
Networking is important, of course, but networking doesn't stop at one phone call, one email, one LinkedIn connection. In order to have people in your network that are truly in your corner, you need to maintain a relationship with your contacts. You don't need to message them every day or even every week. Just check in every once in a while, ask them how things are going, and so on.
Your network doesn't need to be people who can help you right away. In fact, many of my closer connections and the people I've learned the most from are people who aren't in a direct position to help me. They can still offer advice and tips for getting into the industry without you having to ask them for a job.
Reach out to the people who came before you. Some of my strongest network connections have come from people in SAGA and people in STHM because they also experienced many of the same things I did. They participated in industry hour opportunities, they volunteered for Temple athletics, and so on. I would highly recommend reaching out to Temple/STHM/SAGA alumni in your particular part of the sport and recreation industry; they will probably be happy to help you. There's a search function on LinkedIn that allows you to find people who have attended Temple.
Cold-emailing isn't always a bad thing, but there is a really low chance that you're going to get an email back. There are some people who have received internship offers and interviews with organizations just by emailing, so cold emailing does work sometimes. Keep in mind, though, that if you want to land an interview (or even get a response), you are going to have to email a ton of people. If you sent out 100 emails to different organizations, you might get 5-10 responses at most, and it's possible that you may not get any offers for interviews at all. Again, cold emailing isn't a bad thing (I did it once successfully) but remember that people get tons of emails in their inbox each day and yours might get lost in the shuffle.
Don't compare yourself to other people. It's going to save you a ton of time and energy if you focus on you and your career, instead of being jealous of your classmates and their accomplishments. I spent a lot of time worrying about my own career because I thought other STHM students were "ahead of me" and were getting better experience than I was. Strive to be the best that you can be. Focus on what you can accomplish, not what you think others can.
I’d like to also take this time to say thank you to the SAGA eBoard members that took a chance on me and my fellow graduating seniors. You saw potential in us and I am forever thankful that we had such great role models in STHM to guide us. I’m not going to list all of them because it would take up another page.
To the new eBoard and SAGA members:
Take good care of SAGA. TSBC had better become a rival to the Michigan Sport Business Conference someday. Bring in all the guest speakers that we couldn’t land. Keep preparing SAGA members for their careers in sports and recreation and keep reaching out to professionals in the industry.
See you in April for TSBC 2!