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Perspectives on Mentoring

 

Welcome to our bi-monthly blog where members of the WISE Within community share insights and their WISE Within experience.


 

August 1, 2016

Creating Your Own Opportunities


My pursuit of a career in sports was a decision I had made very early in my life. Being a young athlete myself and completing an internship with my high school athletics department as a senior, I knew pursuing a degree in sport management was a path that would fulfill my passion and professional aspirations.

Since declaring my major in sport management as a freshman in 2003, I’ve never worked a day outside of the industry. I took on a variety of internships and moved around the country quite a few times, accepting temporary roles with several industry leaders, including the Pittsburgh Steelers, Disney Sports Attractions and the NCAA, among others. With sports being such a competitive landscape, I considered myself lucky to obtain the opportunities I was able to experience over the years. It was not until I met my mentor through the WISE Within mentor program that I realized there really is no such thing as luck.

It was through our monthly meetings and routine correspondence that my mentor encouraged me to recognize that my accomplishments and experiences were no happy accidents. At the root of every one of my professional opportunities was my seeking out and making myself available for those new openings. I specifically worked in places and made various decisions to position myself for that next step. I was responsible for creating every opportunity that has built my career to date.

Through my experience with WISE Within and the power of mentorship, I have now gained a new confidence in knowing that I hold the power to shape the future of my career. I know the decisions that I make and opportunities that I take on will lead me to the next phases in my professional journey.

My experience with WISE Within has also provided the chance for me to take on the role of mentor, a new one for me, as my own mentor has given me the opportunity to speak with his undergraduate sport management students once a semester. I hope that through this experience I can not only pay it forward to future mentees, but also explain how their experiences and decisions will shape the future of their sports careers. After all, there is no such thing as luck.