On this day one year ago, I started working for the Washington Redskins as a digital media analyst. For the first time, I was living outside of Buffalo or Rochester, New York. I hadn’t worked in sports since college and it was time to start doing something I had only dreamed I could do.
Twelve months later, and it has been everything I could have hoped for and then some. Pinch me.
I’m doing something I’m passionate about that lets me use what I learned in college and in my first full-time jobs. I have yet to really wake up in the morning and loathe going to work. I work with an incredible group of people that I respect. I’ve been able to travel to Nashville, Washington DC, and all throughout Virginia and Maryland. I’ve been able to go to conferences hosted by Adobe, Trackmaven, and more all while representing an NFL team.
AND I GOT TO EXPERIENCE AN NFL PLAYOFF GAME THAT MEANT SOMETHING TO ME. For a Buffalonian, that’s an experience in itself.
The past year has been a great growing experience where I learned a lot about myself and what it takes to succeed in the sports business industry. I know there’s still a lot I have to learn and study but I was able to take incredible steps thanks to an amazing team.
Some major takeaways I got out of my first year:
- SPORTS INDUSTRY
- Make yourself valuable. Do anything that is needed to help your organization succeed, even if it falls outside of your job description.
- Extra hours and working on weekends is necessary, especially during the season. Don’t complain and understand that going in.
- The game is always changing and you need to ride the momentum of team success at any opportunity.
- DIGITAL JOBS
- Data in business decisions, especially in the digital space, is becoming more and more important by the day. When using it, make your numbers clear and to the point. It’s something I still struggle with on occasion and I’m going to continue to improve over the next year.
- Understand your business goals when telling your story. When pulling data, understand what the best numbers are for everything from selling digital ad space to trying to figure out the best kind of social media content to share.
- Network and learn from others, especially when starting out. Find your local marketing or advertising organization and go to networking events and seminars. Participate in Twitter chats and connect with like-minded industry pros.
- MOVING TO A NEW AREA
- Budget accordingly and live within your means. Understand the cost of living and plan around what you will do after bills are paid before doing anything.
- Google reviews and Yelp are your best friends.
- Be adventurous. Go places you might not have gone to normally, whether that be a new restaurant or tourist attraction. You might just like it!
Thank you to the Washington Redskins for giving me this amazing opportunity. Thank you to my amazing family, friends, and professors for supporting me, teaching me, and putting me in a position to succeed.
HTTR! Here’s to the next twelve months!