Mentoring 101: Help Is on the Way

Posted: June 3, 2011 in Mentoring
Tags: , , , ,

Mentoring is one part of breaking into sports that does not receive enough attention. As an aspiring sports business professional who probably has a limited amount of sports contacts, you will have little luck trying to break into this industry alone (You should know that by now after reading my last post on networking). That is where mentors come in.

One of the most interesting and satisfying aspects of the sports industry is that in order to get into it, you have to do a lot of leg work. I say this as a business school student who sees Accounting and Finance majors being fed the recruiters on campus. All these students really have to do is show up to the information sessions and drop their resumes for internship and job openings. Unless your college or university has its own undergraduate sports management program, the sports jobs are not going to be handed to you. While it is unfortunate that professional sports teams, leagues, and agencies do not normally recruit on college campuses, it makes the process of landing a sports job more rewarding. Researching and learning about all the sports opportunities out there for college students as opposed to being exposed to on-campus recruiters for sports jobs is exciting and, at the same time, gives you a sense of independence.

That being said, the competition out there is so fierce that you still need some assistance in the internship and job search. What you need is someone who preferably works in sports and is willing to help you discover what area of the business is the best fit for you. This help can come in a variety of forms: reviewing your resume and/or cover letter, sharing their current and past work experiences, introducing you to their contacts within the industry, giving you advice, etc. The ideal mentor should be honest, trustworthy, and a motivator. In a sense, your mentor should be an integral part of “breaking” you into the industry. Stay tuned for a future post about how to find the perfect mentors for you.

  1. chris says:

    Good stuff, Michael.

    I especially like what you said here: “discover what area of the business is the best fit for you.”

    Knowing your best position, so to speak, is one of the most important factors to breaking into sports.

    1) It gives you direction
    2) It’s a self-marketing/personal branding tool

    Employers will not hire a “generic” Sport Management major. They will, however, hire someone who knows what their best position is, and can demonstrate/communicate exactly what the employer will get talent-wise, skill-set, end-result, etc.

    The key (to getting a job offer) is to provide a solution, or solve a problem.

    Sports companies have all kinds of problems. They need help w/ social media, they need help executing sponsorships, they need help selling tickets, they need help managing athletes, they need help with their finances. The list goes on. Forever.

    Your job (aspiring sports execs) is to figure what you can do better than anyone else. Then, find the companies hire for that position. And market yourself accordingly.

    • mjr89 says:


      I completely agree with everything you said. It is vital to develop a specific expertise in order to sell yourself. You always want to show the employer what you can bring to the table and how you can add value to their organization. Latching on to mentors is great way to learn more about yourself, skill-set, and niche within the industry.

  2. […] The same goes for mentoring as with networking. This is another cornerstone of the sports industry. Learn more about mentoring here. […]

  3. […] I promised in my previous post about mentoring, I want to help you find your first mentor in sports. You need someone to help you navigate your […]

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