7 Sports Career Lessons Learned from Jeffrey Dobin

Posted: October 31, 2011 in Expert Advice
Tags: , , , ,

Jeffrey Dobin

I hoped you enjoyed reading Expert Interview with Jeffrey Dobin: Pursue Your Passion, the first of a two-part mini agent interview series. Jeff’s story is filled with many tidbits that will help you as you look to break down the barrier of entry into the sports industry. From Jeffrey Dobin, Managing Partner at Athlete Advocates, we learned the following:

1. Pursuing advanced educational degrees not only sets you apart from the competition but also gives you more time to gain valuable sports internship experience that may not have been afforded to you during your undergraduate career.

2. Participating in a diversity of internships will give you more exposure to areas of the sports business you are considering for full-time positions.

3. Establishing a solid network of contacts can act as a springboard to launching your own business right out of school.

4. Following up is the key to successful networking. Once you establish a relationship with someone, you have to nurture it.

5. Latching on to a handful of mentors will help you connect all the dots as you look to make your mark in the sports industry. Their insights and advice are invaluable to living out your passion.

6. Treat your internships like interviews. Bring your “A” game every day, and be prepared to out-hustle your peers.

7. Never get comfortable when interning. In other words, avoid distraction at all costs and work as hard and efficiently as possible.

  1. The thing about this is that you have to be in a college/university that offer sports internships. Those like all other interships are extremely hard to find unless you know someone. That advice is all well and good, but it does not apply to most people because most people do not have access to an college education nor do they have access to sports marketing internships.

  2. Hey Jeff,

    Thanks for your input. You are absolutely right about how difficult it is to find internships, especially if you do not go to school in a major city. That being said, you can still get some sports experience in college. I have volunteered for my school’s Ticketing Department and currently co-host a sports radio show. My first internship with Q2 Sports was a remote one in which I did all the projects from my dorm room. Although I am located right in Washington DC, all of these experiences have been on campus and not with sports marketing companies in the city.

    If you lack access to a college education, you are going to find a tough time landing any internship or job. In this case, the chips are stacked against you, but it should not stop you from pursuing your dream.

    The trick is to start meeting people in the business and building relationships. Give more to those people than you ask from them. This is how you build a network and can put yourself in a situation where the extremely hard to find internships are right at your fingertips. Find mentors who will take you under their wing and help navigate your future in sports.

  3. Erin Spence says:

    If you are willing to work in an unpaid internship, sometimes you just need to be proactive and go speak to someone. I know that I can always find a project for an intern who is interested to learn and willing to volunteer. Sometimes you just need to think broadly about transferable skills, but I would love to have more people come in a volunteer.

    • Not only does volunteering show initiative but it also makes you look like a team player who is willing to go the extra mile for the organization. Employers like that out of interns, and those people are the ones who often get hired. Great point, Erin.

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