Hey everybody, I’m Brian Clapp Director of Content for WorkinSports.com and this is the Work in Sports podcast.
I’ll admit, over the 9 months and 99 episodes of this podcast I’ve been a hound for titles. I’ve wanted all of my guests to be people from the big leagues, the big brands and holders of big titles – VP of an MLB team, Director of an NFL team, Agent to Baker Mayfield --- I wanted to grab the movers and shakers in the industry to share big knowledge and big experience.
I have loved it. I’m a sucker for these conversations and peeling back the layers of each individual journey. There is so much you can learn from someone once you start talking, stuff that isn’t on their resume or social media profile. The truth about them and their experience.
What I haven’t done enough of, is talk to the people on the beginning of their industry curve. A view of the climb up the ladder, rather than from the perch atop it.
So this week we are having a very different conversation, sharing a very different perspective.
Dasmine Evans is a recent graduate of Florida State University where she earned her degree in sports management. She conducted internships with major sports leagues and brands, volunteered, built her personal brand…but getting hired in sports hasn’t been easy.
As she put it in her recent article on LinkedIn titled 10 things to know about working in sports before you graduate, “Let me tell you, grab a bottle of wine because the stress is real.”
The line made me laugh, but the article as a whole was a raw, honest, interpretation of the struggle to find work in the sports industry. It’s not as easy as “get degree, get dream job” it’s a journey of peaks and valleys, and to be honest at the start it’s often more valleys than peaks.
The thing I have always promised to you on this show is that I will speak honestly about the industry I love and have worked in for over 20 years. I will not sugar coat the story. I will not say every day is a dream with kettle corn and rainbows.
We will talk about the industry in a real, unfiltered manner, and that’s what we’re doing today with Dasmine Evans, so let’s get to it:
Questions for Dasmine Evans:
1: You wrote a very timely article this week that you published on LinkedIn – it’s graduation season and thousands of young adults are entering the workforce, or at least trying. Your article, titled 10 things to know about working in sports before you graduate is a raw honest informative piece about your journey after graduating with a sports management degree from Florida State.
So let’s start at the beginning – when you were in your senior year of school, approaching graduation and the impending doom of real life – what did you think it was going to be like?
2: Ok, so what was the reality of your experience?
3: It sounds like you had a pretty great resume too – lots of internships, volunteer work, a great degree from a great school. Looking back what do you think was going wrong?
4: Let’s work through some of the points you make in your article – the first one is “you don’t have to major in sports management to work in sports” – if you had to go back and do it again would you have gone a different direction with you major, and if so why?
–spoiler alert, I didn’t not major in sports management. Now, that could be because I’m old and they didn’t have sports management programs back in the 90’s…
5: Your next point is a big one, and one I try to drill into people’s heads all the time – Professional Teams aren’t the only place to work in sports! – I actually got into an argument with Mark Cuban a few years ago, because he said there are only so many jobs with pro teams and people who get sports management degrees are setting themselves up for failure… my argument with him was… there are tons of careers in sports that have nothing to do with the pro teams!
6: You talk a lot about the importance of finding a mentor – how did having a mentor make a difference for you?
7: What about your actual job search process? You make the point this is something professors don’t teach you how to do – once you went through it what were your big learning points?
(my favorite line: Let me tell you, grab a bottle of wine because the stress is real.)
8: You really hit the truth when you say “you won’t start with your dream job”. Like the Philadelphia 76ers…this is a process. You don’t start at the top of your dreams, right?
9: What about your network – how important was it to grow and foster your network of contacts in the industry and how did you go about doing it?
10: Ok after all this stress… what happened to you? And has it all been worth it?
That’s straight talk people. Dasmine is on her path, but it isn’t smooth, it’s a struggle and that is just real.
Here’s a challenge to all of you – I want you to read Dasmine’s article, and then connect with her on LinkedIn.
And then this is your moment to pay it forward – I want you to say something positive to her. Share an idea, or a quote you find inspiration from, or a career concept, or a connection. Start building bridges for each other, and you’ll find it’s a better world out here for everyone.
This community of people listening to this show and connecting on our facebook group impresses me daily – this interconnectivity is the trampoline that will propel all of you to new heights. Open up a dialogue, share thoughts and inspiration and make a difference for the people around you. I can tell you from experience, it feels good, and it all comes back around.
Thanks for taking this journey with me…this is our 100th episode, and I’m just proud to know you.