Carlton Robie: Getting Started in the Sports Industry - Work In Sports Podcast

Hi everybody, I’m Brian Clapp, VP of Content and Engaged Learning at and this is the Work in Sports podcast…

Oftentimes you learn the most from the mistakes you’ve made.

As the host of this program, I’m in a very unique position, learning the ins and outs of various peoples career choices, how they built themselves up to be the person they are, the steps they took the tactics they employed. 

I find it all fascinating. So many different stories, so many different people from various backgrounds and influences. 

And often, an ‘in-my-face’ reminder of all I’ve done wrong. starting out in the sports industry Carlton robin

This isn’t some ‘woe-is-me’ tale, quite the opposite, this is a deep appreciation of what others have done to reach their goals. 

That’s the unique thing about goals and aspirations - just having them isn’t enough. I knew by my junior year of college I wanted to be in sports television. Something like ESPN. Didn’t know exactly what, I just wanted to be in there. 

It is one thing to know it, and quite another to do something about it. I prioritized A LOT of other things ahead of reaching this goal. I’d talk about what I wanted, voice it aloud in my classes, but when tough choices came around like, should I go to Wilburfest this weekend, which was a big party on campus, or volunteer for the ESPN college football broadcast…. I chose the party every damn time. 

Funny thing is that didn’t change all that much when I got my first job at CNN/Sports Illustrated. There were co-workers I started out with who were immediately looking ahead to bigger roles and training themselves to be bigger. I was pretty content with mastering my responsibilities, working hard in my role...and then going out at night.  

I’m not about to tell you you should be 100% dedicated to your career, you shouldn’t. I think you need life and social experiences, I think you need balance and you won’t be happy without it.

BUT. I hear guests on this show describe the effort they went to in order to get into the industry and think… wow. 

It is tough out there. Despite low unemployment numbers, the number of talented people who want to work in sports out supply the demand. We have over 18,000 jobs active on our site right now..which sounds like A LOT… until you go to and type in accounting, and realize there are 526,000. 

You have chosen a competitive path - and that’s awesome - because if you are into sports you are likely competitive by nature. Just remember there is no time to waste, there are things you need to be doing right now, there are experiences and skills and opportunities you need to be pursuing. 

You can be at the top of the list for jobs, but it isn’t just going to happen because you say it out loud. There is work to be done. 

Today’s guest knows this better than most. Carlton Robie is a college senior at the University of New Hampshire… he wants to work in sports just like you. And he is taking advantage of every opportunity out there. 

Why is Carlton on? Because he is your benchmark. He represents your competition. Maybe not literally, maybe he won’t be the person applying for the job you want… but others like him will be. 

So ask yourself as you listen… does this inspire me to do more? Worry me? Scare me? Or set you at ease?  Whatever emotion you feel, own it, and take action from it. 

Here’s Carlton Robie. (Listen in to the Work in Sports podcast to really hear Carlton)


Final Thought on Carlton Robie:


I didn’t bring this up during the interview but there is one other thing I’d like to mention about Carlton -- I didn’t bring it up because I didn’t want to embarrass him, but I think it is important. 

Carlton asked me to speak to his college club a year or two ago. When I did, he sent me a personal card thanking and a Mookie Betts bobblehead and a t-shirt from the UNH football team. He built the relationship.

When he asked me about interning in Seattle, a place he knew I had lived before, I wrote him up three pages of ideas and places he should visit, people he should talk to etc. Why did I take the time? Because he had already shown me he was serious, professional, courteous and curious. It was worth my time.

After he finished his internship he sent me a package with a personal card, and a glass from one of the spots I told him to go in my old stomping grounds in Fremont, a section of the city I loved. 

I’m not saying you have to buy things for every person you come in contact with… but you do need to show a little appreciation. Send a card. Say thanks. Be in the pocket of a relationship. 

That’s how you start to win. 

Thanks to Carlton for coming on the show, make sure to subscribe, share and review wherever you listen. 

Thanks as always… time to get back to work.


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By Brian Clapp | September 18, 2019
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