By Richard Mactough
Students had the chance to network with professional with a focus in sports careers. Over a hundred people were in attendance of room 117 located in the Science and Technology Center on April 12.
The symposium was designed for those studying sports management at ESU.
S.C.O.R.E was an event hosted by the career development center and stands for sports careers: opportunity, recruitment and employment.
Over 20 students were awarded with certificates for their induction in the Chi Sigma Mu student honor society.
Josh Olerud was the keynote speaker starting before the panel of five other sports professional. Olerud is the President of the RailRiders of Scranton. The RailRiders are a professional minor league baseball team.
Olerud was promoted after the team won the national championship game in 2016. He talked with students about working hard in sports.
“This is the most competitive industry of any industry,” said Olerud.
Olerud had three internships in the sports industry before getting what he considers a real job.
“Those three internships are the foundation of what landed me that first job,” said Olerud.
He did an unpaid internship with the Kansas City Royals. Olerud described being determined to do anything to get the experience. He would do anything from cleaning the bathrooms to fixing damaged pitching machines. Later in the internship his dedication paid off when he was invited in for some sale calls.
“My first job was group ticket sales and I loved it.
It opened the door for me in the sporting world and the business.
Later, I got into corporate sales and more involved with the work I liked,” said Olerud.
He also reflected on his role in a corporate position and having job experience involving interactions with others boosted his confidence talking with people.
“I am 27 at the time and our general manager gets fired. The assistant general manager left with him. My owners for whatever reason loved what I was doing,”
He was given the position as the new general manger running the professional baseball team.
“I thought sure. Give me the keys and I’ll run the car,” said Olerud.
The audience laughed as they were listening to the keynote speaker. Olerud also works for the Yankees as well.
He describes his job as doing everything.
He works for sponsorship and marketing sales.
Olerud advised to the students in attendance that it is important to find what an individual dislike to do as a part of their job just as much what they do.
“Working long hours for something you don’t want to do is not fun. You should find what you like to do and what you are good at,” said Olerud.
The President of the RailRIders discussed the practice of “sweat equity.”
It is an individual’s contribution to a project.
“You look around the room at friends or colleagues. You want to separate yourself when it comes to time pressure. You must ask what separates yourself and be brutally honest. You must be comfortable with failure. We had to trade a pitcher and I did that for a 3-foot steel bowling ball. Big thing goes out on ESPN saying player trader for bowling ball,” said Olerud.
He reflects on thinking of it being a good marketing tactic at the time and believes now that is was a bad decision.
The Director of the Career Development Center Daria Wielebinski thanked students for coming out. There was a panel and a networking social.
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