It's Symposium Season! That means young pros are finishing up their graduate or undergraduate programs and looking for jobs. It also means that I'm traveling around the country to talk with these folks to help them figure out what they want and how to get it.
I was on a panel at the Illinois State Sport Management Symposium last month, which had almost 300 attendees who came from all over the Midwest to be part of the event. They even live streamed and archived the event so more people could access the information that was being shared that day. I was impressed by the openness of this event because most sport management programs keep things private for their students only. I understand the value of keeping things private, but by opening up this symposium, they generated revenue, increased the networking opportunities for those students and served as an advertisement to potential students across the country.
When a student asked one of the panels how he could set himself apart, we all agreed that by coming to the event, he had already started that process of standing out. By asking a question and following up with people after the event, will give them additional opportunities to make things happen after graduation. Students spend so much time in class, but the panelists were also unanimous on looking for people with experience first and education second. It's not enough to just get the degree, you need to be getting experience at the same time.