Kraig Page (Graduate Student in UConn Sport Management Program)
While attending Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), I dedicated myself to getting the most out of my student experience through my participation in athletics and several leadership roles from various departments within the university. In doing so, I had fun and positioned myself to be a strong candidate for the annual career in sports forum hosted by the NCAA.
In my final year at MCLA I applied for and was awarded the opportunity to attend the career and sports forum at the NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis. There were speakers, presentations and workshops at the forum dedicated to helping students to understand how behavioral styles are able to impact individual effectiveness, gain an accurate view of the role of the intercollegiate coach and athletic administrator, network and consider how personal values intersect with career opportunities.
Speakers shared their pathways to their current roles in sport, provided us with tips and advice on how to become more desirable to organizations and answered any questions that we had for them. Participating in t workshops provided me with an opportunity to brainstorm through scenarios within small groups, ask questions and reflect on my values and myself as I was making the transition from student athlete to member of the sport industry.
The experience overall was educational, motivating and rewarding. I left with a deeper understanding of the sport industry and the opportunities within it. The forum motivated me to take the next step in positioning myself for a career in the sports field, while also allowing me to make new friends, exchange information and develop contacts.
Isaiah Jacobs – Program Leader (Public Ally AmeriCorps), Current Graduate Student in UConn Sport Management Program
“Throughout our nation’s history, lasting social change has always resulted from the courageous acts of many, not just the inspiration of the few. “
From 2014 to 2016, I spent my time as a public ally with the AmeriCorps Public Ally service organization in partnership with UConn Husky Sport. Public Allies is a national movement grounded in the conviction that everyone has the ability to be a leader. The organization prides itself in believing that everyone truly has the power to make a difference, and works to inspire individuals to believe in themselves, step up and act. We provided service under the mission to create an equitable society and to foster the diverse leadership necessary to sustain it. We work to change the face and practice of leadership in communities across the country by demonstrating our conviction that everyone can and should lead, and that lasting social change results when citizens of all backgrounds step up, take responsibility and come together.
A vital aspect of working as a Public Ally was the process of constructing and implementing a team service project held to benefit the community that we were stationed in. Luckily, I was stationed right in my hometown of Hartford, Connecticut. It was a pleasure giving back to the community that I grew up in and held so close to my heart.
To help fund this project, we decided as a group to host a 3-on-3-basketball tournament. Though the event was focused around it, basketball was simply acting as the driving force to get people in the door – this event was bigger than sports. It was an opportunity to bring local organizations together and partner with one another to host teams and enjoy the company of the community. I began to realize how successful our event was when people started asking when the next one was – people who were not concerned with the sport itself, but what that sport is able to produce. In holding this event, we exhibited the power that sport has to unite people and bring happiness to all of those immersed in its culture.
Jackie Kelly – Student Focus (Current Graduate Student in Sport Management/Graduate Assistant for Husky Sport)
After graduating from the University of Hartford, I was able to accept a position with the NCAA National Office in Indianapolis, IN. The NCAA offers a postgraduate cohort based internship program that works with various departments throughout the national office. I worked as an intern for the Leadership Development department, which was responsible primarily for creating professional development programming for student-athletes, coaches, interns, graduate assistants and administrators across the NCAA membership.
Many of my daily tasks were focused on preparing for our programs. While working on site, I facilitated activities, panels and group discussions. I really enjoyed traveling to each of the programs, my favorite of which was the Pathway Program. This specific program is a yearlong professional development series held for senior level administrators aspiring to become athletic directors. I spent the majority of my time working on logistics, but was able to sit in on mock interviews and media training sessions as well. We were also able to take site visits to Georgia State University, Georgia Tech, Emory and Clayton State University. During our time at these universities, the participants met with presidents, athletics directors and other current staffers. I was able to sit in on some of these conversations and presentations, which was extremely informative and allowed me to gain some valuable experience.
Over the course of that year I was able to create memories and relationships that I know will last a lifetime. My fellow interns in my cohort were and will always be like my family. Having been granted the opportunity to understand the NCAA from a national, internal perspective so soon after actually being a student athlete was a once in a lifetime experience that I will always treasure.