Current Role: Athletics Communications Messaging Assistant
Graduated: Sport Admin, Summer 2014
Hometown: Union, Kentucky
Q: Where did you earn your undergraduate degree and what did you major in?
A: University of Kentucky – B.A. in Journalism with a minor in Sociology
Q: Why Xavier? What attracted you to their grad program?
A: I looked into Xavier because a number of people who I worked with during an internship with the Cincinnati Reds had gone through the Masters of Sport Administration program here. Two selling factors were also that it was local (for me) and it was fairly inexpensive as far as Masters programs go.
Q: What does it mean to be an Athletics Communications Messaging Assistant / what is your role at Xavier?
A: Athletics Communications Messaging Assistant is a bit of a confusing title, but the bulk of what I do is what is generally considered “sports information.” Our department disseminates information that people might be interested in before, during and after sporting events. This includes everything from writing previews, keeping stats, recapping events, creating photo galleries and post/game highlights (all, of course, as a team effort) and making sure all of that is distributed through our website, our social media channels and to local media. We also maintain the website and general information for reference, such as athlete’s biographies, media guides and record books.
Q: Why did you get into athletics communications originally?
A: I actually started after discussing my internship with the Reds with a classmate (who had retired from Xavier) before a class one day. Since I was looking for a way to get internship hours, he suggested I speak with Tom, my current boss, about working over the summer in this office since much of what we do relates to my degree and my previous experience. Three years later, I’m still here!
(One big takeaway I should note here is, if people offer help or a connection to you, take them up on it! I’m a person who really doesn’t like to be a “bother” but the positions at the Reds and at Xavier were both the results of somebody-who-knows-somebody going to bat for me.)
Q: What internships did you do prior to your first full-time job in sports?
A: While I was an undergrad, I worked with the now-defunct Lexington Horsemen, an Arena Football team, in the marketing department.
After graduating (and after several years of working for the American Red Cross), I interned with the Cincinnati Reds in the Creative Services department before starting the Masters program at Xavier.
I started in the Xavier Athletic Communications office as an intern while I was finishing the program at XU.
Q: Anything else you want to share with current Xavier students as they prepare for a career in sports?
A: On my final review for my internship paperwork for the Sports Administration program, I remarked that the hours I logged working in the Athletic Communications office were probably the most valuable/useful credit hours I had logged as a student, undergrad or graduate. Internships not only give you an opportunity to learn hands on skills that you would potentially use for a job, they also give you the opportunity to learn whether this is something you could potentially do for 40+ hours (sometimes, many +++!) a week and still enjoy what you’re doing, for the most part (because every job is still a job sometimes).
Take advantage of the opportunity to try out different roles (before you have too many responsibilities to work for free or very little), and learn as much as you can while doing it.