As I reflect on my first year as a Student Assistant at Ohio State Athletics Communications, I am overwhelmed with the incredible amount of knowledge about collegiate athletics, writing, public and media relations and teamwork that I have walked away with. I am excited to return to this position again in the fall and continue to have some of the most amazing experiences.
As any SID knows, recaps are a very familiar assignment. Reflecting on this year instantly puts me into that mindset and here are some of my takeaways from this:
1. Collaboration is key. There is no such thing as a one-man show. Sure, we are all expected to perform individually, but teamwork is the name of the game in sports…and in athletics communications. Without a complete and focused team, nothing great can ever be accomplished. I feel so lucky to support such a great team that is passionate about the work they are doing and willing to help each other succeed. Whether that be grabbing quotes postgame or designing the Game Programs or learning StatCrew, collaboration is the key to being the most efficient and productive team.
2. There is opportunity everywhere. Walking into the office or the stadium or wherever I happened to be, I never knew what challenge I would face that day. I came in to this job thinking I knew a decent amount about sports, but this job has taught me that there is so much more to learn. There are so many dimensions to sports that is so easy to immerse yourself in the sport and learn the ins-and-outs of the program. Never being afraid to take on more responsibilities or take initiative, you can tackle and solve every problem or challenge you face.
3. Prepare. You never know what may happen, so having a game plan and preparing for the day or week or month can pay huge dividends when something unexpected pops up.
4. Tell a story. Let’s face it – there’s a lot of people who read and care about high profile collegiate athletics teams. People love to read about their favorite football or basketball players. I had written a few feature stories in high school for my school newspaper, but I had never written on or interviewed at this level of sophistication. The best advice I received was tell a story – make people feel connected and give your writing purpose to link the player and team with the audience in order to capture their interest. You are the team’s storyteller – tell their story well.
5. Experiences I have had the most unbelievable experience in having the ability to view a myriad of athletic events at The Ohio State University with some of the most dedicated student-athletes, loyal fan base and beautiful facilities in the country. Each and every time I walked into the Varsity Tennis Center or the Schottenstein Center or St. John, I felt part of something special … and being a part of something special makes you special, right? (Glee…anyone?…anyone?) In all seriousness, the job I was lucky enough to earn was one that will be one of the most memorable aspects of my collegiate career for so many reasons: the experiences I had, the friends and connections I made and the passion and skills it has instilled in me.