Volunteering: Women’s Final Four

Jeremy Rosenthal with the Women's Final Four trophy
Jeremy Rosenthal with the Women’s Final Four trophy (used with permission)

You know how I’m always talking about how you have to start at the bottom in sports? That doesn’t always have to mean interning. Another valuable way to get experience is by volunteering at events. Maybe you weren’t able to land an internship, or maybe you already work full-time in another profession and can’t take on that type of obligation. Volunteering is a great way to network and get some experience with very little time commitment.

I’ve had Illinois State professor Nels Popp on the blog previously to discuss the value of volunteer opportunities in sports. Today I want to share with you a guest post by Jeremy Rosenthal, Assistant Director of Athletic Communication at College of Charleston, who recently volunteered at the Women’s Final Four in Denver.

I’ll warn you that this is a long post, so be sure to set aside some time. It’s worth it because Jeremy takes you through his experience day-by-day. Just count the number of people he met during this experience – incredible! He also does a great job of showing you how to plan for a conference, something I’ve walked you through before.

Guest Author: Jeremy Rosenthal, Assistant Director of Athletic Communications, College of Charleston

Hi, my name is Jeremy Rosenthal and I’m the Assistant Director of Athletics Communications at the College of Charleston. I graduated two years ago from Indiana University with a degree in sport communication. After graduation I interned for the Indiana Fever, the WNBA team in Indianapolis for the summer and then got the job in Charleston. I’m going to share my experience volunteering for the 2012 Women’s Final Four in Denver. If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me.

Taking advantage of opportunities to volunteer for events is very important on the path to putting yourself in a position to get jobs. It is also a lot of fun and you can meet a lot of great people in the process. My experience volunteering for the NCAA for the 2012 Women’s Final Four in Denver is an experience I will never forget.  I’m going to start by explaining how I found this opportunity and some advice and strategy I had going into the event and then follow with my day-by-day experience and final advice at the Final Four.

How I came about this experience

While working with the Indiana Fever in media relations under the supervision of Kevin Messenger, the Fever’s Director of Media Relations I met Rick Nixon, who works for the NCAA as Associate Director for Championships & Alliances – Media Services. Having worked with women’s basketball in college and with the Fever and now at the College of Charleston I was interested in volunteering for the women’s Final Four. I told Kevin about my desire to volunteer and he contacted Rick and put in a good word for me. A few minutes later I got an e-mail back from Rick that said he would be glad to add me to his media relations team in Denver.

As I’m writing this I’m reminded of Kristi Dosh’s three guidelines for breaking into sports: Be willing to start at the bottom, be willing to work for free, and be willing to work harder than everyone else. I will cover these with my experience.

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