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February 18, 2020

Clark Teuscher

Jordyn Ballard

AJ Forbes

Andrew Mindeman

Laurie Bollig

CLARK TEUSCHER: Today's topic revolves around you, the student assistants and interns, for our Student U webinar. Before we begin, we'd like to say a quick thank you to two of our corporate partners, Capital One and ASAP Sports. Capital One is the sponsor of the continuing education and professional development series, while ASAP Sports provides the full official transcript of each monthly webinar.

As a reminder, the webinar and the ASAP Sports transcript will be posted later today on CoSIDA.com and on CoSIDA Connect our membership online community. We'll also have this as a podcast, and you'll be able to download it from the services listed on CoSIDA.com.

During this webinar today, you can ask your questions live to the presenters. Please use the chat box, which you'll find on the right side of the portal. If you have questions for the presenters, please know we'll save time at the end of this webinar to address them. You can go ahead and ask them now. Each of our presenters will come on the screen throughout the discussion today.

Presenting on today's webinar are Jordyn Ballard, Athletic Communications Assistant at West Texas A&M and this year's CoSIDA postgraduate scholarship recipient. A.J. Forbes, Executive Operations Intern at The Trust, powered by the NFL Players Association, and Andrew Mindeman, Director of Athletic Communications at Covenant College and a member of the CoSIDA U committee, as well as CoSIDa's Director of Membership Engagement, Laurie Bollig.

To start off today, we'll ask each panelist to briefly discuss their responsibilities and how their experience as undergraduates serve them in their current positions. We'll start with Andrew.

ANDREW MINDEMAN: So I'm in my eighth year here at Covenant College. For those of you who never heard of Covenant College, we're a small Division III institution outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee. For most of my time at Covenant, I've been a one man shop. So I have to know how to do everything. So I do a little bit of graphic editing, video editing, stats. I oversee about 16 student workers on an annual basis. They help me actually just cover the games. You name it, I do it here at Covenant College.

I got into this field right after graduating from Covenant College, got in when I was an undergrad at Covenant. I worked for the sports information office a little bit and parlayed that experience into the role that I have now. I do a little bit of everything, and most everybody at the Division III level can relate with that. You work at a small school, D-II, D-III, you've got to wear a lot of hats. It's a fun but challenging field to be in.

CLARK TEUSCHER: Thank you very much. Jordyn, would you like to tell us a little bit about your perspective.

JORDYN BALLARD: So my name's Jordyn. I'm go to a Division II in the Lone Star Conference at West Texas A&M. I'm a first year graduate assistant. I moved here from South Dakota. I went to Black Hill State, where I was a sports information assistant, and before that, I was a sports information intern before I got promoted my senior year.

Here I just do -- again, I've just done a little bit of everything -- graphic design, game notes, press releases, work with the media a lot, and I cover men's soccer, cross country, and softball out here.

CLARK TEUSCHER: A.J., while your job is not specifically an athletic communication or sports information role, there certainly are a lot of skills and background that you picked up as an undergrad that informed what you're doing now. Could you tell us a little bit about that.

A.J. FORBES: Yeah, I'm an intern at The Trust, which is located in the NFL Players Association here in Washington, D.C. I wear a variety of hats as well, and among those is I help with graphics. That's something I picked up, so whether that be creating PowerPoints for events or stuff for social media, that's a skill that transferred, and also do a lot of interviews, player to player interviews, or me to player interviews, where we put them on our website for spotlights and to showcase what they're doing post-football.

CLARK TEUSCHER: Laurie, we've heard already several of the panelists talking about all the different hats they have to wear and different responsibilities that come up. Tell us a little bit about the nature of some of the positions that people pick up as students and how they translate and how they stay with you even as you move into a full-time position.

LAURIE BOLLIG: Sure. Thanks, Clark.

So while a lot has changed since I was in your shoes as an undergrad and maybe thinking about athletic communications, there is one thing that hasn't changed, and that is, when you volunteer as a student in an athletic communications office, typically you're going to be given the jobs that nobody else wants to do, right? You are the lowest person on the totem pole, and you'll probably be sitting at some desk labeling photos, 1,500 photos from a cross country meet, or something that nobody wants to do.

I guess to be ready to work is a piece of advice that I would give, and also a chance for you to say, hmm, is this the job I want to do for a living? I know that, when SIDs give student workers the worst job ever, it's to see how they handle that -- what their attitude is, if they can do it, how efficient they are in doing it, what kind of questions they ask as a result of needing to know how to do it. So even though you may think you're just sitting there labeling photos, your athletic communications professional is watching how you do that.

So know that you're going to get those jobs, and then also know that, if you are actually hired as an assistant in a sports information office, those jobs don't go away, and we are sort of the everybody helps everybody. So what you did as a student, you may end up having to do again as an assistant because we are all in this together, and those jobs still have to be done. So be ready to work and be ready to do those jobs that you may not think are very fun but know that they have a very -- they play a very key role in whether you'll be a success in this profession. Clark?

CLARK TEUSCHER: You are always being evaluated. That's a very important point to make, Laurie.

As each of you here on our panel today thought about a career in athletic communications during the time that you were a student, can you point to one or two things that maybe you would have liked to know at that point that you didn't that might have been helpful? Andrew, we'll start with you.

ANDREW MINDEMAN: Yeah, so when I was a freshman here at Covenant College, I had some connections already, and I got in and started working for the sports information team my freshman year. It's a very busy field. You are constantly always on call ready to do something, and I really got a lot of that my final semester of my senior year. Our SID at the time decided to leave for another opportunity, and there was nobody on the full-time staff that really knew how to keep an SID team together and know what to do, how to run a website except for me, a senior.

So my final semester of my senior year, I had a full class load, and I was also maintaining the basics of the SID office. Right then and there, I knew this takes a lot of work. I was working over 20 hours a week just as a student, maintaining just the basic levels of stats and stories and a little bit of social media. So that one hit me big time, and that's what somebody has to know before you get into this profession is that it's not a normal 40 hour a week job. It's not 9:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday. It's basically all the time, seven days a week, for at least nine or ten months during the academic year.

So you have to be willing to give up a lot of your weekends to go do your job. Now, it's great. You get to watch sports, get to talk about sports, but it's a lot of time commitment. So if it's something that students -- you know, if this is something that you want to do, be aware of that and get some experience now and see if it's something that actually fits.

CLARK TEUSCHER: Thank you. Jordyn?

JORDYN BALLARD: Do you mind asking the question again? My feed actually cut out.

CLARK TEUSCHER: Certainly. When you were a student, what are one or two things that maybe you would have liked to know at the time that you didn't that would have helped you out?

JORDYN BALLARD: I think a great expression is kind of like be a duck. That on the surface, you have to seem calm and that you kind of have everything together, whereas under the water you're just paddling hard. My first three years as an intern, I was also playing softball at the time. So I was going to school, playing softball, and was working every sport that wasn't softball.

I saw my SIDs kind of have everything together, but once I got promoted to an assistant, I realized that you're constantly working, and there are some struggles they just kind of have to keep working through and just kind of -- you're doing the grind work, but through everybody else's eyes, you look like you have everything together.

So I guess that's the biggest thing I learned. You're kind of putting on a little bit of a face, but you're just working hard through it.

CLARK TEUSCHER: Great. And A.J., for you?

A.J. FORBES: Yeah, I think one that I would have liked to know earlier is not everyone's going to tell you good job, like even your superiors, and I'll relate back to Laurie's point of labeling 1,500 photos or something along those lines of a tedious job. If you do that, you might not get a "good job" just because you did it. I think that's kind of how -- especially where you're located, how they kind of filter out people who think they want to work in sports and think just sports sound cool and filter them out to people who actually love sports and want to work in this industry.

So it's just knowing that you get out of it what you put into it, and you've just got to keep your foot on the gas.

CLARK TEUSCHER: Great. Now, opportunities to get your foot in the door and especially yourself in this industry take on many different forms. Some of them are paid, but some of them are not. Some are volunteer positions. Let's come back to each one of you and talk a little bit about how you went about finding opportunities and taking advantage of them, whether they were paid or not. A.J., we'll start with you. You have a bit of a story there.

A.J. FORBES: Yeah, so I feel like I've done a variety of things that are unpaid, and that's just kind of how it turned out. I started with the University of Northern Iowa, getting involved with their athletic program, just athletic communications, volunteered there by simply walking up and just asking if they needed help. I went to the football the next year and asked them if they needed help, and then again, not everybody told me good job, but once I started helping out more, I was able to add a value. So, again, it was just approaching somebody and showing that you want to go learn. I feel like, if you remember you're talking to a human, they'll be willing to give you an opportunity.

Then I even had an internship where I had to pay for it, which it's almost like I was a customer, right? But to get that, there was a high application pool, but I was able -- with the coordinator, I shot her an e-mail about six to eight months prior, just inquiring about it, asking questions because I was curious, and that way I could at least make my name more recognizable when the application process came about the following year.

CLARK TEUSCHER: Great. Jordyn, do you have any experience with volunteer positions?

JORDYN BALLARD: Yeah, actually, I was a volunteer intern for a national pro fast pitch team, the Scrap Yard Dawgs, back in 2017, before they left. I was living in South Dakota at the time. I was an undergrad, and then I saw the opportunity on Facebook that they're looking for unpaid interns. So I thought, you know what, I really want to work in sports. I didn't get the position I applied for. I got a game day operations, but I moved down to Houston, Texas, a little 24-hour drive, and saved up as much money as I could and moved down.

I honestly want to say that that job opened so many doors for me. I ended up being the only intern to travel with the team, and it was a crazy experience, but not being paid, it sucked. You're living in a brand new state. I've never lived in Texas before until now, and I have no money, and I was just kind of -- I was working 17 hours. So it wasn't like I could just go pick up a little side job. But it was probably the greatest experience that I've ever had, and I wouldn't have changed it.

CLARK TEUSCHER: Andrew, what do you have to share as far as volunteer positions are concerned?

ANDREW MINDEMAN: Just like what A.J. and Jordyn said, being proactive is the key here. If you want to get in, you want to make connections, you have to go out and seek those opportunities. They're all around you, but you have to go and seek them. Before my junior year as an undergrad, I decided that sports information was going to be the career for me, and I did not have -- because of my situation as a student, I did not have any work study or anything like that. I was not obligated to work at all, but I decided that this was the career for me and that the only way to move forward in my career was to be proactive and go get experience.

So I e-mailed the SID at the time, and I said, just use me for whatever you want to use me for, and that started a two-year journey, me working at Covenant as a student, and learning everything. Without that, I would not be where I am today.

LAURIE BOLLIG: Clark, could I add something?


LAURIE BOLLIG: I just put together a story for CoSIDA 360, which is on CoSIDA.com, and we asked members in their 20s a lot of different questions about the profession, about going to school, just similar to one of the questions our panelists just answered about what do you wish you knew back then? So a lot of the comments centered around not knowing about the profession until they were almost done with college or waiting until their senior year to volunteer and get experience.

I think what all three of the panelists have talked about is very important. Even if you are a senior, it's not too late, but you have to go and ask people, what can I do for you? Do you need help? I'll do it for free. I have Saturday afternoons, whatever your pitch is. And the earlier in your career as an undergrad, the better because, if you approach an SID at the end of your freshman year as you're leaving and they say, yeah, come back in the fall and we'll see what we can find for you, you've established a relationship that's going to be a three-year -- it could be a three-year commitment to athletic communications, and as Andrew pointed out, you will have an amazing amount of experience.

But I did want to say it's okay if you are a senior and you haven't done that yet because some of you may not have even known athletic communications was an option. But before you step off campus, before you get your diploma and leave, go ask somebody, how can I help you? Tell me what you do. Even if they don't have a job, just take ten minutes of their time and ask them, tell me exactly what you do. I'm interested in what you do, and then follow up with a thank you after.

CLARK TEUSCHER: Laurie, while we're with you, you want to talk a little bit about one of the greatest resources that can come from some of these internships and experiences is the networking value. Talk a little bit about kind of the value of networking and why it's so important as something to take away from each of the experiences that someone has in their career.

LAURIE BOLLIG: Sure. I'm not going to talk too much about it because I am going to throw it to A.J. because he has a fantastic networking story that I'd like for him to share, but I will say that sports is a very circular world, right? Who I met 30 years ago in this profession, when I left it for years, never dreamed I'd work with them again, came back into the profession, and some of the same people are here.

So it is a very circular profession. It's certainly best to do your best not to burn bridges because you are likely going to run into the people that you work with at every level again somewhere, and they're likely to be extremely helpful for you.

So, A.J., if you don't mind, would you like to tell your story about contacting Pete Morris?

A.J. FORBES: Yeah, so when I was probably 10 years old, I went to the Kansas City Chiefs training camp as a fan, as a kid, and I met Pete. His name's Pete Morris. He's one of the communications guys, the football communication guys at Virginia Tech. At the time, he was the head communications guy for Kansas City, and he showed me and my dad around. He was very nice to us. Gave us a tour of the facilities, and basically just gave a lasting impression on me to where I even remember telling my dad, hey, I want to do what Pete does, and my dad telling me, we'll worry about that when we cross that bridge someday.

So fast forward to my junior year, so about three years ago, junior year of college, I decided I wanted to get into athletic communications. So I followed up with Pete. I sent him an e-mail. I was like, I don't know if you remember me, but I met you this time years ago, and I asked him for some advice. He basically gave me three things. He says, get involved with your athletic communications department, pick up graphic design, and then get an internship with the Kansas City Chiefs at their training camp.

A year later, I had knocked all of those out, and that was the training camp internship I had that I had to pay for that I mentioned earlier. So upon finishing those, I followed back up, and then from that point on, we've been in touch. Last year I went to the NFL Combine on behalf of media, and I was able to get him an interview with one of his players at Virginia Tech. So it was kind of that relationship that just comes full circle from when I was 10 years old to last year when I was recording someone from Virginia Tech, one of their players, an interview for him.

That was probably one of my most rewarding experiences. I also don't want to make it sound like you have to know someone for ten years for it to happen to you because that's an outlier. As far as meeting people and networking, I've had plenty of people that I've written the handwritten letters. I did that last week. I've crafted the e-mails, and it's all about do you follow up, and do you remember that you're talking to a human on the other side, and you show that you want to learn.

CLARK TEUSCHER: Jordyn, can you tell us a little bit about some of the networking opportunities that have come from these different positions that you've had and the importance of really developing and maintaining those relationships?

JORDYN BALLARD: Yeah. So with the internship that I did down in Houston, I still talk to a bunch of people that I worked with and even the players. I followed up on social media a lot just to check back and ask how their families are doing.

During that follow-up, I remembered one of my employers, she was the manager of the team at the time, and she -- actually, I reached out to her a couple years later and just said, hey, I'm applying for a new job as a media intern for this baseball team. I don't know if you remember me. Would you be willing to be a contact for me and be one of my references? She reached out, oh, my gosh, how are you? What's up? What's going on in the world? How's everything going? Immediately, she's like, oh, I wouldn't even second-guess it. Yes, I would love to be a reference for you.

She's been a reference now for three years after that I did this internship, and I'd like to say she helped me get to the job I'm at right now as well.

Yeah, constantly keep up with -- you know, it doesn't seem like much, but in the end, it means so much and can lead you to like great opportunities.

CLARK TEUSCHER: Andrew taking a little bit of a different perspective now that you're running your own office, talking about the instinct that many of us have in the industry of wanting to be a resource and be helpful to the next generation of communication professionals. Can you talk a little bit about that from your perspective.

ANDREW MINDEMAN: Yeah, in this industry, people are very willing to help the next generation of people coming through. If you show a desire to be in the industry and you reach out, people want to help. I'm doing that a little bit right now. I've got my own student workers. Some of them have a desire to do something related in sports, and then I've also taken on some other interns.

I have an intern who is from another school who needs to get his internship hours for his major, and he reached out to me, and of course, I said absolutely. Come work for me. Come shadow me. Come see what we do here at Covenant, and now I can be a connection for him and a network for him as he finishes up his schooling and moves into something in the sports field.

Yeah, again, just reach out because we want to help people find this profession, get connected in the profession, and succeed.

CLARK TEUSCHER: Once again, for all of our attendees, we are taking questions at the chat window at the bottom corner of your screen. We still have plenty of time to address those. So keep those coming in if you have them.

A.J. FORBES: Can I add a little something to this topic?

CLARK TEUSCHER: Yes, go ahead.

A.J. FORBES: As part of networking and the follow-up, that is one of the biggest reasons that I'm literally in this building but actually on this webcam as well, because I met Laurie last year when I was volunteering in Kansas City for one of the basketball tournaments, and since then, I just stayed in touch with her. You never know what something's going to lead to. So just a simple follow-up, staying in touch, asking questions. You might not be able to see the results now, but someday you will thank yourself later.

CLARK TEUSCHER: Certainly a good point to make.

As each of you were approaching graduation, as if you don't have enough to do, you're also trying to set yourself up for a career. During that process of transitioning from being an undergrad to either a graduate assistant or a professional, what kind of steps did you take to kind of prepare yourself for that and make sure that you were ready to take that next step? Jordyn, we'll start with you.

JORDYN BALLARD: I think I graduated last May and moved down to Texas right away in August. I did an internship with a baseball team again and just kind of I didn't want to take a summer off in transition to get ready for the next step that I was doing. So I was like I want to make sure that I'm constantly working on my graphic design and that I'm constantly writing recaps if I need to, working with the media, working with players. I didn't want to take that time off in between just because this game's constantly changing and you've just got to -- it's so fast-paced. You can easily get behind in any aspect of it.

So I just wanted to keep going. I think, as long as you're always willing to be a student, you're set. You're good to go.


A.J. FORBES: Yeah, some of the steps that I took -- I mean, it was -- I'll be honest, when I was just about to graduate last year at this time, I feel like I'm about to do it again because I'm in this internship in May. So it's like I graduated, and I'm in this internship. So I'm kind of back in this circle.

It was a pretty stressful time as far as figuring out what do I really want to do and what am I settling for? To prepare, I just made goals every day. I had weekly goals as well. I wrote them down. If I want to get to this industry, who do I need to reach out to? Who do I need to learn from?

I would send e-mails. I would send handwritten letters to the people. I would try to do maybe three to five a day and try to gain momentum with it. That way at the end of the week, I had sent all these out. I was so worried about trying to bat a thousand and get 21 responses in a week when really all I need is just a few because all it takes is one person to really offer you a job or offer you time to call and talk about something. So it was trying to get ahead of that so, when a position became available, that I was ready for that opportunity.

CLARK TEUSCHER: We do have a question in that I think would be great to direct to Andrew, since you do have experience working in this industry even as a high school student. For high school students who are interested in pursuing working as a student assistant or an intern once they get to college, what are the most important things that they should do to make sure they're ready for that?

ANDREW MINDEMAN: Do what you can right now. Most SIDs, when they're hiring students, at least in my case, they don't expect a freshman to know anything, and that's okay. So once you get to college, go ahead and reach out to that SID, maybe even before you step foot on campus next August, reach out to the SID. If you have any work study that you can work into that, great. If not, maybe you can find some time to volunteer.

Most SIDs, they don't anticipate new students coming in having any experience, so that's all right. If you have experience coming in, great. If you just even run a scoreboard for your high school team in any sport or you've kept a scorebook for baseball or softball, that's tremendous experience right there. You're going to come in very green, and that's all right. That SID will be able to train you.

SIDs love getting good workers as freshmen because they see them. They go, I can have this person for maybe four years, and four years from now this person is going to be great and almost be like my full-time assistant. So be ready to work. Bring in whatever experience you can, but definitely reach out to that SID at the college you're going to really as soon as you can.

LAURIE BOLLIG: Clark, I would just fast forward to the question originally asked about steps to take as you're approaching graduation, and I think one of the things that you have to frame up in your mind is are you willing to go back to school and go to graduate school? Because there are lots of grad assistant positions.

Jordyn is an example of somebody who said, yeah, I'm going to keep going on in school, right? But then there are also internships and full-time positions, and you don't have to go to grad school. If you are done with school as an undergrad, not interested -- actually, I did that. A.J. did that, right? I didn't go to grad school right after I graduated undergrad. I went to work. Andrew did that as well.

So you don't have to -- I guess keep your options open and know what you're willing to do because an extra two years of school, some of that may be paid for, you may have to pay for some of that. An internship, probably not going to pay a lot. You don't want to -- you probably don't want to think about an internship unless you can afford to foot your living expenses or get a second job at a restaurant like A.J. So there is that kind of getting in your head what you're willing to do once you get that degree, that undergrad degree, what your next step might be.

CLARK TEUSCHER: Andrew, talk to us a little bit about the CoSIDA U camp, which is slated to take place at this year's convention in Las Vegas. It's specifically geared towards undergraduate and graduate students. Talk to us a little bit about what attendees might be able to expect with that.

ANDREW MINDEMAN: So June 6 and 7 in Las Vegas, CoSIDA U camp. This is an immersive experience for students, both undergraduate and graduate, and even brand new SIDs. So if you're brand new to the field, this could be for you as well.

This is a time for you to come together and learn some technical skills of the industry but also get to network and connect with SIDs from all over the country. It's a one-day seminar and then a second day kind of networking opportunity. That first day is filled with a whole bunch of seminars. You're going to get hands-on training in graphic design, video editing, stats, how to write a good story, how to write a good game recap, how to conduct and run a press conference. These are some of the things that you're going to get to know. Also, bring your resume because we're going to be looking at resumes and helping you tailor those resumes to the jobs that you want.

Then the CoSIDA U committee that I'm a part of, we're sending our committee members out there, so you're going to get to meet 15 or 20 SIDs right there all day on June 6. But the really cool thing about this is you get to network with those people all day on June 6, but then this year the camp overlaps with the first day of the CoSIDA Convention, the main big convention in Las Vegas, and attendees to CoSIDA U camp will be able to attend that first day of the CoSIDA convention, and this is a great opportunity. You're going to hear from members of the CoSIDA board, from the veterans committee, people who have been in this industry for a very long time.

Then you'll be able to go to some of the sessions that the regular attendees of the CoSIDA convention will be at. You'll be in a room with several hundred SIDs. You'll be able to rub elbows with anybody that you want. And that's a huge thing for people trying to break into the industry. Make some connections. Get a network together. You'll be able to talk with people who are probably hiring a GA or an assistant or an intern. You'll be able to meet with them and talk with them.

So this is a great opportunity. You can register right now at CoSIDA.com. It's underneath the professional development tab, I believe. When we ran this camp a couple years ago, many of the attendees at that camp are now professionals in this industry. In fact, my part time assistant was at the CoSIDA U camp a couple years ago, but there are several others who are in the industry now and attending that camp was part of their journey towards making it into this industry and making those connections and honing their skills.

So it's a really unique opportunity for students to come and learn some tools of the trade that you need but also get to know some SIDs who have been around a long time, who are maybe looking to hire, or at least giving you some really good advice about what you should be doing as you move on in your career.

So CoSIDA U camp. Register now at CoSIDA.com.

CLARK TEUSCHER: Before we wrap up, we've got a couple of questions coming in that we'd like to go ahead and address. This first one, we'll start with Jordyn. What are some of the skills that are a must for somebody who might be finishing college right now and looking for their first job in the field?

JORDYN BALLARD: I know A.J. pointed this out, like graphic design is a huge thing right now. Even if you're not completely skilled in it, just knowing the basics of it and just kind of getting an idea of what you want to work with. I think that's huge right now. Writing. Writing will always be something that you need to know how to do.

Then also I'd say, if you have a little bit of experience with stats, if you know -- I think if you could know one sport in specific. You can always learn how to do them. I learned this year how to do soccer stats, and I'm still learning how to do soccer stats, but I had a really good background in softball, and that helped me in this position because the opening was for soccer, cross country, and softball. But I played softball. So if you have an experience with at least just one, I think you're set. You're good to go. But you're going to need to learn to do others as well.

CLARK TEUSCHER: Andrew, would you like to take a swing at that.

ANDREW MINDEMAN: Yeah, similar to what Jordyn pointed out, knowing sports. If you can do stats for multiple sports, that's great, but even just knowing about the sport and really knowing about the unique or not as well-known sports can be really helpful as well. So knowing about volleyball, knowing the rules of the game. If you can keep stats, that's great, but at least knowing what you're going to be talking about when you start writing. Lacrosse, field hockey -- those great sports that we have but not as many people understand them.

Everybody understands basketball. Everybody loves football. But if you can know those other sports, you can market yourself really well because a lot of these assistant positions, GA slots, like what Jordyn's finding out, you're not going to get the big time sport to cover. You're going to get these other sports that not as many people follow. So knowing those is going to be beneficial in your job search.

CLARK TEUSCHER: Thank you so much. The next question, I think this would be a great one for Laurie to take on. One of the things that gives some potential SIDs pause as they decide whether they're going to enter this field or not is the hours that it requires you to put in and concerns about work-life balance. Can you talk a little bit about some of that and some of the strategies that you know of that people use to kind of inject some work-life balance into what they're doing.

LAURIE BOLLIG: Sure. That's a great question. It's certainly a hot topic in this field for everybody. There's a lot of conversation on Facebook and Facebook groups with SIDs about work-life balance. Some of the things that I've seen that have been creative since I've worked at CoSIDA have just been SIDs who have had very frank and open discussions with their supervisors. That might not always work, but I feel like it's a great place to start and to say, I'm going to spend Saturday and Sunday here at the office. I'd like to take Monday off. I'd like to work from home Monday. I'd like to make sure I take my kid to school on Monday and pick them up after school.

So I think if you come to your supervisors with some concrete ideas for how to shift that balance a little bit in your favor, that's a start. I also -- and I know that this is so much easier said than done. So, please, but you've got to give it a try, right? Every now and then, you have to say these are the five things I'm going to do, and when some coach comes in and says I want to you do these next ten things, you're like great. These are awesome things. Which one of these five need to go off the list?

I know that it's hard to say no, not going to do it. I think that we as professionals have to have those grown up discussions and be very honest with our bosses and kind of, you know, have your non-negotiables when you go into jobs. I think a lot of young people think I'm going to volunteer one day a month. I just can't take a job that won't let me do that. I think having those non-negotiables is a great bargaining tool, but it's also great for your mental health. So you have to stand up for yourself whenever you do have these conversations.

Now, I would also, if it's okay, Clark, we'll talk about some of our resources that you might find some great information on these topics. So lots of free stuff that CoSIDA offers. Follow CoSIDA on social platforms, right? Not only are we talking about athletic communications stuff, but there's a lot of things about mental health, work-life balance. There are lots of interviewing tips, resume building type things, cover letter information. So be sure and follow CoSIDA on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.

We also have a great career center on CoSIDA.com. You can post your resume there for free. You can search jobs there, beginning here in about a month, a month and a half, we will -- our office staff will post 10, 20 jobs a day. It heats up seriously in March and goes through July or August, right? There will be new jobs on the job board every day. I encourage you. That's a great place to look.

Please apply for jobs that you -- that you have experience for. Don't apply for the communications professional at UCLA. I'm assuming most of the people on this call probably aren't qualified for that yet. So make sure that you match your skills with the jobs that are available.

Also, this professional development, just like this webinar today, these are totally free. We do these at least once a month. Sometimes we have two a month. Sign up for those. You'll learn a lot.

Now, some things that aren't free and do cost are an undergraduate membership for CoSIDA. Grad students should consider purchasing an individual membership. Those are a little bit more costly than free, but you do get to be part of a network. One of the great benefits for people that are just entering our profession is our mentorship program. That pairs you with a veteran in the industry, and it does come with membership.

Then Andrew talked about CoSIDA U and the camp and that dovetails into the annual convention. This year's convention is June 7th through the 10th in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay, and registration is open now.

CLARK TEUSCHER: Thanks so much for that. That's a lot of great information, important stuff to keep in mind. We're about at the end of our time here. We'd like to offer any of our panelists to offer any final thoughts. Andrew?

ANDREW MINDEMAN: This is a great profession to be in. I mean, I get to watch sports and talk about sports all the time, and this is what I've been doing ever since I was a little kid. It comes with its challenges for sure, but it's a lot of fun. The hours can be tough sometimes. You do have to try to find that work-life balance. I've got two kids, so I'm dealing with that a lot.

But it's a great profession to be in with some of the best people that you can call your friends and colleagues. There's really, really great people in this industry, and it's a great one to be in.


JORDYN BALLARD: Mine would just be there's always going to be opportunities to work in athletic communications. You just have to be willing to look for them. And then also, the work balance and life balance. As a graduate assistant, sometimes I spend ten hours at work and then forget that I do have homework that I need to do and that I need to get back to being a student as well. So you always need to find that balance. It can be hard, but you've just got to do it.


A.J. FORBES: One would just be, as you're trying to break into this profession or sports, just find the thing that no one wants to do and do it. I still have that mindset, right? That's what I've been doing today like with some of the work I've done today. So it's a mindset I've just kind of got to have.

And then as far as we talked about balance earlier, you figure out kind of what works for you. I know for me as an intern I'm going to work every single day, and I'm going to put out the best product. Between two jobs, I worked like 30 days in a row, and it wasn't until Memorial Day when I had a day off, when I realized that, oh, wow, taking a step back actually improves your productivity. So it's important to find a day or a time that you can section off for you.

Then if you're in college, finding what works for you. I had to -- between being a student and then volunteering my time, I had a part-time job at a hotel, and when I was debating between where to do my part time, I could have gotten more money working at a UPS, a lot more money, but it would have been a lot of work, not a lot of breaks. If I worked in a hotel, I knew I'd have the final three hours of my shift to sit down and do what I need to do, whether it's homework or graphics or things like that. So it's something you figure out and do what works for you. So I chose the hotel because I knew, when I was there working, I could also work on things that relate to this field.

CLARK TEUSCHER: Laurie, anything else to add?

LAURIE BOLLIG: Yeah, I guess my parting shot would just be nothing really takes the place of experience. So find an office on campus, in athletics, whatever makes you happy, and go into work every day and get the experience that will help you get your next job.

CLARK TEUSCHER: We'd like to thank everyone for joining today's really informative session. We also want to extend our thanks, once again, to our corporate partners Capital One and ASAP Sports for their continued support of our Professional Development Series. A reminder, you can catch the on demand webinar and ASAP Sports transcript on CoSIDA Connect, our membership portal, later this afternoon.

Thank you everyone for joining us today. We look forward to you attending all of our professional webinars and development throughout the year. A reminder, registration is open for the CoSIDA Convention, the CoSIDA U Camp and leadership forum as well as events surrounding the convention. Thanks again for joining us.

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