Students interested in working in sports business will have a networking event of their own.
Organizations like the Associated Press, the Boston Celtics, the Boston Red Sox, ESPN, New Balance, Nike, PGA Tour, The Boston Globe, and Under Armour will all attend the Sports Business Society of Boston College’s “SBS,” an inaugural Sports Business Networking Event on Feb. 22. The event will run from 6-9 p.m. in the Murray Function Room, Yawkey Athletic Center, and will give students the opportunity to network with business executives.
“Knowledge is invaluable. Networking is essential,” Wan-Yi Sweeting, MCAS ’17, a member of the Sports Business Society Executive Board and head organizer for the event, said in an email.
“I put this event together for my peers to become exposed to such networking opportunities, and I guarantee that my fellow students will gain invaluable advice from each one of these company reps no matter what type of career they are interested in.”
-Wan-Yi Sweeting, MCAS ’17
After working with Serena Williams’ agent in Paris over the summer, Sweeting learned the importance of networking in order to get a job. This inspired Sweeting to create the SBS event, giving her fellow students a chance to connect and network with different sports businesses.
“BC usually has career fairs for accountants, finance majors, marketing majors etc…but nothing along the lines of sports,” Sweeting said.
Norby Williamson, ESPN Inc. executive senior vice president of production, program scheduling, and development, will be the keynote speaker for the event. Williamson will share his experience in the sports business industry with students, offering advice to those who want to break into either the sports or entertainment industries. He will introduce each of the 23 guests from the 18 different companies that are attending the event.
“It’s both a serious but energetic environment, because having our keynote speaker as the facilitator for the speed-networking event is going to be a lot of fun,” Sweeting said.
Similar to a musical-chairs setup, attendees will be able to “speed-network” with the different companies, facilitated by Williamson. Students will have an allotted 15 minutes with one or two representatives from a sports business at an assigned table before switching at the sound of music. Each table will have eight students.
“I want to force students into a situation where they had to talk to the reps to make best use of their time,” Sweeting said.
Sweeting started organizing the event in October, after contacting both the Athletic Department and the Career Center. The Career Center directed her toward contacting company executives in November.
“I was told by the Career Center that I would most likely get a 90 percent “No” response—this was not the case—most of them were very eager to participate in our event,” Sweeting said.
After contacting the different company executives, Sweeting found that she was receiving many more acceptances than rejections and changed the venue from the much smaller Shea Room in Conte Forum to the Murray Function Room in the Yawkey Athletic Center.
“I put this event together for my peers to become exposed to such networking opportunities, and I guarantee that my fellow students will gain invaluable advice from each one of these company reps no matter what type of career they are interested in,” Sweeting said.
In part, Sweeting created the event to promote the club to females and student-athletes. She believes that although sports business is a male-dominated industry, females should still take part in it and explore their options. As captain of the varsity tennis team, Sweeting found that she did not mingle much beyond her sport, but hopes that networking events like these will encourage other student-athletes to mingle with people who work in a wide range of athletics, as she has.
“These events are important because they prepare you for the real world,” Sweeting said.
“Students get the chance to meet some top sports business executives, recruiters, professors, and journalists, to learn about their life experiences and apply what they’ve learnt in their own post-college career.”
Featured Image by Emily Fahey / Heights Archive