Networking Assignment II

For the second networking, I chose to utilize my opportunities with working the NCAA March Madness D1 Men’s Basketball tournament appearing in Jacksonville. While preparing for this event, I chose to attend the practice day before the tournament actually started. This allowed me to communicate more casually with not only other people working the tournament, but also the band directors and cheer coaches of the eight different schools attending the tournament. My main goal in communicating with so many different people was to not only leave my name, but also gain respect amongst the individuals that have worked the tournament in the past. Being an active student, there was a preexisting stigma that I was going to slack or not be under control as much as the more experienced personnel, so I had to lay the law down from the start and show my intelligence. It was insightful to interact with so many different backgrounds of people working and attending the event. I communicated with not only the coaches and directors, as previously mentioned, but I was able to speak with security and learn the backgrounds of the individuals. One person who stuck out as interesting to me was a gentleman named Craig Shoup. I had seen Craig around campus at sporting events and assumed he had been an employee of athletics here at JU, but in fact, by day is the executive director of the Jacksonville Bar Association. Another interesting interaction was learning the directors of the University of Kentucky Pep Band in Louisville and Abilene Christian University Pep Band in Texas were actually childhood friends who never thought their bands would play each other in a national setting in another state!! As I was networking with these different people, the thing that shocked them the most was that I was still a student. I conducted myself and carried myself so professionally that they were baffled by my lack of experience in the professional setting. Because I have shifted my career goals this semester to more of an event production standpoint, I was able to combined music, sports, marketing, and management together in creating a flawless, exciting entertainment experience for the spectators attending the event. Further opportunities to network at sporting events and concerts with the individuals who work behind the scenes to put a perfect production on will help me in succeeding in the future endeavors of my career.

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