In an effort to provide aspiring sports business professionals with a deeper insight into the college athletic world, BusinessofCollegeSports.com will be conducting weekly Q&A’s via email with industry professionals working in higher athletics. This week’s guest is Steve Barrick, Associate Athletic Director of Operations at Belmont University.
Check out the Q&A below and let us know what you think of Steve’s advice on Twitter.
BusinessOfCollegeSports.com — When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in sports?
Steve Barrick — My junior year in college. I was pursuing an undergraduate degree in advertising and realized that I really missed the sports world. At the time, I was working in the Campus Recreation Department at WKU and loved being around sports as an administrator.
BOCS.com — You obtained your undergraduate and graduate degree (both from Western Kentucky). Is a graduate degree necessary to work in collegeathletics? Or does it just depend on the position?
SB — In this day and time, I think a graduate degree is essential for job placement. The sports industry has just gotten too competitive. The graduate program curriculum should afford you significant opportunities to network and make needed contacts.
BOCS.com — Did you intern/work for free/volunteer during your undergraduate/graduate career? If yes, where? How valuable were those experiences for you before obtaining your first job in sports?
SB — I did not volunteer or intern while in college. I worked for the WKU Campus Recreation Department in a couple of different roles from my sophomore year in college to the completion of my graduate program (Recreation Administration).
BOCS.com — What do you do on a daily basis as the Associate AD of Operations at Belmont University? (can be brief). As a follow-up, how long have you been in your current position?
SB — I have been an administrator in the Belmont University Athletic Department since the fall of 1998. In general, I oversee all athletic department operations on-campus and off-campus (Curb Event Center and the ES Rose Park Sport Fields Complex). Job responsibilities include but are not limited to coordinating team home schedules and times, game operations, liaison with BU Campus Security and BU Facility Management Services, scheduling of practices at Rose Park, coordinating maintenance, housekeeping and security at Rose Park, and liaison with Metro Park Administration.
BOCS.com — When you’re looking at a prospective intern or a graduate assistant to have in your department, what types of qualities/skills are you looking for to make you want to say ‘I need this person on my team’?
SB — When looking at interns or GA’s, I look for experience and maturity first. I like individuals who are detailed oriented, know that they have to pay their dues, are team players, and understands that the sports industry does not work on a 9 – 5 work day.
BOCS.com — For someone wishing to pursue a career in college athletics, what’s the one or two pieces of advice you’d give them?
SB — Network and get as much sports industry experience as possible.
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