The Three Stripe Journey by Heather Luce

My name is Heather Luce and I am a proud alumna of the University of Louisville. Throughout my college career, I have held numerous positions and worked for some of the most talented people in sports. However, one opportunity completely changed the trajectory of my career: the adidas Student Brand Ambassador Program. As an adidas Student Brand Ambassador, I led a team of the most talented, dedicated, and innovative students at Louisville. Our mission was to #OwnTheCampus, and we did just that.

 

adidas brand ambassadors promote the brand on campus

 

During the past two years, our team has won the Best Social Media Team and the Best Overall Team back-to-back. Our tremendous success throughout the program simply would not have been possible without the Program Strategists at YMC. They are our coaches and our biggest motivation. During the first year of the program, my Strategist was Jose Colchao, who is now my mentor and great friend. Jose has always made time to coach me on interviews, provide feedback on my resume and cover letters, and give me career advice. I would not have experienced that level of success had it not been for Jose’s mentorship.

The adidas Student Brand Ambassador Program opened doors for me that I never could have imagined. My senior year, I earned a position as an adidas Marketing Assistant with the University of Louisville Athletic Department. I was able to do incredible things like travel to Portland to tour adidas village and meet the executives of adidas. In March, my dream came true when I was offered a position as an NBA Team Services Specialist with the adidas Sports Licensed Division.

 

college brand ambassadors hold the adidas flag

 

As I reflect on my college career and prepare for the future, I believe these are the three keys to success in sports.

 

Networking

We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” I believe that who you know gets you there and what you know gets you further. Shake as many hands as you can. Surround yourself with positive people who empower you. Remember names, send thank you notes, and make lasting first impressions. A recommendation letter from the right person can make all the difference in the world.

 

Experience

Millions of people want to work in sports. At the end of the day, the candidate with the best skills and experience is going to get the job. Internships are critical. Volunteer for everything you possibly can. Learn how to market yourself. Your resume and cover letters should make employers thrilled to meet you to learn more about how you can help their company.

 

Want it more than anyone. Work harder than everyone.

Your work ethic is one of the most important aspects of your personality. We see athletes all the time with all the potential in the world, but they lack the determination or work ethic to be the best. You have to outshine everyone else. Don’t just do what is expected of you. Go the extra mile. Exceed expectations and be the greatness that you want to achieve.

 

college brand ambassador wearing the adidas brand at graduation

 

Want to learn more about Heather and follow her journey? Follow her on Twitter or Instagram[email protected]_Heather or email her at [email protected].

 

The Cost of Career Experience

Working an internship in college is about as essential as tailgating the homecoming football game, attending your first frat party, or your first experience in a lecture hall filled with hundreds of people. However, being a graduate from a fairly smaller city school these are 3 instances I have very limited experience in.  But what I lack in knowledge of the traditional college experience, I make up for in working internships. By the time I graduated, I had worked 8 internships, not to mention the internship I worked for a month after obtaining my Bachelor’s degree. While I look back on most of these internships very fondly, there’s always been one obstacle standing in the way of me recommending the internship experience: lack of pay.

comic about finding an unpaid internship after college

As a struggling college student, money is not something you take for granted. You convince yourself you can make a week’s worth of groceries last for 3 weeks, quiver at the mere thought of opening your bank account, and will attend any event with free in the name.  So why does someone with such little money work so many unpaid internships? They’re a necessity.

 

In the age of millennials, you simply can’t get a job without experience, but you can’t get experience without a job. That’s where the age of internships comes into play. Although internships are nothing new, the amount of students taking on 1 or more has grown exponentially. A 2010 article from The New York Times reports that, “In 2008, the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that 50 percent of graduating students had held internships, up from the 17 percent shown in a 1992 study by Northwestern University. “ Surely, the number is even higher now.

 

While paid (or even, for credit) internships are certainly a worthwhile experience, the unpaid internship is an institution that is not only illegal, but also immoral. Although some internships strictly require coffee runs and menial errands, many unpaid internships ask for real work that real employees are paid to do. Both are equally as frustrating. Interns who get coffee and run errands are wasting their time trying to get an experience in the industry they want to break into following graduation. How do you learn about the industry when you spend all your time ordering your boss a Venti  no-whip triple shot skim Mocha at Starbucks? On the other hand, in the internship experience in which you actually get to contribute, why are you doing the work of a salaried employee for free?