Blog Article:

5 Top Tips for Sports & Event Management Graduates

We love working in the world of sports events management here at BTE, and we love to support others who are just embarking on their journey in the industry. We’ve been supporting sports & events management graduates via guest lectures both here in the UK and the US for a number of years. This year already we’ve spoken with students from Worcester University and South Florida University. We are also involved with the Em-Mentoring programme, where currently we are supporting a number of mentees who are sports & event management graduates looking to forge a career in major sports events. 

We often get asked for our top tips for securing work and establishing a successful career within the industry, so we thought we’d compile a list.

1. Develop self-awareness

Self-awareness is knowing your values, personality, needs, habits, emotions, strengths, weaknesses, etc. Self-awareness is the key to personal growth, it helps with your intuitive decision making and allows you to not only motivate yourself but also to lead and motivate others more effectively. 

One of the central components of self-awareness are your personal values. It’s hugely valuable to gain an understanding of these as values drive your actions and motivate your goals. Values support your decision making process and help you to define what success and happiness mean and look like to you. Having an understanding of your values will help you create the future you want to experience. 

“Personal values are the measuring sticks by which we determine what is a successful and meaningful life.” 

Mark Manson

Intrigued? Well for a matter of fact and evidence based view jump on the link below to read a straight talking, honest approach to understanding your own personal values – https://markmanson.net/personal-values

Once you have an understanding of your values, it will make the next steps a little clearer, which leads us nicely onto our next top tip.  

2. Identify your unique skill set & value proposition

Your unique skill set & value proposition are intrinsically linked but let’s tackle the first part of this top tip:

Identifying your unique skill set

We can categorise our skills into two camps, soft skills and hard skills. We can all make a pretty good attempt at writing down the key skills that we have developed so far along our career and personal journey (this comes from our self-awareness). But here are a couple of other ideas on how to really drill down and get clear on what your skills are:

  1. Ask your friends and work colleagues. We all have blind spots and asking those you spend the most time with is a great way to identify any other skills you may not have spotted!
  2. What comes naturally to you? These are the skills that are often missed off the list, so think about what comes easy to you that may not for others i.e. your ability to forge relationships and communicate. Put simply, you make lots of friends and love talking to people.  
  3. What do you love to do and what are you passionate about? More often than not what you love to do is what you are good at. 
  4. When are you most in your element? What have you got stuck into and then realised that time has passed by without you even noticing. It’s in this place you will find what you are most skilled at. 

We’ve highlighted below some (there are many more!) of the hard and soft skills required to make a successful career within sports event management.

Hard Skills 

  • Project management
  • Presentation skills
  • Planning 
  • Administration
  • Budget management
  • Reporting

Soft Skills

  • Communication 
  • Resilience
  • Relationship building
  • Negotiating and influencing
  • Leadership
  • Team working 

The best thing about skills is they will continually develop either through experience or through direct action i.e. taking courses.

Your value proposition

So now you know what you are good at, this provides the fundamental value you bring to a role / organisation by doing these things. But how do you convey that? Answer, via your personal value proposition. 

Put simply, your PVP is a short statement that explains what your unique skills, strengths and accomplishments are and how you will add value to the company you are seeking your next role with. 

We found a great article that sets out how you can craft your personal value proposition and help land your next job role. 

Oscar Wilde Quote
Oscar Wilde
3. Be ambitious 

“Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Supported by your values with well aimed goals, ambition helps you to stay motivated in the pursuit of your career aspirations. 

So our top tip is to be lofty with your career goals and do not be afraid to aim high. 

Set out your career goals on paper and share them with others, that way they become more real and give you something concrete to aim for. Just remember that career paths are never normally a straight line, so although you set goals, you should also stay open to opportunities. 

If you’re unsure how to get there, we would recommend looking people up who have careers / roles that you aspire towards and reach out to them either directly or via a platform like LinkedIn. Currently there are lots of event industry professionals with time on their hands who would be willing to talk with you and offer you advice. No one journey is the same. Ask them questions such as; what career path did they follow to get to where they are? What challenges did they face on their career journey? And ask them for their top tips on how to be successful. 

4. Stay curious

Keep learning and keep your curiosity alive. We love to read not just on topics related to the sports events industry but on future insights across some of the most influential and disruptive industries out there, such as technology. This can help you to develop skills that will deliver success in the future world of work. It can help you to identify emerging themes and trends that can lead to developing new and innovative opportunities. 

It doesn’t matter what stage of your career you are at, to adopt a mentality of lifelong learning will prove wonders for both your career and professional development. It doesn’t always have to be about work either, the most important element to learning is that you enjoy it. 

Breakthrough Events at MTB Race Gold Coast 2018
Gold Coast 2018
5. Grow your network

Don’t worry! We are not going to recommend a gazillion networking events where you have to wear a name badge! (Albeit these offer value and have their place but we think there are more impactful ways to grow your network). A strong and expansive network can prove crucial for career success so here’s our top tips for expanding yours;

1. Join a mentoring programme. Here you can share your vision and goals to a trusted mentor. They will often spot skills and abilities in you that you don’t see in yourself. From this they can support you in identifying areas of strength & growth and where your opportunities lie. Mentors will often open up their networks to you and provide an opportunity for you to speak to other professionals within your field of interest. 

2. Spread the word. Let people know what you are looking for in day to day conversations when an opportunity arises. There is a hidden job market and you’ll be surprised by how many people will want to help you if they know what you’re looking for. Plus you never know who they will be speaking to in their networks and where those conversations might lead for you. Most organisations who are hiring will look to their networks first for recommended and motivated candidates. 

3. Join groups and online forums and speak up. They provide a great opportunity to diversify and reach outside your existing network. We would also advocate that when in these groups and forums don’t be afraid to get involved, we all have a unique set of skills and valued opinions to bring to the table. Speaking up in itself is a valuable skill that can help you thrive in your career. This article from Forbes provides an example of this. 

So there you have it! Our top 5 tips for career success within the sports event management industry. Good luck! And feel free to reach out to us directly if we can help you via hello@breakthroughevents.co.uk

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