Sports lecture series to offer industry, professional insight this week


For students preparing to enter the job market in the next few years, several top professionals will speak on campus this week, sharing their advice from working in the sports and business industries through a sports lecture series.

Sponsored by Fox Sports Florida, the USF Sport and Entertainment Management program coordinatesd the lecture series. William Sutton, director of the program, said the lectures will cover current sports issues, networking and finding careers in the sports industry.

The lectures started as a requirement for a course he taught last year, but were expanded this year to be open to all students interested in learning about how to gain skills import for the job market.

Featuring professionals in the sports industries, including an ESPN analyst, an author and the chairman of the Women’s Tennis Association, the lectures will begin today with a lecture by Bob Beaudine, who is CEO of Eastman & Beaudine one of the nation’s leading executive search firms.

“Everybody can come and learn from these speakers… and discuss ideas,” Sutton said. “… Students are looking for a job and want to improve themselves and learn different perspectives.”

Beaudine, whose lecture is at 4:30 p.m. today at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, has been called “the most influential man in sports you’ve never heard of” by Sports Illustrated, having placed multiple athletic directors and head coaches at universities across the country.

In 2009, Beaudine also wrote “The Power of Who,” which he said what you know is important, but who you know is more important. However, he said, not in the long-taught ways of anonymous networking through more than 1,000 people one may have on social networking sites, but rather the people one already knows from college.

“I tell people networking is not working,” Beaudine said in an interview with The Oracle. “Why is it that people go through college and spend all their time with their friends and building relationships, but as soon as they leave, those friends are taboo?”

According to Beaudine, 87 percent of all jobs are attained because some friend introduced someone to an employer.

Most applicants at a job are most likely qualified for a job, he said, but what really gets the jobs are the initial questions employers ask besides qualifications.

“When you walk into an interview, they are thinking four things about you… Do I know you? Do I like you? Do you understand my needs, and are you the best for me?” Beaudine said. “Everyone who is currently in college is going to send their resume to someone they don’t know and say they are the best… Is that working for everyone?”

As employers ask those questions in that order, Beaudine said the jobs will then go to the applicants with the more meaningful recommendations from coaches and friends rather than recommendations from professionals who can only vaguely recommend applicants.

Beaudine said he hopes these recommendations are what can increase the low percentage rate of Americans who say they are working at their dream jobs, what he said is a low 3 percent.

On Tuesday, the lecture series will continue with Stacey Allaster, CEO and chairman of the Women’s Tennis Association. Allaster will talk about the global aspect of business and sports, securing sponsorships and fan experience. Her lecture takes place at 11 a.m. in the Marshall Student Center Oval Theater.

ESPN analyst Andrew Brandt will discuss issues of the National Football League on Wednesday, speaking from more than 25 years of experience working with professional football, including serving as vice president of the Green Bay Packers. His lecture will be at 6 p.m. in the Oval Theater.

Ending the lecture series Thursday will be Colby Jubenville, a former college football coach and a current professor at Middle Tennessee State University. Jubenville’s lecture, titled “Zebras and Cheetahs,” will be based on his book by the same title in which he instructs professionals “how to look different and stay agile to survive the business jungle.”

Jubenville’s lecture will be at 6:30 p.m. in the USF College of Business Atrium. Lectures by Jubenville and Allaster will conclude with a Q-and-A session.

Sutton said his goal is to continue the sports lecture series as an annual program at USF, incorporating more high-profile speakers.

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