Sports management majors hear from football development coordinator
October 13, 2020
Rashad Elby, senior coordinator of football development at United States of America Football, spoke to the Voorhees College career pathways and intro to sports management courses about purpose, passion, and principles.
Elby is the former director of football operations National Football League Combine, National Collegiate Athletic Association administrator, Carmel High School football coach.
He said to the students he wanted to have an intimate conversation with them about what steps they should take to get into their careers. “Everything you do now, you need to start thinking about the intentional steps you will need to take to start your careers. Ask yourselves, how am I going to get there, and what do my long-term outcomes look like?”
Elby encouraged the students to make sure they are active on their LinkedIn profiles. “Cultivate relationships with people on LinkedIn who are in those career paths already and introduce yourselves,” Elby said. “As you begin to set up these meetings and network, make sure you are dressed appropriately. Then follow-up after connecting with people to grow and sustain the relationships.”
Calvin Williams, Voorhees's assistant professor and program coordinator of sports management, said he could validate the benefit of sustaining those relationships. “Almost ten years ago, I was working as a sports agent and Rashad doing scouting, and that is how we connected. Now here we are.”
Elby said for students to seek out external mentors. “No matter how old you are, you should always invest in your personal and professional development. As students, research to find mentors. One resource is to Mr. Williams and other professors who can point you in the right direction.”
He ended by discussing the importance of internships to gain opportunities. He said he got in his field, mentioning he started as an intern at NCAA headquarters. “Opportunities to get your foot in the door can include volunteering, networking, internships. The more you build your resume, the more competitive advantage you will have over others.”