The Intern Chronicles: Chastin’s First Business Trip

Journal Entry #2: Platform Summit 2013…My First Business Trip By Chastin Gammage

I could not focus. I just sat in my desk at summer school in my own zone bewildered by the trip that lay ahead of me. What began as an idea several months prior was slowly becoming reality. I had never taken a business trip or traveled to the east coast so I knew that this was a rare opportunity to experience both.

Chastin Plane photoMy dad dropped me off at the airport and I quickly proceeded through security and slipped into a seat by my gate. As I stared at the large Boeing 757 from my seat in the airport reality finally caught up to me. This trip was no longer just a topic of discussion with the team in the comfort of Tom’s house. However, I didn’t have too much time to sit in awe as my plane began boarding.

From the time I boarded the plane until I returned home I encountered and held conversations with successful and powerful people. For example, I sat next to an engineering executive from San Diego who was taking his son on college tours. Ironically, throughout the remainder of my trip many people believed that I was still in high school and touring college campuses as well. He actually gave me some great advice and set a precedent for my interactions with other individuals throughout the trip. I finally arrived that evening at 1:00 AM Eastern and instantly began to feel the effects of jet lag. I was wide-awake in a world where everyone else was sleep! I was bright-eyed and bushy tailed walking off that plane while everyone else was struggling to get to their feet. My mom warned me about that so I caught a cab to the hotel and knew that I was going to have to force myself to get some rest. Once I met up with Angela to check in I couldn’t help but give her a giant hug and instantly felt more comfortable. It was my first time in Boston and growing up along the west coast I had no clue what to expect but I knew with Tom, Angela, and Danelle everything would be okay. At ease, I forced myself to get a few hours of rest before what ended up being a hectic weekend.

The next morning I woke up early and met up with the rest of the team including Tom, Danelle, and my fellow intern Jade. After Breakfast and introductions we went to the Platform summit, which was surreal and admittedly frightening from the moment we entered. This was an opportunity to interact with powerful brokers in various industries throughout this country. A chance like this is almost unheard of for a student or anyone my age. I was surprised to see how inviting and kind everyone was. The speeches were indeed complemented by their humility and selflessness.

Tom’s speech on taking risks and not being afraid of failure truly resonated with me. I couldn’t help but admire his development from the initial outlining phase of his speech to finally delivering it. Some of the most successful people in business, entertainment and sport have failed. Many have failed numerous times but they have never given up. Successful people are able to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and carry on trying. Every experience of failure increases the hunger for success.

After a hard day in a strange city, I felt very tempted to to just throw myself into the hotel bed and call it a day. Instead I spent the remainder of my time going on a home made tour of Boston with Jade and a few other people we met at the summit that truly made this Chastin Blog 2 photosan experience to remember. I found my interactions with each individual to be valuable. I ranged from networking with the first African American woman in space to meeting friends on the street like Devin. Nonetheless, every encounter was meaningful to me and made my experience in Boston unforgettable.

I was ecstatic to intern this summer and contribute to the Thomas Adams Project. As an intern I assisted and supported the executives of this project from the beginning stages until the end and I am certainly proud of that.  Above all, I am extremely pleased to take away the bonds that I have created with the four other amazing people on my team (Tom, Angela, Danelle, and Jade) and I am definitely looking forward to our next adventure!

Until Next Time!

Chastin is a sophomore engineering student at San Jose State University and is an intern for the Thomas Adams Project. Stay tuned for more behind the scenes stories and experiences as Chastin continues his journey as part of The Intern Chronicles.

 

The Intern Chronicles: Jade Discovers Boston

Journal Entry #1: My 1st Business Trip By Jade McNorton

Let me start of by saying I am so thankful I was able to accompany the Tom Adams Team (Angela, Danelle & Tom) on this trip to Boston. It was my first “business” trip so I literally had NO idea what to expect. After planning out way too many outfits, packing half my closet, and probably annoying Angela with question filled emails I was finally ready.

A car came to pick me up around 4 in the morning, which is an hour I never like to see. I was so anxious for the trip I hardly got any sleep, so waking up was not fun. I did feel pretty official getting picked up by a car service; the standard has been set pretty high for future business trips.

Once we picked up Angela I started to feel more relaxed and excited for the trip. It would be my first time in Boston and all I really knew about it were the Red Sox and Boston Baked Beans… so I had no idea what to expect.

We were meeting Danelle at the airport so I got anxious again for when the time came that she would be joining us. I didn’t know what to expect from her, but I now know to trust Angela when she says people are great. Danelle instantly put a smile on my face as I met her and she began telling us the story of her morning and how she’d gotten half way to the airport without her cell phone and had to turn around.

Danelle’s stories would continue to entertain me throughout the trip.

Our flight takes off and I’m asleep before we even start taxiing on the runway. My mom had warned me that this was a business trip so I shouldn’t sleep the entire flight, but that 3 AM wake up made that very difficult. I alternated between sleeping and playing Candy Crush on my iPad, but 6 hours is a big chunk of time so sleep prevailed.

Along with it being my first time to Boston it was my first time flying Virgin America so I was pretty excited for that as well. I even got a special shout out from the folks at Virgin America via Twitter so that was pretty cool too. (And great PR I might add).

 

 

 

I was having a lot of fun with Angela and Danelle as we arrived in Boston. We checked out the venue of the summit, made our first of many appearances at the hotel restaurant Champions, and made an awesome new friend while making business cards at FedEx Office.

Making my first business cards was a fun experience and Angela and Danelle were super helpful during the process. I had no idea what I should put on them but they totally helped me come up with a legit title to add. Jade Biz Card

That night we made our second appearance at Champions for a late night snack since we were still on West Coast time. When I woke up the following day the whirlwind of the weekend began.

I knew Tom was arriving soon and was again anxious for how he would change our fun little group dynamic. I figured as just the intern he probably wouldn’t want to talk to me much or care about my input, but that was the furthest thing from the truth. Tom asked my opinion on how we should conduct social media and gave me a chance to really gain experience.

I think more than listening to the awesome speakers and meeting key people in technology world, what I loved and learned the most from this trip was the Tom Adams Team. Angela, Danelle, and Tom provided so much for me to learn from and were totally okay with me picking their brain about anything. They listened and appreciated my suggestions and never made me feel like what I had to say was unimportant.

The Thomas Adams Project Team

The Thomas Adams Project Team

 

I was also relieved that Chastin, the other intern, was cool. We got the chance to spend an afternoon exploring Boston and I even rode my first subway! I didn’t see any rats so I’d say it was a positive experience.

Tom’s speech on taking risks and not being afraid of failure resonates with me even more now that I’m writing this blog. After returning from the trip I interviewed for an internship that I really, really wanted but I wasn’t chosen. I was super upset about it, but then I remembered Tom’s speech and how he said to have done something and failed was better than to have not done it at all. It’s so ironic that he just spoke this message and it now sits with me in an entire different way than before.

I had an amazing experience on this trip. I accomplished the great task of getting Tom (@Tom_Adamsway) on Twitter and I made some great contacts that will hopefully help me in my continued job search. Most importantly though I learned a ton about how successful people operate and formed unforgettable bonds with the Angela, Tom, Danelle, and Chastin (who I’m positive is missing me by now).

 

 

Can’t wait ’til the crew is reunited!!!

Jade is the PR/Social Media Strategist for the Thomas J. Adams Project and NetWorks Sports Consulting. She is a 2013 graduate of Pepperdine University where she competed on the women’s basketball team. Follow Jade on Twitter!

 

2014 Platform Summit – Tom Adams Photo Gallery

Here is the photo gallery from NetWorks client Tom Adams’ presentation at the 2014 Platform Summit at the MIT Media Lab in Boston, MA on July 12th.

 

 

The Intern Chronicles: The Beginning of a Journey

Journal Entry #1 By Chastin Gammage

April 9, 2013 marked the beginning of a journey and an amazing opportunity.

As I venture into the real world of business and marketing it’s amazing to see the amount of time, effort, and thought that goes into each individual process. Up until this point, I’ve been a consumer and even a retailer but now the tables are completely turned. My primary focus before was investigating an item before I actually purchased it or to understand the product so that I can sell it. Now I will be along for the journey from the initial developmental phases until the product release. I have the chance to see first hand what it is like to start a business from scratch and observe its manifestation into reality. I must admit it is quite intriguing to be a part of the behind the scenes work that attributes to a successful business in our global economy.

Being in the presence of four accomplished, astute and affluent adults already felt surreal but holding an educated and pertinent conversation was simply astounding. These are people that I admire, they are currently living at the peak of my highest aspirations and I have the opportunity to work and learn from them at the age of eighteen.

internship-pictureAs a college intern, I’m not here to just fill a vacant position. My ultimate desire is to contribute and add value to this company in any way possible even while it is still in the developmental phases. I’m definitely eager to display the various skills and knowledge I have to bring to the table. I hope to provide a unique and different perspective that will help relate this product to younger generations. Everyone in the room brought a certain skillset and on top of that multiple years of experience. I recall sitting back in awe as the group listed their life and career accomplishments. Society enforces that success is a function of opportunity and drive but what I learned from this meeting is that the most key ingredient is in fact time.

Over time, each individual experienced trials and tribulations that helped develop their full potential. These daunting occurrences put them on the proper track from success. It is clear; the adversity they face instilled a sense of resiliency rather than delaying their professional progression. Collectively, the group appeared to have a strong team oriented dynamic from the very beginning of the meeting. I personally found that I connected with every single person in the room on multiple levels.

For example, when I moved to San Jose I had no intention of meeting someone from my hometown of Irvine, California, engaging with a caring companion of my uncle’s, nor establishing a connection with one of Silicon Valley’s most influential African American men in the technology field. Yet, lo and behold, I was blessed with an opportunity of a lifetime. I spent a total of six hours there and left feeling as if I had known these people the majority of my life. Nothing could possibly parallel the experience of being in a room full of likeminded, college educated, and passionate people. I like the team approach that this project embodies. I work well in this kind of system. I am extremely excited about all the possibilities with The Thomas Adam’s Project!

~ Chastin Gammage

Chastin, an intern with the Thomas Adams Project, just completed his first year at San Jose State University and is studying Engineering. 

NetWorks Two-Minute Drill: Week of March 19-25, 2012

THE NETWORKS SPORTS TWO-MINUTE DRILL

Log on to the NetWorks Sports blog every Sunday as we succinctly recap our Top 5 list of events that caught our eye during the week in sports in The NetWorks Sports Two-Minute Drill.  Take two minutes out of your day to get our view on what’s going on both on the field (or court) and in the front-offices!

Top 5 Topics from the Week of March 19-25, 2012

This was a statement week in sports.  Typically when March rolls around, we are focused on  our tournament brackets & mesmerized by some cinderella (see VCU & Butler in 2011) making a run through the Big Dance.  As March Madness rolls along this week & after Peyton Manning finally found a landing place, little did we know that the week of March 19-25 would be would of the most interesting “off-court/off-field” weeks in a long time. Here are the 5 topics in sports that topped our list this week:

5. RGIII & Andrew Luck Thrilled and Impressed Scouts in Pro Days: As we’ve witnessed since the end of the college football season last November/December, many sportswriters and NFL experts have spent the last several months critiquing RGIII & Andrew Luck.  Who is or will be the better quarterback prospect?  Is Luck nothing but Hype?  Is RGIII more than an athletic quarterback?  Is Luck more of an athlete than we think?  While both players did nothing to hurt their status as two very talented quarterbacks, it has seemed like that if you like one of them, you can’t like the other.  After both went through their on-campus Pro Days this week (RGIII on Wednesday and Luck following on Thursday), folks finally have come to the conclusion that they are BOTH extremely talented (and athletic) quarterbacks who (in the right situations) will have very long and successful careers in the NFL.  Both dazzled in their Pro Days as they displayed their arm strength, accuracy, and mobility.  Both showed their very different personalities.  And both showed that there is no reason for us not to believe that they are very deserving to be the #1 and #2 picks in the upcoming April NFL Draft.

4. Roger Goodell & the NFL Impose a Harsh Penalty on the New Orleans Saints: Earlier this month when we heard about a 50,000 page report dealing with BountyGate, it was evident that Roger Goodell and his staff were taking this scandal very seriously.  A statement was going to be sent to owners, executives, and players that things of this nature are simply unacceptable.  While many speculated about the potential penalties, citing the Patriots punishment for illegally taping opponents play calls as a point of reference, most had no idea that the eventual penalties would be so severe.  When the verdict came down on Wednesday afternoon, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that Goodell intended to put an end to this practice & send a strong message to anyone who thought otherwise.  The long-term impact is yet to be seen, but there is no doubt that the New Orleans Saints organization will feel the impact of these penalties immediately and potentially for years to come.

3. Tim Tebow Take His Talents to New York: Most will admit that after Peyton Manning decided to take his talents to Big Sky Country and John Elway decided to make Tim Tebow available for a trade, there was little (if any) thought that Tebow would end up in New York.  A realistic landing spot would have been Tampa or his hometown Jaguars.  Maybe even a back-up role under the tutelage of MVP quarterbacks in either New England or Green Bay.  But the New York Jets?  The same New York Jets team that just signed fragile starting quarterback Mark Sanchez to a new deal?  In a surprise move that met some resistance from several Jets players (many of whom refused to go on record but were quoted as being against this move), Coach Ryan seems to have found his back-up QB.  More importantly, Tebow has found the biggest media market in the country to use as a platform for his social initiatives.  One minute the deal was done, the next minute the deal was being held up, but in the end…Tebow is with the J-E-T-S , Jets, Jets, Jets!  Monday’s press conference announcing the team’s new “back-up QB” should be very interesting.

2. Tiger Woods WINS!: It’s been awhile since we’ve seen the red Nike polo shirt walking to the 18th hole with the crowd standing & cheering on a PGA Tour victory.  After over 900 days, Tiger Woods smiled from ear to ear as the drought was ended.  In what has become one of his favorite tournaments, Woods finally brought home the victory after his life and career took a turn for the worse on that early November morning a few years ago.  With a few weeks until the top golfers reconvene at Augusta National, Woods was able to find the greens and find his putting stroke that have failed him miserably up until recently.  He put it all together and held it together to stave off all of the challengers on this weekend as he looks ahead to regain his legendary form.  On a day when four teams were competing for a chance to head to the NCAA Final Four in New Orleans, there was strong evidence that many television sets were tuned into Tiger’s quest for another championship.  Further proof that Tiger winning is still a driving force in the interest in golf.

1.  The Miami Heat Make their Strongest Statement OFF the Court: Heading into this past week, most basketball aficionados would have expected the Miami Heat (and the Big 3) to make their strongest statement this on-court as they headed to Oklahoma City for their first match-up of the season against the Western Conference leading OKC Thunder.  After the Heat suffered an embarrassing 16-point thrashing at the hands of Kevin Durant & his comrades, one would agree that the strongest statement the Heat made this week was the team photo taken in a Detroit hotel on Thursday night.  The photo of 13 of their 15 players donning the “hoodie” on their NBA-issued Miami Heat sweats in support of Trayvon Martin (a teenager killed in what seems to be a senseless crime), was a powerful image that may just have been the strongest message they have sent since coming together during the summer of 2010.  In a volatile week of sports-related news, this easily is the story that will be etched in our memories for months to come.  In fact, Angela has written a blog about how proud she was in this display of social leadership.  Read the blog “When A Miami Heat Photo is Worth (More Than) 1,000 Words” and share your thoughts!

For a “New View from the Sidelines”, tune in to Game Changers Live Wednesday’s at 1:00pm ET/10:00am PT on BlogTalk Radio as the co-hosts cover important topics in the sports world.

Follow NetWorks Sports on Twitter!


NetWorks Sports Two-Mintue Drill: Week of January 1, 2012

THE NETWORKS SPORTS TWO-MINUTE DRILL

Log on to the NetWorks Sports blog every Sunday as we succinctly recap our Top 5 list of events that caught our eye during the week in sports in The NetWorks Sports Two-Minute Drill.  Take two minutes out of your day to get our view on what’s going on both on the field (or court) and in the front-offices!

Top 5 Topics from the Week of January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!  As 2012 officially rolled in last Sunday, the world of sports remained the focus of many of our attention.  As I rang the new year in down in Scottsdale for the Fiesta Bowl, it was evident that 2012 would start off where 2011 left off…with several intriguing sports stories that promise to make this leap year another phenomenal year comprised of 366 magical days of sports.  Football fans were able to finally enjoy some competitive BCS Bowl games, the NFL playoff picture came into focus, and after a week of lockout affected NBA hoops, fans were enjoying (thanks to a free preview of NBA League Pass) the return of the best basketball players in the world to packed arenas around the country (except in a few markets, those poorly managed markets we speak of often). Here are the 5 topics in sports that topped our list this week:

5. Mike Tomlin proves that winning isn’t everything: While this is tough for Steelers fans to digest hours after a tough playoff loss to a lower-seeded Broncos team, in a culture & era where “winning is everything”, Coach Mike Tomlin continues to impress with his compassion for his players and view of the big picture. Defensive Back Ryan Clark, who has Sickle Cell trait, could have put his life in jeopardy if he opted to play in the high elevation of Denver.  In fact, unknowingly, doing so caused tremendous health issues for Clark a few years ago (in 2007), so Tomlin & the Steelers brass made the decision that Clark would have to sit this game out this week, despite it being a huge playoff battle on the road.  Clark stated this week that he wanted to play in such a huge game, but understands AND appreciates Coach Tomlin making his health a priority.  As witnessed late Sunday evening, Clark’s absence from the Steelers’ defensive backfield (along with solid play by Denver’s offensive and defensive units…and yes, 361 passing yards by Tim Tebow) may have cost the team dearly as his replacement struggled to make critical plays down the stretch.  There’s no doubt that Clark would have loved to have been on the field to impact the outcome of a huge playoff game, but in an age where many subscribe to the win at all costs method, it is refreshing to see why the Steelers organization and its leaders, such as Tomlin, are so well-respected across the sports industry.

4. Clippers continue to fight unwanted perceptions: This week, Blake Griffin (who actually coined the term Lob City when he initially heard about CP3 trade to Clippers being official) and Chris Paul attempted to distance themselves from the term by strongly stating that they are much more than just a team centered on lobs and dunks in transition.  Fearing that Lob City will imply that there is more style than substance (which arguably is a characteristic found in many Los Angeles based situations), the pair have taken to the media to further define what this new Clippers team is about…winning games & competing for Championships.  Seems like there is an identity crisis for LA’s newly appointed trendy team.  Based on the not-so-flattering nicknames fans of NBA hoops have used on the Clippers in the past, you’d think that they actually would be ok with embracing the fact that the Lob City moniker caught on so quickly and is a first step to changing the perception of a downtrodden franchise that had been the laughingstock of the league for years.  Personally, many fans find themselves tuning in to Clippers games because their Lob City exploits and charismatic players are exciting to watch.  More exciting than many of us can even remember!

3. A sports discussion falls back on a debate about race: Terrell Suggs (Ball So Hard University grad) vs. Skip Bayless on ESPN First Take this week!  Ding, Ding, Ding.  In what has previously been a rather mellow back and forth banter during Suggs’ occasional appearances on ESPN’s First Take, this week’s interviews took on an entirely new dynamic when Suggs brought up religious agendas involved in the current obsession with Tim Tebow when they debated Joe Flacco vs. Tim Tebow.  This debate, one of many, furthers the divide many feel in this complicated conversation based on the presence of a religious undertone.  Unfortunately, on the heels of this heated discussion, others began to allude to racial biases involved in the love/hate relationship many have with Tim Tebow.  We discussed it on a recent Game Changers Live radio show and undoubtedly will continue to discuss this very difficult topic.  Ultimately, at least we are having a dialogue about two very sensitive issues: race & religion.

2. She doesn’t “Love this Game”: Serena Williams divulged that she doesn’t love tennis or working out.  ”It’s not that I’ve fallen out of love; I’ve actually never liked sports, and I never understood how I became an athlete,” she said, according to the website. “I don’t like working out; I don’t like anything that has to do with working physically.”  We won’t see an NBA-like commercial where Serena says “I Love this Game!”, but don’t let this statement diminish her will & desire to be great and/or to win majors.  A lot has happened in Serena’s life, from the death of her sister to serious injuries, but through it all, when the lights & cameras of a major tennis tournament are on…she tends to bring out her passion for winning better than most.  Her display of honesty and candor should not have any impact on what we have come to expect when she laces up her Nike’s, puts on an outfit that will be critiqued, and stares across the net at her opponent.  If that ankle she injured last week heals properly, we should all tune in to the Australian Open to witness her greatness.

1.  “We Are Penn State” and we want to be heard: Amid the ongoing debate surrounding the Penn State scandal, proud alum of the PSU Football program took to the airwaves to air the utter frustration with the “new” direction the administration is taking.  LaVar Arrington, who has a unique platform to air his disdain on a DC-based radio show, was the loudest of many alum voicing their opinions on the hire.  At a time when every move made by the Penn State brains trust will be scrutinized, it was especially alarming when the pride and unity that this university has displayed for decades began to crumble over yet another decision that was perceived as disloyal.  Administration should certainly have appeased powerful alums by at least involving a committee of former players in the interview process (just based on the situation). Dallas Cowboys linebacker and Penn State alum, Sean Lee (a soft spoken leader), put out a statement on Sunday acknowledging that he (along with the others) had hoped for a member of the PSU family to have the opportunity to follow in Paterno’s footsteps, but ultimately encouraging his fellow alums to support the new regime.  That along with Bill O’Brien’s letter to the alum should help to calm down the madness and allow those who care the most about this program to start moving forward during a difficult time.

For a “New View from the Sidelines”, tune in to Game Changers Live Wednesday’s at 1:00pm ET/10:00am PT on BlogTalk Radio as the co-hosts cover important topics in the sports world.

Follow NetWorks Sports on Twitter!


The NetWorks Sports Two-Minute Drill: Top 5 Moments This Week in Sports (12/11/11)

THE NETWORKS SPORTS TWO-MINUTE DRILL

Log on to the NetWorks Sports blog every Sunday as we succinctly recap our Top 5 list of events that occurred during the week in sports in The NetWorks Sports Two-Minute Drill.  Take two minutes out of your day to get our view on what’s going on both on the field (or court) and in the front-offices!

Top 5 Moments from the Week of December 5, 2011

With NBA executives rushing to get ready for training camps, Baylor winning its first Heisman Trophy, and the BCS Championship game set, this week was a fairly active one across the sports world.  But at the end of the day, the week will forever be remembered for another act of God from David Stern and a brawl that filled Twitter timelines.  Here are the 5 moments that topped our list this week:

5.  While there could be an argument for Novak Djokovic being the Sportsperson of the Year, Sports Illustrated certainly selected two very deserving individuals for the honor when they named Mike Krzyzewski and Pat Summitt Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year.  Two of the winningest basketball coaches in NCAA Division I history and two of the classiest individuals in the industry. The respect that they have from their current & former players is a strong indication of why they deserve the honor.

4.  In a weekend with a heavy focus on hoops, Indiana Men’s Basketball (under the leadership) of Coach Tom Crean) has restored balance to MBB.  Since Bob Knight’s departure, there hasn’t been this much excitement about the program in Bloomington and after the amazing buzzer-beater on Saturday evening, basketball purists around the country couldn’t be happier to see this program back in the national spotlight.  What a scene it was at Assembly Hall as students, alumni, and fans stormed the floor to celebrate an improbable victory.  In all honesty, something just wasn’t right about not having the Hoosiers competing for an NCAA title, and while this may not be THE year for this team to return to the Final Four…a return to the Championship conversation is surely imminent!

3.  The unfortunate events of the crosstown rivalry between Xavier and Cincinnati will certainly be one of the events that will be remembered this week.  One of the best things about college athletics (or athletics in general) is the great rivalries that have been created over the years and this hoops match-up is certainly one of the best rivalries around.  Unfortunately, over the years it seems as if the rivalry has extended beyond the court and outside of the 48 minutes of quality basketball that fans have come to enjoy.  Early this week on Twitter (yes, social media plays a bit part in this) apparently some UC players made comments that incited the Xavier players, so before the jump ball, tensions were high.  In what ended up to be a less than competitive game on the court escalated into a brawl that is an embarrassment to all involved in sports.  In the end, the two coaches seemed to handle it very well in their press conferences.  Both letting out their raw emotions and feelings of disappointment in the behavior of their players.  Mick Cronin was lauded for his strong words in fact.  Unfortunately, as of Sunday afternoon, the discipline that had been determined was less than many thought it would be with some players receiving 6 game suspensions (which would allow them to play the majority of the conference season). We’re still not sure of what the conferences and/or NCAA will do, but something has to be done as college athletics seems to be getting out of control.

2.  After months of hype and hoopla surrounding Andrew Luck (everyone’s frontrunner for the 2011 Heisman Trophy), Baylor’s Robert Griffin III proved that it does pay dividends to play on the final Saturday of the regular season in college football.  There were at least 7 or 8 legitimate candidates for the Heisman this year including Boise State’s Kellen Moore, USC’s Matt Barkley, and Houston’s Case Keenum, but in the end RGIII’s incredible statistical display, capped off by a win over the rival Texas Longhorns was too much for heavy favorites Trent Richardson and Andrew Luck to overcome as they and their teams were left to watch the SEC & Pac-12 Championship games on television on the final weekend.  Luck had an incredible career as he led the resurgence of a Stanford program that few believed would ever be in the national championship conversation and would certainly have been the perfect individual to represent the proud Heisman Trust.  As would Richardson who help to lead his Alabama team back to the BCS Championship Game.  Instead, Griffin took his Superman socks and the entire Baylor Nation to Broadway & stole the show with a very touching speech…”…an unbelievable believable moment!”

1.  David Stern set off a domino effect that could alter the course of the upcoming NBA season when he (“independently” and without influence from owners around the league) decided to nix a 3-team trade (between New Orleans, Houston, and the Lakers) that would have sent Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers.  That singular move not only handcuffed the Hornets brass & General Manager Dell Demps, but it also put several other significant trades and free-agent moves on hold (most likely eventually canceling the moves).  As a result, all heck has broken loose.  Players like Deron Williams and Danny Granger have denounced Stern for being a bully, a revised trade between the Lakers & Hornets feel apart late Saturday night, and several NBA rosters are still in flux with only two-weeks to go before the lockout shortened season starts on Christmas Day.

For a “New View from the Sidelines”, tune in to Game Changers Live Wednesday’s at 1:00pm ET/10:00am PT on BlogTalk Radio as the co-hosts cover important topics in the sports world.

Follow NetWorks Sports on Twitter!


NetWorks Sports Career Advice: How to Write an Effective Cover Letter

NetWorks Career Advice: How to Write an Effective Cover Letter

Preparing an effective cover letter is equally as important as writing your resume.  The cover letter is used to sell your resume by communicating to your potential employer how your skills and experiences are a match for the position for which you are applying.  However, preparing a poorly written cover letter is worse than not doing one at all. This post will give you a few pointers on how to make your first impression a lasting one.

 

Cover Letter Do’s

  • Tailor each cover letter to a specific employer.
  • Type the cover letter in the same font as your resume.
  • Use paper that matches your resume.
  • Keep it short and sweet!  Three to five paragraphs maximum.
  • Use the recruiter’s name and title.
  • Market yourself as a good solution to the employer’s needs.
  • Highlight the key points of your resume.
  • Conclude with a commitment to action…tell employer what you will do next.
  • Fit the letter on one page with one-inch margins on every side.
  • Sign the letter using black ink.

 

Cover Letter Dont’s

  • Mention personal weaknesses or perceived shortcomings.
  • Say that you will do “any” job.
  • Forget to include your telephone number and e-mail address.
  • Use abbreviations.
  • Use a type font smaller than an 11 point.
  • Send form letters.
  • Forget to spell-check.
  • Exaggerate, brag or lie.
  • Forget to read, edit and re-read your letter for typos, spelling mistakes, and grammatical errors.

If you have any additional advice for how to write an effective cover letter, please share with our readers by entering your thoughts in the comments section below.  We appreciate any additional advice for our readers.

To find out more career advice, follow us on Twitter @NetWorks_Sports


NetWorks Sports: In Their Own Words with Olympic Gold Medalist Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, Chief of Sport Performance – USA Track & Field

In Their Own Words profiles former student-athletes who have leveraged their experiences on the field, court, and in the pool to buoy their professional careers. They’ve had success in the classroom & in their sport, and now are enjoying tremendous success in various sectors around the world.

In Their Own Words with Benita Fitzgerald Mosley

Benita Fitzgerald Mosley - Chief of Sport Performance, USA Track & Field

A native of Northern Virginia, Benita Fitzgerald Mosley has leveraged her success in the classroom (majored in Industrial Engineering at the University of Tennessee) and on the track (as a student-athlete at Tennessee in addition to being a Gold Medalist in the 1984 Summer Olympics) to launch quite an impressive career where she has had widespread influence on a global platform.

Benita has always been a leader and influential voice amongst her peers, so it wasn’t a surprise that after participant on a committee aimed at assessing the current state of USA Track & Field, she was called to take the lead in helping to bring back the sport to the level of success we all had witness when she was wearing the red, white, and blue in Los Angeles back in 1984.

Her career now comes full-circle as she takes on a newly created role with USA Track & Field as Chief of Sports Performance.  A role that will undoubtedly play a huge role in the performance of the track & field team as we approach the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

What is your current title and how long have you been in this position?
I am the Chief of Sport Performance for USA Track & Field and have been in this position with USATF for two years.

Specifically what do you do in this role with your organization?
Lead innovation, strategy, programs and policy to boost the performance of the World’s #1 track and field team. Manage $10 million budget for all national teams and high performance programs to support the USA’s elite track and field athletes. Reporting directly to the CEO, areas of responsibility include: athlete services, coaching education, sports science and medicine, anti-doping, Team USA management, grants, domestic and international competitive opportunities, National Championships, training centers, and U.S. Olympic Committee and sponsor partnership liaison. Lead Team USA to the Olympic Games, World Championships, Pan American Games, and other major international competitons.

What is your favorite part of the job?
Interacting with the athletes and knowing my hard work (and that of my staff) pays great dividends for Team USA at major international competitions like the World Championships and Olympic Games. 

What was your first “REAL” job?
I worked part-time as an Industrial Engineer for Tracor Aerospace in Austin, Texas while I was training for the 1988 Olympic Games.

Has being a competitive athlete helped you in your current role or during your career? If so, please tell us in what ways.
My ability to set high goals and focus on achieving them has been a great asset to me in my career. In my current role, my experience as a world-class athlete allows me to have an innate knowledge of what it takes to help our athletes reach their own goals and have successful careers.

What do you miss and what don’t you miss about being a competitive athlete?
I definitely miss that rockin’ body!!! I took it all for granted when I had it, and now as a middle-aged mom of two, it’s hard to believe I ever looked like that. I certainly don’t miss the difficult workouts, and the ice baths…yikes!!

What was your most memorable moment as an athlete? What was your most embarrassing moment?
Winning the Olympic gold medal was definitely my most cherished moment. My most embarrassing moment was in high school. Let’s just say I left it all out on the track at the end of a race at the state championships!

How often do you workout? What type of things do you do to stay active?
I work out two to four times a week, and I mostly power walk or jog. I like to feel the sun and breathe the fresh air…all those years running outside around that track spoiled me, so I don’t like to go to the gym.

Do you have a mentor (or mentors) who has helped you along the way?
Yes, my parents first and foremost, my husband of 15 years, my coaches, and my bosses at various jobs. There have also been people like Anita DeFrantz (Olympic medalist and IOC member), Gerry Laybourne (Founder of Oxygen and Nickleodeon), Decker Anstrom (former CEO of Weather Channel), Dr. Carole Stovall (Executive Coach) and many more that have taken a strong interest in me and have shared a lot of great wisdom and advice along the way. I also take advice from books, my pastor’s sermons, leadership seminars, etc.

If you knew then what you know now, is there anything that you would do differently in your career?
I wouldn’t change a thing. I think that my career has been guided by divine intervention and a lot of great mentors, and I’m blessed to have had a varied and fulfilling career path. Even the mistakes I’ve made and the difficult times I’ve endured have somehow better prepared me for the next challenge or opportunity.

Who has had the biggest influence on your life?
My parents. They’re amazing human beings and I love them dearly for laying such a solid foundation for my sister and me and for always being there to provide their support and encouragement.

Do you have any advice for young professionals and/or former student-athletes hoping to have a successful career after sports?
Student athletes should take advantage of the rare access they have to prominent alumni, school officials, community leaders, and the media and use it to their advantage. They should always represent themselves and their school in the most positive light so that when the need or opportunity arises, you can always count on their support. I call my gold medal “the gift that keeps on giving” because many of the good things in my life can somehow be traced back to my participation in sports. I was blessed with the talent to run fast, but it was hard work and good decisions along the way that have helped me achieve success both on and off the track.

Favorite Book: Too many to name, but the latest is “The Help”

Favorite Movie: The Game

Hobbies: Spending time with my family and friends, Reading

Favorite Place to Vacation: Hawaii, Outer Banks, any place warm

What’s playing on your iPod? Mostly R&B…I’m old school. I also like a bit of gospel, and some of the more popular songs by female artists like Beyonce, Adele, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, etc.

Android or iPhone? Definitely, iPhone

Mac or PC? Both…PC for work, Mac at home

Favorite TV Show: The Good Wife, The Sing Off

Favorite Restaurant: PF Chang’s

Favorite Quote: Ecclesiastes 3:1. “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

 

Find out more about Benita and USA Track & Field at the USATF website www.usatf.org

To read more “In Their Own Words” on student-athletes doing great things after graduation, sign up for the NetWorks Sports “Changing the Game” Newsletter today!!

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NetWorks Sports Book of the Month: “Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton” by Jeff Pearlman

This week’s NetWorks Sports’ Recommended Book is Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton by Jeff Pearlman.

This week’s book review is actually a “preview” for Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton, which will officially be released on October 4th.  Sweetness, written by New York Times bestselling author (and friend of NetWorks Sports Consulting) Jeff Pearlman, is sure to inspire sports fans, NFL fans, and anyone who wants to hear a story about a man, Walter Payton, who lead a legendary career on the field while carrying himself with so much grace.

Several books have been written chronicling Walter Payton’s life.  Most focused on his career and on-field achievements.  Others dabbled into his personal life.  But Jeff Pearlman has endeavored to find out more about this mysterious man who inspired many through his thrilling runs and awe-inspiring touchdown dives throughout the course of his career.

We could go on & on in support of Pearlman’s book, but we think there is no better way to find out about the content of this book than through the author’s own words.

Writing this book was obviously a meaningful journey for Pearlman, which is surely conveyed in the eloquent prose and honest insight into the true story behind the man we call Sweetness.  With that said, Pearlman has offered up some amazing tidbits about his journey through various video vignettes that you can find on YouTube.

There are about 10 videos for you to enjoy, but the one that struck a chord with me was “SweetSpot3: Jeff Pearlman on his book The Enigmatic Walter Payton.”  Here Pearlman gives us a little insight into what was so interesting about Payton…the fact that the wrong birth date is published in nearly every book or article about Payton.

Fascinating stuff!  Here’s my favorite clip….Jeff Pearlman’s Sweet Spot 3:

 

Check out the videos & then go to www.jeffpearlman.com to order a copy of Sweetness for yourself!  You can follow Jeff on Twitter @JeffPearlman

Follow NetWorks Sports on Twitter @NetWorks_Sports