As some people know, along with being a writer for NewsLab and working with the school newspaper, The Cable, I also work in the College's sports information department. What you probably don't know is that I am the longest-tenured employee of the department, even longer than my boss, the sports information director (SID) himself, Jesse Robinson.
I began working in the office during the summer preceding my freshman year, thanks in large part to my sister, a CSS graduate who spent three of her years working with the SID at the time, Gregg Petcoff. My first major task was to write the All-Time "Record When..." for women's soccer. It was largely busy work, assigned because I was inexperienced in the art (and it is an art) of sports information at the time.
For those unaware, the "Record When..." is a list of a sports team's record under certain conditions (e.g., scoring two goals, allowing 10-15 shots, playing on a Monday or Friday or Sunday, non-conference games vs. conference opponents, etc.). As you can tell, this task is tedious for just one season. And I was doing 17 of them.
In my freshman year, I did a lot of writing for game programs, honing my skills as a sports-writer/publicist, as well as taking statistics at soccer, hockey, baseball, and softball games. I was the youngest person in the office, but I was still Petcoff's right-hand man, a job I took (and still take) a lot of pride in.
Following my first year at Scholastica, Petcoff took a job at Haverford University in his home state of Pennsylvania. For basically the entire month of July that summer, I was in charge of the office, an interesting charge to be placed on someone a year out of high school. But Petcoff left me with a pretty good plan for the summer, and in August, Robinson started and I got him acquainted with the office, and since then, it has been pretty smooth sailing.
While Petcoff was a great boss, Robinson has allowed me a lot more freedom. I've gotten to be very hands-on in the production of media guides and team brochures, I've tried my hand at commentary for men's and women's soccer games, and this year, I've been placed in charge of the St. Scholastica athletics blog, which I have christened "The Voice of the Saints."
VOTS, as I often call it, isn't a one-stop shop for all-things St. Scholastica--that would be redundant to the Web site--but I offer some insight into the world of Saints athletics in my twice-weekly blog postings.
One of the features of the blog is a video interview series I started calling, "5 Questions." It's been my proudest moments when professors from Tower Hall tell me that that they have seen, and enjoyed, the Web show. The interview is, obviously, five quick, but often thought-provoking, questions with St. Scholastica coaches about their team, their sport, and, occasionally, even their personal life. So far, I have interviewed all of the fall coaches and I plan to interview everyone else at least once throughout the school year.
The other semi-weekly feature on VOTS is "Points and Prattle," a weekly wrap-up of Saints athletics, along with random musings about life from yours truly. It's been an interesting venture, and I think the blog is doing quite well under my control. It's more active in terms of content than last year, and my mom enjoys reading it, if nothing else.
This year, I keep getting asked if sports information is the field I plan on going into, and every time, I answer, "It's starting to look like it." I assure you that no one ever entered college saying, "I want to get a degree so I can be an SID." It's an acquired taste.
The SID job market is expansive because there are so many colleges, but also limited because people aren't quick to leave these jobs. I need to be open-minded about where I want to live if I plan to go into this profession, probably more so than most any other.
However, I think my time in the CSS SID office has been well-spent and will put me in a position to succeed whether or not this is where I go with my career. I still have another year of classes ahead of me, so I have plenty of time to decide.
Check out Joe Hansen's "Voice of the Saints" blog at http://csssaints.blogspotcom/