LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 28, 2019) — University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information students acquired insider knowledge about public relations in the sports industry through networking at the National Football League (NFL) PR College Student Seminar.
Four students, three majoring in integrated strategic communication (ISC) and one in journalism, were selected to attend a seminar hosted by the NFL in February. This opportunity provided key insight and networking experience for undergraduate students with public relations professionals in the sports industry. Danielle Potts, a senior ISC student, explained what happened during the two-hour event.
“We would talk, exchange numbers and resumes,” said Potts. “It was really low key and relaxing.”
UK faculty across multiple disciplines were asked to nominate up to five students to attend this seminar. Eligible students had demonstrated a previous commitment to public relations, as well as an interest in pursuing a career in the sports industry (specifically, an interest in NFL teams). Emily Fields, a junior ISC student, detailed the importance of being selected for this experience.
“It was huge honestly. I want to work in the NFL doing public relations for an NFL team,” Fields said. “Having the opportunity to network with these people was something that I never thought I would experience, so it was a really big moment.”
Two of the four students were able to attend a second event called Sports Management Worldwide NFL Combine Career Conference. Presentations by industry leaders allowed for attendees to understand the day-to-day responsibilities involved with sports-related careers.
“Professionals gave their advice on working in a high stress environment,” Fields said.
The ability to network, receive career guidance and obtain insight on how to be hired in such a competitive field were things detailed as crucial takeaways by the four students who attended. Torrie Mitchell, a senior ISC student, explained the importance of seeking out new experiences.
“I would advise all students to look for third party events going on in surrounding areas to attend because you can’t stay stagnant in school and expect opportunities to fall into your lap,” Mitchell said. “Having interviews scheduled less than a week after is a blessing and true testament that it was worth attending this event.”
Professionals at the event were able to elaborate on the internship opportunities their teams offer students, and the students had the opportunity to ask questions to better understand what they can do to set themselves apart from other candidates in the sports industry. Jordan Colquitt, a junior journalism student, highlighted what she learned from spending time with each team.
“Branch out and do things you haven’t done, move places you haven’t moved and take a chance,” Colquitt said. “Don’t just stay within your comfort zone, be versatile and open.”