Are you ready for some football? Career Lessons from the Gridiron


If you’re a fan following the NFL lockout scare this summer, you’re probably relieved to know that football will be coming back this fall (and for the next 10 years, at least).  But whether or not you stay glued to the television every Sunday through February 5, or don’t know the difference between touchdowns and field goals, there’s something we can all learn from the game.

Just like any other job, professional football requires teamwork.  To flourish in the workplace, we must consider the roles we play on teams and how they serve the goals of our organization.

Former player and coach (and current ESPN analyst), Herm Edwards, recently gave a speech to this year’s new NFL recruits to prepare them for the season ahead.  He didn’t spend his time discussing technical skills, but instead challenged players to consider their part as members of teams and provided insight on the importance of humility when starting a new job.

So much of what Edwards shared with the league’s new players is transferable to workplaces in general.  An article by Business Insider identified some applicable quotes from the speech, including:

  • “This is bigger than you.”
  • “Don’t get sensitive, be coachable.”
  • “Learn to compete against yourself.”

Whether you’ll be following your favorite team all season or only watching the Super Bowl for the commercials and halftime show, the advice shared by Edwards will serve you well as you enter new work experiences.  Just don’t go around tackling coworkers, unless it’s your job.

~Ashley Michelle

#socialmedia and Careers: Developing Your Social Media Presence

Here in Career Services, we’ve been talking a lot about our online presence.  Social Media has increasingly become a major force in today’s job market.  Employers are using Twitter and Facebook to post open positions. Job seekers and long time professionals are connecting in special interest and industry specific groups on LinkedIn. Interviews are being conducted on Skype and we have yet to see how emerging technologies like Google+ will factor in.

While we’re excited about the ways that we use these platforms in our office, we’re also eager to work with you on how to create and manage your own social media presences.  Even though most students are engaged with some type of social media at this point, have you considered how you might use these mediums as tools in your job search and career process?

Career Sherpa developed a 3-part series earlier this summer highlighting some of the strategies that can be most effective when developing your social media profile, including:

There are so many social media outlets in today’s world and these are just sampling of them.  Regardless of which you choose to participate in, it’s important to make social media a tool in your career toolbox.  By developing your own social media presence, you can make intentional decisions about your image and stay current in the ever-changing world of work.

~Ashley Michelle


World of Work: Trevor Mullen, '96, Product Development Manager for SKLZ

Trevor Mullen '96

Trevor Mullen, ’96

Product Development Manager for SKLZ
Carlsbad, CA

Major: History

How would you describe what you do on a typical day to someone who is unfamiliar with your field?

In short, I make functional equipment for people who play sports. What that really means on a day-to-day basis is that I work at identifying new product concepts and seeing them through from start to finish. I begin with our professional athletes and evaluating the potential financial viability of products they suggest. If a concept has a real opportunity to satisfy a need and there is a void in a marketplace, then I work with our designers to take a product from a concept to an actual package of drawings and specifications that a factory can interpret. I work directly with factories in Asia and have prototypes and actual samples made, with lots of changes through out in order to have a working model. During that process, I am also working closely with our sales and marketing teams to see which major retailers and international distributors will be taking the products, and then working on building content (videos, instructions, positioning) to add value to the product in the package.

I manage a division of a company that makes functional fitness equipment and this process is replicated across 50 or so different active products. It takes a lot of organization and familiarity within this field.

What advice do you have for students searching for jobs or internships in your field?

Realize that when you start out, your job is not going to be glamorous. You may be in a field that you love, but the actual job might not match your dreams. If you find yourself getting frustrated with the day-to-day responsibilities, be patient and think about your career over the long term.

Ask yourself if you want to work for a big company or a start up. They both have pluses and minuses with regards to your early career. Read a lot of books and articles about the companies and jobs you are looking to work at. Remember that the market is very competitive and if you don’t have direct experience, then you have to rely on your knowledge to stand out.

What three words best describe your work environment?

Busy, Demanding, Exciting.

What is your favorite part of your work? Most challenging part?

Working with professional athletes and building new product that doesn’t exist anywhere else. Keeping up with emails and small communications. The little details kill me.

How did your time at UVM, both in the classroom and out of the classroom, prepare you for your position?

The biggest thing I got out of my time at UVM that I use all day every day is managing deadlines and learning how to communicate effectively. I also learned how to collaborate in a group dynamic, while both listening and contributing. UVM’s class sizes really enabled me to practice and learn this skill.