The key to career success in international sporting events and federations
International sports events and federations present excellent career opportunities for people who have the right skills. But these highly sought-after positions don’t just require skills in sports management or event management, they require both. The students of the Event Sport and Entertainment (ESE) management programs at Glion Institute of Higher Education have experienced this overlapping area of demands first-hand. From their experiences, we learn that their “hard skills” in sports and event management needed the backing of other soft skills and career connections.
First, let’s look at one of the most important parts of a good sport management or event management program: industry experience.
An essential component of Glion’s sport and event management programs is the hands-on learning module called the Project Factory. Glion students in the Project Factory have worked on the Champs freestyle snowboarding competition, the Verbier Bike Fest, the Matterhorn Ultracks Skialp and Trail races, and an annual ESE conference attended by many industry professionals.
For many Glion postgraduate students, the chance to participate in real projects for real companies is a highlight of their studies. The excellent results of these projects have shown that Glion students use a combination of their knowledge of sports culture and their first-hand experience in event management to succeed in these demanding roles.
For example, in May of this year, Glion’s ESE students presented their Integrated Projects (IP) at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne. Their objective was to create a new event program focused on Culture, Education and the spirit of the Olympic Movement for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
In order to accomplish this task, the teams presented professional proposals that incorporated their personal experience in the Project Factory, plus the theoretical knowledge from four of their ESE management courses:
- Management Finance in Event, Sport and Entertainment
- Event Management
- Emerging Technologies in Event, Sport and Entertainment
- Creativity and Innovation
Following the presentations, IOC representatives commented on the valuable contribution and very interesting quality proposals for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
Another quality that is indispensable for a career in international sports and events is a hospitality mindset that focuses on delivering unforgettable customer experiences.
At Glion, the ESE students get more than what they signed up for; they have a unique opportunity to learn about the world of luxury hospitality. Glion is also a top-ranking school of hospitality management with more than 50 years of experience in forming leaders for the global hospitality industry.
It’s not uncommon for hospitality students to make a professional foray into the world of international sporting events, as Sergei Romanenko, an alumnus of the postgraduate diploma hospitality management track can attest.
“My first internship was working in the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. That was an unforgettable experience with a lot of hard work but even more memorable moments! I was responsible for welcoming, hosting and guiding guests around Sochi and Olympic venues. My personal goal was to exceed guests’ expectations and make sure that they are getting unforgettable Olympic experience.
Sergei goes on to explain that his internship experience at the Olympic Games showed him the connection between international sports events and hospitality. “This internship allowed me to see myself as a part of such a global event as Olympic Games and proved to me that hospitality is the industry I want to grow in. Moreover, it was fun and there were a lot of Glion students and alumni around, so I was able to feel the support of the Glion family. Glion spirit mixed with Olympic spirit equals an unforgettable cocktail of experiences.”
And last, but not least, career connections and a good reputation may be just as important one’s professional skills and experience.
As an alumna of Glion’s ESE program, Kristina Jabornicka began working at the Czech Olympic Committee for the Commission for Foreign Affairs straight after she graduated in 2013 with a BBA in Event, Sport and Entertainment Management. In a recent interview, describes the meaningful lessons she learned at Glion, and explains how she got her dream job.
“At Glion we learned that theory is one thing and practice is the other. So far in my career, I have not yet used all of the knowledge I learned while studying, but the skills I developed have helped me to adapt, understand and improve in my job,” Kristina says.
She adds that the connections at Gion helped her to get her current job. “One of my dreams was to attend and be a part of the Olympic Games. So when I found out that Glion was hosting a presentation and job interviews for the Winter Olympics in Sochi 2014, I knew that I would have to excel in the interview for a chance to work at those Olympics…I worked at the Olympics and it was my best professional experience so far and afterwards I started immediately working at the Czech Olympic Committee thanks to my dissertation topic, which brought me there in the first place. Currently I am working at the Czech Olympic Committee for the Commission for Foreign Affairs. It is a great opportunity and I am doing something what I really like.”