Athletic Facilities and Operations Manager
Texas A&M Athletics
Hometown: Columbia, Connecticut
Education: Eastern Connecticut State U, Central Connecticut State U
What do the first two hours of your day look like?
Generally I am in the office pretty early, so the first two hours of my day are usually spent checking emails, compiling any existing voicemails, and create my plan of attack for anything that I have planned during that day. Also in the mornings, I put together the daily curriculum/projects for any interns I have during that semester. Coming into the office early gives me extra time to focus on different projects, fix any broken equipment, or plan out my calendar for meetings/events coming in the near future.
Name one go-to resource (or two or three) that helps you with your duties.
One resource that I could not live without is Outlook Calendar. As simple of an application that it is, it helps keep everything in order for the day and months as they come. I also spend a lot of time scheduling through EMS (our University wide scheduling software). EMS not only assists in campus wide scheduling for practices, events and meetings, but also through proper formatting, helps notify all campus partners of upcoming events to ensure all realms of the game day experience are in the appropriate places. Lastly, I use Todoist (iOS app) to help track all of my to do lists, deadlines and projects, while maintaining it in an organized, clean interface. With the ability for the app to send notifications straight to my phone, email or through the web based application, it helps remind me when things are due, what needs to happen next, and holds me accountable for my goals and projects.
If you could go back to your first day on the job and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Collegiate athletics is a very fast paced world with long nights and early mornings. Often you find yourself running in a million different directions all at once, but staying relaxed and calm is your best friend in these situations. You need to make sure you’re taking the appropriate time to analyze a situation, before making a decision that is not the best for the program. Regardless of how hectic things can often get, I try to remind myself to take a step back and relax in the situations, as stressing it, will only make a decision harder than it needs to be.
Name one new thing you want to accomplish within the next year?
As corny as it may sound, I really want to pick back up reading as a way to not only invest in myself, but invest in the people that work around me and with me. Right after college, I picked up and read anything that I could get my hands on, but as I got further immersed into collegiate athletics; I let the books get further and further away from me. I have always found myself interested in different topics including leadership, motivation and teamwork. If anyone reading this has any personal recommendations, PLEASE do not hesitate to send them my way on either twitter (@ajaudet80) or to my email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
As you look at the athletic operations field, what is one area that is growing/changing the most?
Increased technology in the operations field has been astronomical over the last few years. Being able to use apps to track your projects and to do lists, as well as being able to access your email, calendar and notes on the go is so beneficial to staying on top of everyday work. I often get emails from vendors in the field of athletics, and am amazed with the technological advancements that have increased. Anywhere from moving tackling dummies, to a robot that will stripe your soccer field for you, the things that they are coming out with are amazing. I can most definitely say that I am excited to see what may come out over the remainder of my career to truly revolutionize the operations side of athletics.
Best career or work advice you ever received?
“Find your passion.” Someone once told me this when I was a sophomore or junior in college, and to this day, resonates with me greatly. Since I was a little kid, I knew that some form of athletics was my career path, and have done EVERYTHING in my power to get to where I am today. I have worked numerous unpaid internships, volunteered for everything I could get my hands on, and was never afraid to take on new tasks above what I knew I was comfortable doing. Regardless of the late nights, and the early mornings, a passion drives who you are as not only an employee, but who you are as a person. At the end of a day, when I get to see the smiles on the faces of our student-athletes, there is nothing more I can ask for. Find YOUR passion, and do everything you can to fulfill it.
First event, person, or job that sparked your interest in this field of work.
Anyone that has ever worked with me knows that Scott Smith from Eastern Connecticut State University Athletics is the man that ignited my passion. I gained the opportunity to begin working with Smitty as a freshman in college, and through my entire four years at Eastern, could not have asked for a better boss, mentor and friend. Smitty oversees all equipment operations, university vehicle use, while also having a major part in day to day facility operations and event management. With my opportunity to work with him, he was able to provide me with not only industry specific hands on training, but also taught me life lessons that would round me as a young professional in the field. I still call him all the time to pick his brain about different situations or facility concepts, and no matter the question, he always has an answer. I don’t think I will ever be able to thank him enough for not only the things that he has taught me, the experience he gave me, or the passion he instilled in me.