Name one go-to resource (or two or three) that helps you with your duties.
A couple vital resources that help me a lot are Teamworks and TripCase. Teamworks is a one-stop shop for many facets of day-to-day operations. My favorite part is the ease of being able to communicate effectively with many people through Teamworks. TripCase is an app that allows you to input all of your travel information such as flights, hotels, rental cars, etc. and sends you up to the minute updates on any flight changes. Google Drive is another resource that I plan to use a lot more this year.
If you could go back to your first day on the job and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
The one piece of advice would be to write thank you notes. This is something I learned during my time getting my undergrad at Florida State and did not really start to do it until earlier this year at Iowa State. Sending a thank you note to a few people who helped you put on a well-run event or someone who went above and beyond to help you will go a long way and is a nice, thoughtful gesture.
Best career or work advice you ever received?
There are two pieces of advice I have received that really made a lasting impact on me. The first was from Lonni Alameda, who gave me my start in athletics as a student manager with FSU Softball. She told me, “Take pride in everything that you do.” That has always stuck with me. No matter how big or small a task is I make sure to take ownership of it, do it the right way, and complete it in a timely manner.
The other piece of advice comes from a couple different people. Roger Gardner from Learfield Communications recently spoke to our athletic department and blew me away as he made me realize how big of an impact athletic staff members play in a student-athlete’s experience during their four years, as well as their future.
In a similar sentiment, Courtney Martinez, one of our assistant coaches at Iowa State, had recently explained to me that we have already had our four-year college experience and so we need to everything we can to try to give our student-athletes just as great of an experience if not better. During my own collegiate athletics experience as a student manager, I had three of the greatest years of my life. So much so that I wanted to try to emulate that for others during their collegiate experience so that they can go on to great things in their future whether it is in athletics or not.
Something else I have learned and want to pass along to others is to be adaptable. There are so many times where things may not go as planned or you have to change something in the blink of an eye. Also, do everything you can in preparation to try and eliminate potential problems.
What do the first two hours of your day look like?
My day typically begins with checking emails and tackling my to-do list. The only difference would be if there were something that may have come up that needs immediate attention. During our playing season, in the spring, the beginning of the day begins with making sure everything is ready to go for our upcoming trip if we are not already on the road.
As you look at the athletic operations field, what is one area that is growing/changing the most?
One of the biggest aspects of this profession that has been growing is the exposure. Athletic Ops is doing a great job of getting the word out about the athletic operations field and giving people in the field a resource to help everyone in the field. The Ops Nation podcast is also a great tool for fellow athletic operations employees to hear and learn from some of the best in the field.
In addition to the exposure, technology would have to be the next facet that has helped grow this field. All of the technology at our disposal that helps us to make our jobs more efficient and easier is unreal. There are so many different tools out there that can help you stay organized and stay on top of everything going on.
First event, person, or job that sparked your interest in this field of work.
Lonni Alameda gave me my first opportunity back in the fall of 2011 to be a part of the Florida State Softball family. Being able to work alongside Antonio Santiago while at Florida State was neat because I got to see everything he did to help the program there and it really intrigued me. At the time though, my mind was set on coaching softball and after graduating, Gay McNutt gave me my first coaching opportunity in softball at Stephen F Austin as an assistant coach. In the back of my head though I knew at some point I wanted to get into the operations side of softball. A couple years later Jamie Trachsel gave me the opportunity to be the director of softball operations at Iowa State. Then Jamie Pinkerton also gave me the opportunity to remain as the director of softball operations at Iowa State the following year. Since being in operations, it is everything I thought it would be and more. I love what I do and am grateful for the opportunity to do so.
photo credit: Iowa State Athletics