Recently, UW-grad and former SBC member Ryan Schulman “came home, just like LeBron James,” to speak about his experiences in the sports industry.
Schulman, a native of Brown Deer, WI, graduated from UW in 2012 with a degree in Marketing and MHR. He currently is working to acquire his master’s degree from Ohio University.
Schulman has an extensive history in the sports business. While a student here, he worked for Wisconsin Event Operations and Guest Services. He also worked as a Wisconsin Marketing Intern. Outside of university involvement, Schulman has worked for Northern Illinois University as an Athletic Development Assistant (which he noted was helpful to diversify his skills at a smaller level school), the Milwaukee Brewers as a Stadium Operations and Consumer Marketing Intern, Ohio University as a Business School Graduate Assistant and Football Student Research Volunteer, as well as the San Diego Sports Consulting Project and University of Kentucky/JMI Sports.
How did Schulman get to where he is today? Networking. He said it’s not simply about giving out a business car. Rather, it’s about cultivation, nurturing and stewarding things over time. Schulman also talked about what he called a “Funnel of Networking.”
· Business CardsàProfessional Network (who you know)àProfessional Contacts (who knows you)à Confidents (Your Starting Five)
Schulman had a basketball metaphor about “Your Starting Five” and what those need to be in order for you to be to network.
1. Point Guard
a. The “floor general” in your life.
b. Knows what’s going on, and sees the bigger picture for you
c. Knows when to push the tempo and when to slow things down
2. Shooting Guard
a. In the midst of doing big things
b. High risers
c. When you need a jolt, he/she is your go-to person
3. Small Forward
a. Doesn’t show up in the box score, but does the dirty work
b. They’re always there when you’re at your best
c. They support you with perspective
4. Power Forward
a. Holds you accountable
b. Metric based and success is measured by progress
a. The veteran, they’ve been around the longest for you
b. Keeps you well grounded
They may not be your best friends, but they bring out the best in you when the time is right. And more than five is alright, because it’s great to have a sixth man. Bottom line, SURROUND YOURSELF WITH GREATNESS.
Schulman went on to touch upon the 3 P’s.
o “Separation is in the preparation.”
o “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
o Pushing through tough times.
o Know what you are doing and whom you are doing it for.
Schulman had four main points that he wanted SBC members to takeaway from his speech.
1. Working in sports is NOT a job, it is a vocation. With a vocation, you have a passion for what you do and you strive to use it and leverage it as a platform to enrich the lives of others.
2. Wins and losses come and go, but the “grind” of Monday-Friday will always be there.
3. What’s the point of climbing the ladder if the ladder is leaned up against the wrong wall?
4. It isn’t about what you want to be doing in 10 years, but rather WHO you want to experiencing, doing and sharing those experiences with!
A HUGE thanks to Ryan for returning home to talk to SBC!!
December 9, 2014: Grainger Hall, UW-Madison