Why sports? This is a common question that I have been asked a lot this past year by friends, professors, random people and in interviews.
At first I have to admit that I was taken aback when I was asked this question because I have always thought, why not sports?
I did not really play sports growing up and in high school. Just a little bit here and there but only for fun and not on a competitive basis with the intention of pursuing it further.
I didn’t consider playing sports seriously until I came to the University of La Verne and joined the cheer squad. This lack of experience on an athletic team also adds to the curiosity people have as to why I want to pursue a career in sports public relations and marketing.
In January’s internship class, we had to develop a short, to-the-point personal statement to use during interviews.
Once I figured out what I wanted to do, I was able to start mine confidently with, “I am a person who is passionate about sports with a varied knowledge in the field.”
Even though I don’t have the same experience of an athlete on a team, I do have the drive and passion to pursue a career in sports.
Where did this passion come from, you ask?
I have to give a lot of credit to my family who has always encouraged me to do whatever I wanted. It also helped that my dad and uncles are sports fans.
But the biggest influence of all of this is being immersed in sports. This came in the form of being a fan of professional sports and being a part of the “culture” here at La Verne.
Seeing people close to me play has been fun and has also been a learning experience. These people have, in many ways, helped fuel my passion and get me excited about pursuing a career in sports.
In Southern California, we have so many professional sports teams: the Ducks and Kings in hockey, the Sparks, Clippers and Lakers in basketball, the Angels and Dodgers in baseball, the Galaxy and Chivas USA in soccer and the Avengers in arena football. History is constantly being made on our courts, fields and rinks.
Last summer I completed my tour of visiting all of the Major League ballparks in Southern California. Even though there are not too many, it was something that I was happy to accomplish. Not only did I get to travel, but it put things in perspective for me and I realized that I would love to work in sports.
Being a woman in a man’s world is a tough challenge, though.
There’s the challenge of trying to catch up on sports by reading news online or watching the latest “SportsCenter” to get up to date on what’s going on. But sometimes guys will take it a step further and test your knowledge.
One of my roommates told me that one of her guy friends started quizzing her on MLB teams because he didn’t think she knew anything about the sport, but she got the satisfaction of answering his questions correctly.
The funny thing is most of my girl friends are sports fanatics too.
With graduation coming soon, I am excited for what is to come. Hopefully you will be seeing me working at a ballpark or arena or for a sports network soon.
Marilee Lorusso, a senior journalism major, is sports editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.