On the first Monday of every month (we are a couple of days behind), a member of the Georgia State Marketing staff will give InsideGSUSports a look at what is going on in their department. This month, Becca Pang discusses making the transition from a student-athlete to a graduate assistant in the marketing office. Over the course of every month, each department will be featured at least once. Coming next Monday: Communications.
When I was a college athlete (gymnast at Maryland), I focused on my team, doing well in classes, attending practices and competing to the best of my ability. Now that I work in the athletics department, my job is completely different and I am part of a different team. However, there are many similarities I have experienced between being a college athlete and working in a college athletics department.
In college gymnastics, we competed in the spring but practiced year round even when there were no competitions. In the summer, we worked on perfecting our old skills, but also learning new skills. In the same way here in the marketing department, we work year round even when we don’t have upcoming games. There are day-to-day tasks we do to keep our department running, but we also come up with new ideas for our games and fans. I still prepare for every event, but in a completely different way. Now my job is focused on getting fans to our games and making sure they have a fun time at the game, no matter what happens on the field.
This Saturday we have a home football game against Troy. It’s both our Homecoming Game and our Breast Cancer Awareness Game so we have been preparing for months. We have come up with ideas to celebrate homecoming and have been planning the logistics for the royal court crowning ceremony. For breast cancer awareness, we have been working with the American Cancer Society as well as ZTA to plan little events for the fans during the game.
In gymnastics, while preparing and practicing is a huge part of the sport, competitions are where your hard work pays off. Even if you have great practices, it doesn’t matter unless you have a great competition. This Saturday, the football game is like our competition. We will have prepared everything we could but during the game is where we execute all of our plans.
While I do miss the thrill of gymnastics competitions, every game I work now has a different thrill. There is still the same anxiety of making sure everything is executed as perfectly as possible and still the same atmosphere of working together towards a common goal. In gymnastics, success is measured by the score a judge awards you and how it compares to the other team’s score. For us in the marketing department, success is harder to measure. We can count how many fans were at the game and see if our promotions ran the way we wanted them to, but there isn’t a score that tells us we succeeded. However, one of the most rewarding parts of my job is when GSU fans, opposing team fans, and even opposing team coaches tell me they enjoyed the show we put on, and that’s when I believe that we were successful.