April 18, 2015

The Great Unprofessional Career Fair:
Erin the Ticket Operations Assistant

Ever since stumbling across Erin's blog, Love, Fun, and Football, she has been sort of an enigma to me: I knew she worked with the Bengals but I wasn't quite sure what she did for them.

As a dedicated Ravens' fan, I knew I shouldn't care... but I was intrigued. And yeah, a bit jealous. I mean, there are only so many pictures of someone at an NFL stadium you can take, even if they're your division rivals.

Which is why this post is one of my favorites so far: not only is what Erin has to say about being a Ticket Operations Assistant really interesting, it also solves the mystery of why Erin's life looks so awesome online.

Erin: thing about the sports world is that things are so up and down. Although football season might seem like it only goes Sept-Jan, I work year-round and my work is always changing! I deal with the financial side of things, processing payments, refunds and running various reports within our bank accounts to see how renewals are going, how our sales reps numbers look, etc. I describe my job as doing everything except selling tickets. I help with relocations, upgrades, provide general game-day information, work a lot of events for our season ticket holders- giving tours, dealing with lost tickets, will-call, you name it- I do it! I also do design work for our ticket office - the season tickets each year, promotional brochures, flyers, etc.

E: I knew I always wanted to work in sports but never actually planned to be in the role I'm in now. Typically everyone says the broad statement of "I want to work in marketing" and while there are great opportunities there, it wasn't for me. I like the technicalities that I deal with on a day to day basis. For a perfectionist like me- this job is perfect. I love having a method behind all the game-day madness. Our numbers and the information I deal with each day is incredibly important!

E: The sports world is incredibly hard to get into and most people give up before they've really even tried. 99% of the time you are going to have to intern (possibly unpaid!) to get your foot in the door. I worked a seasonal rep at my job for 9 months before they decided to hire me full-time. It was very trying, I drove over an hour one-way and was getting paid minimum wage. But hard work DOES pay off, you just have to be patient- which is not always my forte ;)

E: Well I love football- so there is nothing better than getting up and going to an NFL stadium every single day--- and getting paid for it!!! Even though I'm working the event, I'm at every single game and there's just a cool feeling knowing that your work behind the scenes is a small part of making this sporting event happen.

E: I won't lie- it's difficult working in a very customer-service oriented position. When the team loses? People are mad and they want someone to blame and someone to complain to. I often take the brunt of those types of calls and emails. When season ticket holders aren't happy, it's very  tough because there's usually not anything I can do. When the team wins? Everyone's happy. But when we lose... it's a different story. I've been here almost 6 years now so I've seen and heard it all.

E: I would say start as early as you can. Whether it's a part-time internship, or even just finding local sporting events to volunteer at, every event is a chance to make a connection with someone. You never know who you're going to meet and networking is HUGE in the sports world. Put yourself out there and stay committed! :)


If you have any questions for Erin, leave her a comment. Or even better, go be jealous of her at her blog!

And of course, if you want to be featured in the The Great Unprofessional Career Fair, read what it's all about here and let me know!