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What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

Academy Sports + Outdoors is a 5-billion-dollar sporting goods retail chain with 240 stores in 17 states throughout the southeast. My role as a Brand Content Manager is to manage our brand content team and strategy which includes our digital video assets for our social platforms (i.e. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube), our TV broadcast assets for our relationship with the Southeast Conference (SEC), ESPN and our influencer relationships with professional athletes, TV Shows and ESPN analysts. A typical day for me is comprised mostly of film production, where I manage our strategy for each specific shoot we're on. This past year I filmed things like flounder gigging in knee-deep gator-infested swamps in Louisiana with Marty Smith from ESPN, large scale sporting events like the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl and Holiday Gift Guide videos with pro athletes such as Houston Astro shortstop, Carlos Correa. There's never really a dull moment in the sports and outdoor space.

How did your experience at CMU prepare you for your career? 

My experience at CMU was really the foundation for the success I've had in my career, and my time as a student-athlete at CMU was monumental for my growth as a person. I had unbelievable coaches like Coach Ramunno, Robidoux and Stafford and many more along the way, that helped shape my character and attitude. No matter what, they taught me to always fight for my goals and aspirations even if they were too big for me. Those lessons truly prepared me for the workplace. I also had the opportunity to study business under amazing professors that truly invested in you like Dr. Bridge, Dr. Hatten, Dr. Fossett, Dr. Bell and Dr. Moorman. The list of great professors at CMU is obviously longer than this and I can say that all of the skills I learned from them I use today. Most importantly, my teammates were the best group of men I could ask to be around and it prepared me to make great connections throughout my career and build lasting relationships at my workplace.

What was your transition like from being a student to your career position? 

 My first job right out of college I was working from 4 am-6 pm every day, it was exhausting. Something I learned is that you have to keep trying until a better opportunity presents itself. If you work hard, opportunities will come along, and you'll catch a break. Mine came when I was offered a position as an Associate Brand Manager for Cabela's Inc. at their headquarters in Sidney, Nebraska (a 2,000 person town in rural Nebraska). There I learned all about TV broadcast and social media strategy from some very bright people at both Cabela's and our ad agency, Ogilvy & Mather in New York City.

What do you think set you apart from the other applicants for your current position?

When it comes down to it, one thing that can set you apart from the rest of the pack is your work ethic. Whether it was 6 am running in zero degree temperatures, practices, homework or finals, I was prepared to take on whatever life threw at me because of CMU. For me, I moved to six different cities and three states over the past ten years for career opportunities or promotions. Sometimes it's just what you have to do to get ahead.

What advice would you give to incoming students?

This is really for any student at CMU. I've got no magic formula so take it for what it's worth, but here are a few tips that might help. Sign up for the 8 am classes, build good habits, study and go to class. Don't be afraid to get a tutor either. I wish I took that advice sooner. Do yourself a favor, get an internship! Trust me, I took the long road and could've made life a little easier on myself. That one internship could separate your application from the next college graduate. The last thing, have fun with your friends and enjoy the wonderful city of Grand Junction and all that it has to offer. It's truly a special place at CMU.

Connect with Spencer on LinkedIn

Published 3/13/2019