Lately, I have been asked more and more about being a woman in sports. I think this is because I work a variety of different jobs through LSU; one of them being visible through my interviews online and on television. I really enjoy when young, aspiring sports broadcasters reach out to me to ask for advice, because it’s kind of surreal to think that I am at that point in my career where people ask me questions. I’m in my thirties and still ask questions and for advice on a regular basis!
When I started this blog, I wanted it to be a place to share my experiences in the challenging and exciting world of working in sports journalism, while working for one of the best football programs in the country. There is no exact blueprint on how to develop your career, and after over a decade of working in sports in a variety of ways (like positions you probably didn’t even know exist), the blueprint is constantly changing and evolving.
So, I thought I would start a series all about Working in Sports with tips on what helped me navigate through this crazy career path. This is one of the main reasons I originally started this blog to begin with, and I want to stay true to that.
I was interviewed for the November issue of InRegister magazine, a monthly lifestyle magazine that covers all of the unique people, places and things Baton Rouge has to offer. I felt so honored to be included in this local magazine and alongside ESPN’s Kaylee Hartung and FOX’s Jennifer Hale. Talk about being in some good company! I had so much fun talking with Christina Leo, who wrote the article, about everything from starting at LSU as a student worker to why I started this blog to some of the challenges women in sports face. At the end of the interview she asked me if there was anything else we didn’t cover that I wanted to add. Since this was an article that would be focused on women who work in sports, I thought I would tell her one of of the biggest pieces of advice I learned first-hand.
Find other women who get it.
I was lucky to start off in a place as a student that had an established group of women already working for the team. As a student worker, I was hired by a woman. That woman, Sharon Lewis, is the only woman in the Southeastern Conference with the title of Assistant Athletic Director for Football Recruiting and Alumni Relations. When I came back to work for LSU full-time on offense, the woman who works my role on defense, Tam Davis, has worked for LSU for over 10 years and also started out as a student worker. These are the two ladies you will often see in my pictures, because we travel to away games together, work every day of the week together and spend so much time with each other that we are practically family.
Our office also includes other women in different positions, like Ya’el Lofton who is the Coordinator of Football Operations. She has worked for the LSU football team for over 20 years starting as a student. Our Administrative Coordinator is Lois Stuckey, who has worked with LSU for nearly 15 years. Lastly on the support staff side, we have Keava Soil, who is the Coordinator of Recruiting Operations and also has her law degree. Until I looked at other SEC football programs’ staffs and talked to coaches who have been at other schools, I didn’t realize how lucky we are to have this group of women here at LSU. Most staffs don’t have what we have, and we see each day what women bring to the table for a powerhouse SEC football program. It’s just normal for us.
This is so important to me personally, because it gives me an outlet of people who understand what I might be going through at any given point in time. This could include feeling like I am being overworked or overwhelmed with work hours or not seeing my husband, and they get it.
I think so many times, especially in the sports and journalism worlds, women look at each other as competition rather than seeing themselves as support to other women in sports. We can all help each other out, and we all can understand a point of view that not everyone does. It’s tough not to compare yourself to other women in the business at times, and I totally get that. I find myself struggling with that often still (another post for another day), but I know I am thankful that I am surrounded by women each day in our office, and thankful that each year I see more and more women involved within sports media here in Baton Rouge.
When Christina asked me what else I wanted to add, I also wanted to mention how supportive and wonderful my husband, Shea, is with the whole lifestyle of having a working wife in sports. It was my first interview ever and I forgot. Y’all, I forgot to mention my husband. I might be able to ask questions for a living but it is a little harder for me to actually answer them! There is no way I would be able to do what I do without the support from Shea. This will for sure be a future post in this series.
I would love to hear feedback from other women who are in the business and are working women in general. This can be one of the most helpful tools for you no matter what stage you are in of your career. I hope posts like these can help others looking to navigate a career in sports or any field. Please let me know if there are any other topics you would like me to cover or questions you may have!