EVERY DAY MARC ZUMOFF wakes up, the sun is shining and life is good.
"I'm happy to be me," he said in class today, despite the dreary rain outside.
Zumoff, a Temple grad, is the voice if the Sixers. He's one of only 30 pro basketball play-by-play announcers in the country. He flies in chartered planes, stays in fancy hotels, eats quality meals and then gets to watch some of the world's top athletes from the front row at mid-court. That's his job. He gets paid to talk about basketball.
It wasn't always this grand. When he was in college, he received so many rejection letters from potential employers that his parents suggested he become a pharmacist rather than a broadcaster. He started at a small radio station in Trenton, earning peanuts for wages. He slowly worked his way up the broadcast ladder, ultimately joining the Sixers in 1994.
He offered a few steps for reaching your dreams.
- Reach out to anyone you know who might serve as a connection to a person in charge. Make friends. You need those connections so that you stand out in comparison to all the other applicants for jobs and internships.
- When you write to the person in charge (in email or snail mail), Zumoff said to write three things:
1. Make the personal connection.
2. Ask to meet face-to-face.
3. Mention that you will follow up.
- When you sit down and meet with them, Zumoff said, don't bore them with your life history. Listen to them. Subtly remind them of your personal connections.
- Dress appropriately, as though you are interviewing for your dream job.
- In advance of the meeting, do research and arrive prepared with questions.
- Ask them for other people you should speak with (because this person is now a connection to other people for you).
- Slide them your resume, clips or demo reel before leaving.
- Stay in touch with everyone. Send thank you notes.
- When you get the internship, come early, stay late and do even the stupid stuff with a smile. Your bosses are watching you.
- In the end, it will take more than just connections to land the dream job. You need to work hard. Real hard. "No one hands you anything," he said. "You have to earn it. Pay your dues."
- Never burn bridges. It's a small, small world.
- Believe in yourself and your abilities.
- Surround yourself with positive people.
"Do whatever you have to do to get in the door," Zumoff said. "Get in the door and then move on toward that dream job."
What stood out for you?
6 months ago