Thursday, November 4, 2010

Making Friends, With Marc Zumoff.

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?

29 comments:

christine kostoroski said...

I thought he was absolutely awesome! He kept the crowd lauhging and tuned into what he was saying. He was not a boring guest speaker at all and I am glad I had the chance to listen to him! His advice for getting your career started was awesome and very useful!

Joe Cranney said...

Marc was great. He not only was very entertaining but he also was extremely helpful. He literally gave step by step instructions on how to network and meet people. I'm definitely going to follow his guidelines when i attempt to branch out. I also thought that it was very generous of him to give out his business card and be willing to help us. He was very kind and thoughtful.

Brittany Roig said...

I enjoyed Mark's advice a lot and found it helpful. He was a fun speaker and definitely kept everyone interested. The only thing that somewhat bothered me was when he said something to the effect of "think ass kissing". I am not someone who is fake and I do not like the idea of sucking up to someone, it seems very stupid to me. Overall though I very much liked Mark's advice and I think he would be an interesting speaker to invite back for other classes.

Breland Moore said...

Marc was fantastic! It was so great to hear from someone so high up in the industry I'd like to break into. I took down all those "Steps to Success" and I'm definitely taping them to my wall. He was an amazing speaker and I'll be sure to contact him and add him to my "friends" list!

Kevin said...

Hearing Marc break down his helpful tips inspired me to snail mail some places for internships, for sure.

Becka Katz said...

I thought Marc was a wonderful speaker. I have been watching him on CSN for a very long time and to hear him speak about how much he loves what he does was awesome. I am very interested in his field of work and to listen to someone who does it everyday speak so passionately about it makes me want to work even harder. He woke all of us up and got everyone involved as much as he could. A+ for him :)

Camille Mola said...

Marc is absolutely captivating speaker. He's just so passionate about not only his career, but life in general. It was so refreshing and inspiring to see someone who was as happy as he is with his career. The fact that he told us it was not always this grand for him and that he was once in our shoes was really good to hear. He really got the message across that a lot of hard work can get you a long way.

Brenna Dinon said...

I really enjoyed Marc coming in to talk with us today. He had some great insight and really had me thinking about following through with my dreams. It was nice to hear his story and know that it's possible to chase after your dream until you achieve it. I liked how he was real with us and didn't sugar coat anything. I am glad he was able to share his advice.

Jonathan said...

I got there a bit late, so I missed the beginning, but it was refreshing to hear the advice that I've heard so many boring times before put in an entertaining way by someone who the advice actually worked for.

Sebastian Ade said...

I found Zumoff very helpful. His perspective on the industry was very straightforward. I will definitely utilize his techniques on how to network with other industry people.

Cassandra D'Amelio said...

It was wonderful to meet such a motivational speaker who has achieved their ultimate, seemingly far-fetched, career goal. I thought it was funny how he said his passion emerged as a child announcing stick-ball games. He gave great tips; I plan on saving my notes from his lecture for future reference. I liked his views on networking, making friends, and never giving up. After his speech I followed up with a job I was awaiting to hear back from. I sent a letter of my own talking much more about the company than myself. The employer called me back within the hour and I have an interview Wednesday! Thanks Marc!!
Although I felt inspired by his speech, there were two aspects that bothered me. The first one was the advice to kiss-ass. I feel that if someone wants to one day be seen as an equal, they should maintain their dignity and respect by being true to theirself rahter than brown-nosing the boss. The second comment I found troubling was when a fellow female classmate asked if it would be possible for a woman to grow in his career at his level. He kept contradicting himself saying "Yes there is room for women- on the SIDE-LINES..." Great to know that in 2010 women can aspire to be on the side-lines of male dominated fields. Men like women so they made room for us? It came of as a little bit sexist.
Overall, great speech, far from a boring guest, and I am glad i had the oppertunity to meet him. Maybe he was just being honest about people who kiss-ass getting far and women not being able to get ahead in male dominated fields, who knows? Next time maybe he can clarify it

Arianna Santiago said...

Marcs speach was just captivating. There was never a dull moment from his booming voice to his hand gestures. He knew what he was talking about and what he wants us to strive for, a career that we will love. Im yearning to be in the sports broadcasting industry so everything he said and all of his tips about networking and being different from the crowd was some of the best career advice ive heard. Thank you george for bringing him. It was truely an honor to be in his presence, especially after an amazing 76er win!

Kandace said...

I thought Marc was helpful and an all around awesome guy. He offered a lot of good advice while managing to engage with the students. He put the idea of working in this tough industry into an easier perspective, and now it doesn't scare me as much to think about it. After listening to him give us a play-by-play of what we should do to get a job, I felt like I could do it, and I will use his tips whenever I start my job-search (which should be really soon).

Haley Kmetz said...

The biggest tip that stood out to me was the mention of befriending those close to the contact you desire to meet with. The secretary of someone in charge works so intimately with them that they are perhaps one of the best people to contact. They may be overlooked by many, but they should be one of your first attempts at making a connection.

Sarah Norris said...

I loved hearing Marc, and I took avid notes to keep for future reference! His advice was so different from what I typically hear about internships and how to make connections -- it went deeper than simply "Get their email address and stay in touch" which was really helpful.
Not to mention he was very attention-grabbing at 9:30 in the morning!

Shannon Taylor said...

I wasn't feeling him. I kind of thought he was just bragging and ego-centric. Honestly, he did not inspire me. I felt that he was pushing people to follow careers for only monetary benefits rather than pursuing their dreams. I do not think my hopeful career will bring me loads of money, but it will surely bring me happiness.

Julianna said...

I thought he was great and he definitely hit on the appeal of the job for me, which is like free riding and meeting people. But with regard to some of his advice I was like, "do I really have to kiss that much ass?"

Adrianne Ranck said...

Marc is one of those people that has the power to make other people re-think their abilities. He's optomistic, encouraging, and reppin' the strategy "give it your all, or give it nothin". His attitude is what got him his job, and it's what makes me want to get my butt in gear.

Eleana Wehr said...

I thought he was great! I liked that he seemed so down to earth and gave us so much great information and tips on starting our career now and becoming successful. I am planning on keeping the notes I took during the class and keeping them for further reference when preparing to meet with professionals in the field.

Kelly Offner said...

Awesome. Wish I had his intro. recorded to listen to every morning haha, very inspirational!
Really admired that he hung around for a significant amount of time after class making to talk to everyone that had waited in line.
bonus points for his curb your enthusiasm plug

Lauren Haber said...

I agree with Shannon in saying that I thought Marc was extremely self-centered. While I did think he had great advice about being passionate in regards to career choice and a few other things, I completely disagreed with his advice to be totally fake towards people. Whether you're trying to "make friends" or not, there is always a fine line between being tactful and being completely fake and insincere.

Anonymous said...

Marc Zumoff's presentation last Tuesday was by far my most favorite part of J1111 this year. No matter what your major is, you could learn something from his presentation.

Zumoff spoke honestly to us. He didn't butter us up with false truth's of what could be our future. He made it very clear that no matter what we want to do with our life that we need to work on it, and nothing comes easy.

What stood out most for me was when Zumoff spoke about how close he was to give up on his dream. Obviously, it paid off for him and this was a really important message for me to hear.

Lauren Petrie said...

I thought that Zumoff's presentation was very helpful. All of the advice that he gave us I have saved to make sure that I look back on in the future. He could relate to all of us because we're entering a very competitive field, like Zumoff. He also spoke the truth, he didn't try to fool us. He taught me that by working hard for the job that you love and want to continue, you will succeed.

Lauren Hertzler said...

What stood out to me the most was his tips on how to write to the person in charge of a place you want to get an internship at.
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.
He also said to keep it short, or else they won't even read it.
I know that I usually keep e-mails far from short, and I know without this advice I would probably flat out tell the person that I want an internship (making me sound pushy or demanding).
I think these particular tips of his are completely thought out. I will definitely take his advice now, and in the future.

Anonymous said...

Zumoff was by far one of the best speakers we have had in this class. His suggestions to succeed are simple suggestions that will really allow us to stand out and be recognized. I really enjoyed his speech.

- Taisje Claiborne

Alison Curran said...

He was one of the best speakers we have had. He came out ready to talk and he knew what he wanted to talk about too. I liked how he was interactive and excited about what he was talking about. It is obvious he loves what he does and it is something to admire. We all need to find something that we look forward to getting up in the morning and starting our job.

He provided us with a lot of useful tips in making ourselves stand out. With the way the job market is right not it is imperative we stand out among all the people who are vying for the same thing. The tips will come into great use when i apply for internships and jobs in the future.

Her Name Is Sam Kelly said...

Nothing has to stay the way it is, if that is not the way the person wants it to be.

GET IN THE DOOR & stay there! Woho!

Giulia Valtieri said...

I loved his positive outlook on life! some of the advice he gave for succeeding in life and loving your job was a bit cheesy but true at the same time. I have never met a person who truly loves their job that way.

Francine Mensah said...

I really enjoyed Marc's lecture! I think that he gave great advice about how to get your foot in the door, and make it in such a competitive industry! His pointers on how to grab the attention of future employers was really beneficial and stood out to me. He sheds light on difficult times he had to deal with. But his struggles and fights, helps me to understand that that is something that i might encounter, but ultimately, pushing through is what will get me to where i want to be.