Thursday, October 20, 2011

Marc Zumoff: "When You're an Intern, You're in The Farm System."

MARC ZUMOFF WAS not the most popular kid in high school when he was growing up in Northeast Philadelphia. He was heavy and socially awkward.

"I wasn't really that dynamic," Zumoff said.

That lasted into his time while a student here at Temple.

Now, however, he gets paid to talk about basketball as the voice of the Philadelphia 76ers. He's one of around 30 professional basketball play-by-play announcers in the country. He gets front row seats, flies first class, stays in the best hotels and eats at high-end restaurants ... as his job.

His message to you?

"If you have similar aspirations," he said, "go for it."

What do you need to do to reach your dreams? Here's Zumoff's advice:

• Believe in yourself.
• Start reaching for your dreams now. "Have a personal mission statement," Zumoff said. "Everything you do should lead to that goal."
• Join associations and make friends. It doesn't matter how good you are if you can't get your foot in the door. You need to know people.
• Do an internship. "It's a great way to make contacts," he said.
• While interning, be a model citizen. Dress appropriately. Be polite. Take the initiative and do the work required of you with a smile, and do it before you're asked to do it.
• Your bosses are watching. Interns get promoted. "Two of my former interns are now my bosses," Zumoff said. "When you're an intern, you're in the farm system."

• Talk to people doing what you want to do. Ask them how they reached their position.
• Try writing letters. You want to stand out.
• Make the connections when making connections. Who do you know in common? And ask folks who they can connect you to.
• Build a network of positive people who can help you in your career.
• Kiss asses? "Yes," Zumoff said. "That's exactly what I'm saying."

Here are a few other things he mentioned:

• If he talks about the NBA lockout, he, the team or his company could be fined.
• Eric Snow did not fall asleep on air.
• Charles Barkley was everything a professional basketball superstar was not supposed to be - relatively small and sort of heavy. But he was awesome.
• Same for Allen Iverson. "He did what he did and he shouldn't have," Zumoff said, referring to Iverson's talents despite his relatively diminutive size. "He lived and played with reckless abandon."

• While attending Temple, Zumoff drove heavy equipment trucks at a scrap iron/ steel yard.
• He spent his first five years after college in radio news.

What stood out for you?


Paul Dehel said...

i thought Marc had a great presentation. His information seems like it will be very helpful one day when I start my first internship. He inspired me to get involved now, so I went and joined WHIP. i thought Marc was a cool guy who told things how they were and did not try to sugarcoat anything about the industry. He is a true example of "if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life."

Anna Ryan said...

Marc was very inspiring and told us to "go for it" even when other people put you down and say you will never reach that goal. Even though he was encouraging, he mentioned the fact that it wasn't going to be easy and there would be some obstables to overcome. But, if you work hard you can achieve your dream job. I thought his presentation was great and extremely engaging.

Taylor Tropea said...

This was definately my favorite speaker so far. He was informative, engaging and inspiring, and I left class with the motivation and confidence to pursue my career. His tips were extremely helpful and I will keep them in mind for the future. Overall, Marc Zumoff gave great advice and I am appreciative he took the time out to come speak to us.

Hayley Condon said...

I found Marc Zumoff to be incredibly arrogant and self-absorbed. The first 20 minutes of his presentation was spent boasting about his fabulous life and all of its perks. I don't care about him staying in the Four Seasons, nor do I care about his airline attendant. And to cap off his "Look How Glamorous My Life Is" speech, he had to gloat about the fact that he gets a check in the mail during the summer while he's doing nothing (after we had just spent the first 10 minutes of class talking about student loans).
He also seemed very keen on avoiding the less-glamorous part of his life. He only talked about his career pre-Sixers when asked, and even then he said very little. Also, when asked about his time at Temple, he skirted around the question and briefly mentioned a name, as if the entire topic was irrelevant.
However, his advice on making contacts was helpful, but I feel as if he has a very skewed perception of the very industry he works in. "It's easy, make some friends and then you'll have an awesome job like ME" seemed to be his message.
Overall, I preferred our previous guest speakers because they didn't try to impress the class and they were significantly more humble.

Scott Samuel David Weiss said...

HOLY GUACAMOLE! Out of the three guests we have seen during this semester, Mr. Zumoff has the most punk, spunk, and surplus of energy. One of the best aspects of Zumoff's presentation involved the fact that he is willing to be your friend in order to begin your career path ambition; moreover, he did not blurt one instance of a fleeting nefarious expletive (excluding "[ three letter donkey]). Scott S.D. Weiss saw Mr. Zumoff in the past twice at Sesame/Rockwood daycamps in Blue Bell (PA), but each time Zumoff was seen behing the scenes texting on a cellular device and talking to Hip Hop (mascots are not supposed to talk, especially around (in this case) camp counselors)).
-Scott Samuel David Weiss
Temple University Class of 2015

Jennifer Arcia said...

I really think Marc Zumoff has been one of the best speakers in class so far. He really made a great point about believing in yourself. You need to believe in yourself if you are going to make it in whatever profession you pick. I loved that he talked about making friends and gave us many different ways to make these friends or connections. Marc definitely made me feel more confident to continue aspiring to be whatever I want to be whether it is writing for a music magazine or just anything music related.

Ruth Garrett said...

Marc's presentation will definitely stay with me through my college years. It is always inspiring to hear somebody tell you that they were in a position very similar to yours and they were able to eventually live their dream. He was very honest and motivational. I'll remember things he said when I apply for internships and make other moves like that.

Cindy Stansbury said...

I though Marc's presentation to be in my opinion the best yet. Not only did he tell us what he did but he told told us the most important information; how to get where he is. He motivated me to keep pursuing me dream and thats why his presentation was so valuable

Sunil Chopade said...

At first he seemed to want to paint a rosy, idealistic portrait of the profession which initially made me almost tune out, but his rant on having to kiss ass -however depressing- really brought the talk back to more realistic terms (the letter-writing but was a nice touch, that's pretty much a lost art). I still have to say my favorite guest speaker thus far is Steve Esack.

Alexis Wilkinson said...

I found Marc to be very interesting and motivating. I really enjoyed his talk because he gave us many tips on contacting people and information on internships. I liked that he put into perspective how many people start off at an internship level and then work their way to become viable parts of the company. Also, when he said that even if we are doing something we feel is useless at an internship, it could always turn into something more.

Brianna Shestack said...

Marc, by far, has been the best speaker in class so far. I am interested in going into broadcasting and to have a person as successful as Marc come into class was an amazing opportunity. His speech was inspiring, full of invaluable information, and gave me the motivation to start making connections in the industry.

Christasia Wilson said...

I didn't know who Marc Zumoff was until he arrived at for his presentation. Since Marc does broadcasting journalism, honestly I thought it wouldn't relate to me. Marc totally did the opposite of what I expected. Not only did he talk about his job and how he got started. Marc also told us a lot of important information on how to break out into the career of your dreams. So many people tell me I will never be a great journalist because there is so much competition. Zumoff reassured to me that anything is possible if you just believe.

Anonymous said...

To me, Marc Zumoff was the most interesting speaker we've had so far. He was an under dog, heavy and didn't make friends easily, but he overcame that and is one of the 30th most popular sports announcers. He inspired me to get myself out there and it was like he was speaking directly to me when he talked, like he was saying as my personal coach, "go out there and do your best and believe in yourself." That really spoke to me and he inspired me to start being more proactive in my own life.

[godard] said...

made in usa...
the seventy sixers are not a good basketball; they are a great team.
philly fans---they are blue collar, as is the team

Rita Kraynak said...

I thought that Marc Zumoff's presentation to our class was one of the best one's we've had so far. I liked how he was so, truly passionate he is about his job. He was also very encouraging and showed that hard work can pay off, even if you're an underdog growing up. I thought his advice about keeping in contact with a possible employer without being too "naggy" or annoying was very crucial to our success as a future journalist, or in any career for that matter.

Rich Flanagan said...

I thought Marc was terrific. He has always had great enthusiasm and love of sports. I knew he was electric and lively in the broadcast booth during Sixers games, but I was not expecting him to be that energetic during a lecture hal speech to a class. Marc is everything I hope to see myself as in the future. He loves what he does, he works hard to make sure he's good at what he does, and, most of all, he is good at what he does. People respect and look up to Marc. Marc sees his status in life as an opportunity to give back by offering young journalists a chance to get involved and excel in broadcasting. Marc is a terrific example of how hardwork can ultimately pay off. The major point he told our class was, "If you have similar aspirations, go for it."

Gwen Reid said...

I thought Marc's presentation was great! Considering he holds a job that I wish someday to have (not with the Sixers) really stood out to me and helped me to listen rather than hear. Even though he did brag a lot about his life, he has the right too. He worked his ass off to deserve all those perks. Hell, if that was my life I would brag too! I am very happy he came and happy that he recognized me from my earlier years as the little girl that stood next to my father at every philly sports game. He also works at the Wells Fargo Center so I hope I see him around and can chat with him more!

les mepris said...

basketball announcing? that's got to be tough.
traveling the country with professional athletes---call it work---and get the summers off...

Kyle Martin said...

After seeing and hearing Marc Zumoff on 76ers TV broadcasts for nearly my entire life, it was amazing to be inches from him and listen to him speak. He was exactly what I had hoped he would be. Zumoff clearly came to our class prepared to not only entertain, but to teach. Even though Bob Ford and Steve Esack were interesting to hear from, Zumoff never seemed to be reaching for words or ideas to share with us. Undoubtedly, I could have listened to him for another hour. I not only left that class informed, but I left inspired and motivated even more to pursue my dreams.

John Murrow said...

Hearing Mark speak was really awesome. Nearly two weeks after he spoke, his words still have an effect on me. He showed that anybody can make it in anything they want as long as the pursue what they dream and stay persistent. He gave great advice when interning and helped me understand how to get an internship and how to work your way up in the field you pursue.