Think you would like to work in professional sports? Terence Yee ’16 stresses that a career in the sports business is more hard work than glamour. He provides a behind-the-scenes look at his job with the Golden State Warriors and his plans for the future.
A career in sports has been the focus for Terence Yee ’16 since his junior year when he interned with Titan Athletics. Today, the Cal State Fullerton business grad is utilizing his love of basketball by working for the Golden State Warriors, fulfilling a dream he’s held since his middle school days.
The Low-Down on Working for the Warriors
“As an event guest services member, I attend all Warriors home games during the season,” says Yee. “My duties vary from game to game, but the best way to describe what I do is customer service and fan support. I am always looking to be proactive in giving fans, season ticket holders and clients the best experience at a Warriors game. This entails giving arena directions, assisting in promotional giveaways and other game night activities.”
While many students might assume that working in professional sports is glamorous, Yee cautions that it is very hard work. “It is a fast-paced, high-pressure environment, truly a grind in which you may work longer hours than a traditional work week, including weekends and holidays. A normal day is hardly routine, and you never know what to expect and how busy it may be on a given game night.”
Yee’s commitment stems from his lifelong love of sports. “I grew up playing sports and this is where my passion comes from, allowing me to enjoy pursuing a career in this field,” he says. “I can’t stress enough how much it is an honor and privilege to work for a world-class organization such as the Golden State Warriors at such an exciting time on and off the court.”
The Soft Skills for Sports Business Success
While the marketing coursework that Yee completed at Mihaylo has been crucial to his success, he notes that soft skills are even more vital in any industry. “Some of these skills include learning how to follow directions, paying attention to detail, communicating effectively and multi-tasking under pressure,” he says. “These skills cannot be taught in textbooks or classes and can only be gained through work experience and interaction with people. I always strive to articulate in behavioral interview questions that I can do these ‘little things’ well and my recommendation to students is to identify experiences and situations in which you executed these soft skills.”
Yee believes that involvement in student clubs is a great way to build these coveted soft skills. “I give credit to my business fraternity, Pi Sigma Epsilon (PSE), which helped me grow professionally and provided opportunities such as mock interviews to help me excel and prepare for interviews.”
“Like many others, I literally started at the bottom of the industry and have strived to work my way up,” he says. “I’ve told people who want to enter this competitive industry that you have to get your foot in the door and start somewhere. For me, it was my internship in sports marketing with Titan Athletics in 2014.”
To the Future
“I think the No. 1 questions that occupy the minds of college students and recent graduates are ‘What is next?, What direction do I want my career to go in?’ I’m constantly looking for some sort of direction as well. I recognize that many things in your professional life are out of your control, and you will run into many obstacles and road bumps. However, I try to focus on what I can control, which includes getting the most out of yourself by taking advantage of all opportunities and improving every day, whether professionally or personally,” says Yee.
While uncertain of the particulars of his career path, Yee is planning to follow his passion for sports and continue to move up in the industry. “I know it’s always important to have a back-up plan, and I’d like to thank Mihaylo for giving me a well-rounded business education to pursue a career in marketing someday if a sports career doesn’t work out,” he says.
Yee recognizes that every day is a new opportunity for growth and development. “The most important advice I could give to anybody in college is learn to be present in the moment and enjoy every day with a heart of gratitude, as one day your college experience will be over. I try to apply this advice daily and am beyond thankful for the opportunity to work for the Golden State Warriors.”
For More Information
For more on sports marketing, visit the Mihaylo Department of Marketing at SGMH 5214 or online.