Sunday, June 6, 2010

Volunteer Coordinating for NCAA Golf Regional

By Jodi Hutchinson (SMBA '11)

A couple of months ago I was asked to be the Head Volunteer Coordinator for the 2010 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Regional hosted by San Diego State at Carlton Oaks Golf Course. I have had many amazing volunteer opportunities since beginning this year as a Sports MBA student but, I must say, this one turned out to be the most challenging and valuable experience of them all.

Due to my previous experience in the golf industry, the SDSU athletic department and the San Diego Sports Commission felt I could help them figure out how and where to search for volunteers. I have to admit at first I thought to myself that even though I had experience in the golf business I lacked the resources to find the 42 volunteers needed each day; not because I didn’t think I could do it, but simply because I am from Chicago and just moved here in January! My golf coach always told me to act as if, meaning act as if you had been there before and the only thing you could always be good at was faking it until you make it. So, that is exactly what I did.

One of the many valuable lessons I learned is nothing ever goes according to plan and learning how to deal with that is an important skill that will go a long way in business and the sports industry. I have to be honest, this job put me under a lot of pressure and I struggled to act as if a lot of the time I was searching for volunteers. Having this opportunity also helped me learn that people are more willing to help than you might think. They are even willing to help a complete stranger like myself.

My job would not have been successful without the help of the volunteers. The NCAA was happy and San Diego State University and Carlton Oaks were deemed great hosts, which is what makes me most proud. Any type of event in sports rarely happens without a large amount of volunteer help. So, I must give thanks to all of the volunteers for this event, because even if you do not think you make a difference, you truly do!

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