We were happy to get a chance to catch up with a uOSBC alumni Holly Janna. Holly spent one year with the club as the Director of Internal Relations and had a big influence on the club. We were able to ask her a few questions:
Briefly describe where you are working and your position.
I’m working for Boccia Canada (powered by the Canadian Cerebral Palsy Sports Association). It’s on the Paralympic side of sport. I am the organization’s Communications and National Team Coordinator. So I am doing anything from social media graphics and posts to coordinating travel arrangements for our Paralympic athletes for international/national competitions.
What is your favourite part about your job?
My favourite part (so far) has been challenging myself in various ways. For example, I have been researching more softwares and programs on the computer that can help add some more variety to our communications department and uniqueness as an organization. I’ve been trying to change can’ts into cans and it has been a challenge at times but I’ve also been proud of overcoming these challenges. For example, this week I learned how to create editable forms on Word (without having to use Adobe Acrobat) and I learned all by myself. I had never done anything like that before.
Do you think that your experience with the uOSBC helped you secure the position?
I definitely feel that uOSBC helped secure/prepare me for my position with Boccia Canada. For one, attending the uOSBC meetings gave me a good perspective of how meetings are generally carried out. It also helped me understand how different departments work together and the important relationships that need to be fostered as you work with other moving parts of an organization/club. I was actually asked at my interview about the Ambassador Program that I helped to implement as the previous Director of Internal Relations for uOSBC. They liked the fact that I took an initiative and not just carried out the regular operations of my club position. Although the Ambassador Program has not continued since leaving the club, it did manifest into something great which ended up being “member” positions as it is today.
Is there anything you did in your uOSBC role that has helped you within your current role?
I definitely felt as if I learned to take more risks and be more creative in my ideas during my time as a uOSBC member. I think with any organization or club you want to do things that stand out. You want to add value in some way to leave the organization/club better than they were before. Whether it’s organizing a new event, securing a new sponsorship, or adding any other creative element that could be left as a legacy after you leave... Even if it means the event falls through or the sponsorship isn’t secured.. at least you tried and can take away certain learning lessons for the next time. With uOSBC for example, I organized a CV workshop right before all of the people in my year we’re planning on applying for their internships. I knew that it would be beneficial to me so I figured it would be beneficial for my colleagues as well. Even though I’ve only been working with Boccia Canada for several weeks, I do have some things up my sleeve
What advice would you give to students that are interested in pursuing a career in the sports industry?
When you’re looking for a job: if you haven’t worked for a sport organization or sport company in some capacity beforehand, volunteer for a sporting event or get involved with the GeeGees or go to sport conferences to network (I.e. see SIRC for conferences). You can’t expect to fire off 300 CVs that look exactly the same and expect to get a job. Tailor them to your audience, etc.
Once you’ve secured a job in the sports industry: Use your expertise to your benefit!! Maybe you’re really good at video editing so try doing a creative video for your organization. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn more about nutrition so try organizing a nutrition workshop for the athletes. Any expertise you can add to the organization will be appreciated. The sports industry is constantly evolving so get ready for a lot of work but also for a lot of excitement/awe-Inspiring stories from athletes, coaches, staff, Board, etc. Go Habs!