How Leading a Club Sports Program has Helped me Grow Professionally

This past May, I officially finished my junior year of college. This year was my first full year being a Management Information Systems (MIS) major in the Eller College of Management, prior being Pre-Business before Professional Admissions. I have also been fortunate to be recognized as a leader and obtain leadership roles like Secretary of the Eller Social Media Club, a Peer Academic Leader for the Eller College for my second year, and run my own Peer Mentoring Program.

One role that I had in which I have unexpectedly grown a lot professionally and personally from was being President and Co-Captain of the University of Arizona’s Women’s Club Water Polo Team this past year.

All of these roles I have grown SO much personally and professionally but I want to shed a light on how sports, specifically the Club Sports department because you truly learn leadership fundamental skills when running a club sport.

I have been playing water polo for over 7 years now, and it is crazy to believe I will be finished playing for a school by the end of next year.

Photo credits to San Diego Sports Domination for this photo
Check out their website: https://sandiegosportsdomination.com/

When being a part of a club sports team at the University of Arizona, the club’s board is in charge of organizing every aspect of the program in order for the program to be ran through the university. Examples of what the Arizona Women’s Water Polo Team club sport had to endure in was having the conference calls to schedule tournaments, creating fundraisers for us to pay for our travel expenses, hire a coach, attend monthly meetings and weekly practices, and truly set the tone for the team overall.

It is no lie that there were some challenging unexpected situations that our team’s executive board had to endure in, which caused some roadblocks. For example, details aside, our team had to change our club sport name due to university policy which held us back from being able to run specific fundraisers during our fall semester, since specific forms needed time to process to align with our new club name. But with this situation alongside others, I learned that you can only put so much negative stress on the situation, but with actively communicating with other members of the executive board of the team and working together to solve the issue alongside other, made us grow as a team and successfully solve all unexpected events like this one.

That is just one of the situations that occurred that was not expected, as working alongside the Arizona Women’s Water Polo club sports board. But in the end of all the situations, we grew as people, athletes, leaders, and as a team. In fact this year we were ranked top 4 among our division, which is a record from the prior years I have been attending the University of Arizona.

This year would not have been successful if it was not for the amazing board, coach, and all the players committing their time to this program!

Entering this past year as President I did not expect to grow and develop so much personally AND professionally that it has been truly a life changer now going into senior year and entering in my career in business technology.

Today I am currently in New Jersey for the summer working as a Business Systems Analyst Intern for Honeywell. As I continue my internship and my career in the technology industry, I look forward to bringing the skills I have learned through helping lead a club sports program and develop them even more as well and learn new skills in the working world.

As I enter my senior year, I have learned that team naturally selects one to be the “leader” but also as that leader, you can see who also naturally can follow in those foot-steps to lead. I truly also want others to be able to evolve as well through similar opportunities I endured in. Therefore, I will be handing over the role of President to another very dedicated and smart individual on the water polo program and will continue my role as Team Lead Manager, Immediate Past President. I will be able to assist the President in any ways she needs and helping out the program as a manager but overall allowing others to lead this program in a larger way for them to gain leadership experience and for me to gain new skills as more of a backbone role, leading alongside the new President.

Also with my other involvements with next year being Co-President of the Eller Social Media Club and being more involved with the Eller College in general, I look forward to growing professionally in these new activities as they take place next year, as well as undertaking this new role on the club sport Arizona Women’s Water Polo Team.

Truly am thankful to have not only have endured in leading the Arizona Women’s Water Polo Team but also in my roles in the Eller College of Management and for the roles yet to come. Now my focus is learning and growing in my internship and the next will be senior year of college.

#professionalgrowth #clubsports #waterpolo

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