All About My Major: Sport and Recreation Management

I’m currently a second-year student with a double major in Sport and Recreation Management and Journalism and Mass Communication. Like many people, I grew up loving sports. I was a manager for my high school’s football and basketball teams, and I’ve always enjoyed the behind-the-scenes work in sports. To me, pursuing a career in the business side of sports was a no-brainer when applying to colleges.

Now that I’m in college, I’m on the video staff for the Iowa football team, I’m a sports videographer for DITV Sports, I’m a social media marketing intern for a start-up sports company, and I write blog posts for the Office of Admissions.

In this post, I’ll address frequently asked questions about the Sport and Recreation Management major (more on Journalism & Mass Comm. in a future post) to serve both those who want to learn my reason for studying it and those who are looking to study it themselves.

What is Sport and Recreation Management?

It’s considered one of the fastest growing and most interesting fields offered.

In short, it’s the business side of sports. With a degree in Sport and Recreation Management, you can work in sales, marketing and promotions, communications, event management, operations, administration, public relations, journalism, social media, and the list goes on. The difference is that you’re doing that work in sports.

But you need more than just a degree in the major itself to land a job in the sport industry. You also need experience, whether through an internship or something else. It’s a combination of what you know (through classes and experiences) and who you know (the people you network with over the years).

Thankfully, the faculty within the Sport and Recreation Management major do everything they can to help get you the experience you need to land the job of your dreams.

Why Did I Choose Sport and Recreation Management?

As I previously said, I grew up loving sports. The summer before my junior year of high school, I shadowed the Manager of Business Analytics for the Chicago White Sox. From that point on, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to work in the sport industry. It was just a matter of figuring out exactly what I wanted to do in the industry and how to get there.

Along with sports, I’ve also always had a passion for writing. I learned about the Sport and Recreation Management and Journalism and Mass Communication majors during my Junior Day visit to the University of Iowa. And then I heard about The Daily Iowan. And then I was offered a position working with the Iowa football team.

I realized the University of Iowa was the perfect fit for me, and now I’m here.

What Do I Do in College?

First we learn how the sports business world works through classes involving sales, promotions, communications, finance, operations, and so on. And then we apply that knowledge to practicums and internships, which give us real world experience.

To give you a quick breakdown, the major requires you to complete 27 semester hours of foundation courses (Sales in Sport, Sport and Recreation Promotion, etc.), 12 semester hours of concentration courses (concentration areas include Business Studies, Event Management, etc.), and nine semester hours of guided or independent field experience.

Guided field experience can involve working with Iowa Athletics, the Iowa Wolves, the Iowa Wild, the Iowa Speedway, the Cedar Rapids Kernels, the Chicago Blackhawks, the San Diego Padres, and more. These opportunities are through the program and involve submitting an application to be accepted to a practicum.

However, you can also complete the field experience requirement independent from the program. This means it’s your responsibility to identify an opportunity and make arrangements with an organization. For example, you could intern with the Chicago Cubs over the summer and use that as field experience. But it’s important to remember you also have to meet with the Director of the Office of Field Experience to ensure your independent job or internship meets the field experience requirement before it starts.

You can learn even more about the curriculum here.

Another cool opportunity the Sport and Recreation Management major offers is the ability to network with industry professionals on field trips. Last spring, I went on a field trip to Minneapolis and had the chance to tour U.S. Bank Stadium, Mayo Clinic Square, and the National Sports Center, as well as ask questions during Q&A panels with executives from the Vikings’ and Timberwolves’ organizations.

This spring we’ll be heading to Nashville and Memphis to tour more facilities and meet with executives from the Tennessee Titans, Memphis Grizzlies, and Nashville Sounds. Keep an eye out for a post about this trip in March!

What Will I Do After College?

There are so many different directions you can take your career with a degree in Sport and Recreation Management. Personally, I’ve found a passion for digital communications, which can involve storytelling, content creation, and social media.

I still have a year and a half left of college, but I already have my eye on a few post-grad jobs and internships with intercollegiate athletic departments, major and minor league sport teams, the NCAA, and the NFL.

For now, I’ll continue to grow my network and gain valuable experience in the industry.

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Thank you for reading! Be sure to keep an eye out for my next post. If you want to see more of my daily life as a Hawkeye, feel free to follow me on social media. Go Hawks!

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@kam_smithy

Football in Paradise

If you would have told me six months prior to the start of my first year at the University of Iowa that I’d be on the video staff for the Iowa football team and that I’d spend a week of winter break in Tampa, I would have called you crazy.

I never thought I’d have the opportunity to work with and around a college football program before I even set foot on Iowa’s campus as a student. But a year and a half and two football seasons later, I feel right at home. Now I can’t imagine not working for this well-respected program.

Instead of going home after the Fall 2018 semester ended, I stayed in Iowa City to film practices as the Iowa football team prepared for its matchup against the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida.

On December 26th, we departed from the Eastern Iowa Airport and landed in the sunny Tampa Bay area. Once we settled in at Westin Tampa Waterside and picked up some groceries from Publix, we walked along the Tampa Riverwalk and searched for a place to eat dinner. We decided on Sparkman Wharf, which is an outdoor waterfront destination with food, music, and games. It was a cool place, but they had heat lamps on even though it was 66 degrees.

The next day we filmed the first practice of the week at the University of Tampa. For lunch, some of us ate at The Sail, which is right down the street from our hotel. (I had the first of three different Cuban sandwiches I would end up eating in Tampa.) During the afternoon, a few of us went to The Florida Aquarium, which was actually more fun than I thought it’d be. That night, we grabbed some food from Publix (where I got my second Cuban sandwich of the trip) and then headed over to Amalie Arena to watch the Tampa Bay Lightning face off against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Lightning won 6-5 in overtime, making my first NHL game an exciting one.

On December 28th, we started the day off by filming practice at the University of Tampa again. I spent the afternoon exploring downtown Tampa and walking along the Tampa Riverwalk. I even visited the Tampa Museum of Art, which was free with a student ID. That evening, we went to Topgolf where I confirmed my suspicions: I’m terrible at golf. But that’s ok because it was still fun to watch other people play while I talked, ate food, and drank Dr Pepper.

On December 29th, we again started the day off by filming practice. A few hours after practice ended, we went to Busch Gardens. Unfortunately, it was hot, the lines were long, and we only went on one rollercoaster. However, I still considered it a great day because I found a place that sold Dippin’ Dots.

There wasn’t practice the next day, so I was able to sleep in for a bit. Instead of going to Clearwater Beach with the team, I decided to go to Raymond James Stadium to watch the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play against the Atlanta Falcons in my first ever NFL game. I didn’t buy my ticket until 40 minutes before the game was set to start, and I didn’t get to my seat until right when the game kicked off. Both teams had already been eliminated from playoff contention, but the game was still really fun. The Falcons ended up beating the Buccaneers with a field goal as time expired.

On December 31st, we filmed one last practice at the University of Tampa and then headed over to Raymond James Stadium to take the team photo. After that, we tore down the meeting rooms at the hotel and relaxed for a few hours. Since it was New Year’s Eve, we ate at a place called Hattricks (where I got my third and final Cuban sandwich of the trip), went bowling at Splitsville, and watched the fireworks on the water right next to our hotel as the new year began.

The first day of 2019 was the day of the Outback Bowl. We arrived at Raymond James Stadium four hours early to set up our cameras and make sure everything worked properly. During the first half of the game, I watched from the field as the Hawkeyes took a 17-6 lead into halftime. During the second half, I filmed from the top of the scoreboard in the north end zone. It was stressful to film and watch Mississippi State’s final drive, but Iowa’s defense stopped the Bulldogs on 4th down, securing an Outback Bowl win for the Hawkeyes.

While the week I spent in Tampa was full of great food, new experiences, and a big win, I’m happy to be back in Iowa City. It’s nice to return to my usual routine, but I’m still really thankful to have a job in college that allows me to have experiences like this one.

Here’s to hoping I have a long and successful career in the sport industry no matter what I choose to do.

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Thank you for reading! I only posted once during first semester for multiple reasons, but I’m feeling much better now. Be sure to keep an eye out for my next post. If you want to see more of my daily life as a Hawkeye, feel free to follow me on social media. Go Hawks!

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@kam_smithy

Wave On Wave

Classes have been in session for over a month and I’m finally writing my first blog post of the year. It’s about time, right?

These past couple of months have been hectic for me. I’ve been putting off writing my first post because there are so many things I could talk about and I don’t know where to start. I moved into my first apartment at the end of July, fall football camp started at the beginning of August, and classes started five weeks ago. I kinda, sorta got my life together, but not really. And I still need to find a second job so I’m not living paycheck-to-paycheck.

Despite all of the craziness that I could talk about, there was one specific moment that stood out to me more than the others. One short, four minute and 20 second moment that made me remember why I want to work in sports and why I’m proud to call the University of Iowa my school — my home.

During halftime of the Iowa vs. Northern Iowa football game, Pat Green sang “Wave On Wave” live at Kinnick Stadium. As the song started, fans pulled their phones out and turned their flashlights on and started waving at the children and their families in the Stead Family Children’s Hospital. I was at the top of the south end zone, waiting to film the second half of the game, and I just remember feeling chills all over as I watched Kinnick Stadium fill up with light during the night game.

Because there’s honestly nothing better than Kinnick Stadium under the lights.

Now, I’m not a fan of country music. At all. I actually really, really hate country music. But even I have to admit that “Wave On Wave” is a beautiful song. And I think it’s a song that means something different to everyone who listens to it.

For me, it’s a reminder of the amazing people I have in my life.

My cousins, who would probably prefer to leave as quickly as possible after football games to beat traffic, are willing to wait for me so I don’t walk at night by myself. My aunt has always been there for me, whether she’s helping me move into my apartment or driving me back home after night games. My siblings might drive me crazy most of the time, but they never fail to put a smile on my face. My stepdad loves fighting with me and saying “I told you so,” but I wouldn’t trade him for anyone else. My grandpa would rather take a nap than talk to most people, but he loves talking sports with me. My grandma cares more about other people than she does herself, and words aren’t enough to describe the love and appreciation I have for her. My mom — my best friend — believes in me even when I don’t believe in myself. I’m the person I am today because of her. I’m way too emotional and cry about ridiculous things, but I’m also open-minded and hard-working and always happy to help other people.

Even when times get tough and I’m stressed out because of classes and work, I know I can count on these people to be there for me. And I hope they know that they can count on me too.

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Thank you for reading! Be sure to keep an eye out for my next post. If you want to see more of my daily life as a Hawkeye, follow me on social media. Go Hawks!

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@kam_smithy

Best Moments of Freshman Year

I can’t believe my first year of college is almost over. Since it flew by so fast, it’s kind of a blur.

In order to remember everything that happened, I looked back at my Snapchat memories. I discovered that most of my freshman year was spent eating food (Popeye’s, Panda Express, and Buffalo Wild Wings, mainly) and attending or working at sporting events, which doesn’t really come as a surprise to me.

Best Moments

Moving in

Moving away from home and saying goodbye to my parents was sad, but it made me feel grown-ish. I was finally going to experience life on my own. It was also fun getting to know my roommate.

Filming football practices and games

I absolutely love my job. I filmed games for my high school’s football team, but I never imagined I’d have the opportunity at the college level. I was a little nervous at first, but I’m glad I didn’t back out. It’s been an incredible experience so far, and I’m happy I get to work with this team for a couple more years.

Rushing the field after the football team upset Ohio State

I don’t remember for sure, but this might have been the first game I filmed. Fortunately, I only filmed the second quarter, so I got to be on the field for the amazing second half. Rushing the field is something I really wanted to do, so I’m glad I was able to during my first year.

Volunteering at athletic events

For my Sport and Recreation Management major, we have to complete nine semester hours of field experience. During second semester, I participated in the Fans First practicum, which involves customer service at athletic events. I volunteered at men’s and women’s basketball games, wrestling meets, track and field meets, and baseball games.

Binge-watching all of the MCU movies

My roommate introduced me to the Marvel Cinematic Universe during second semester when I told her I wanted to see Black Panther. It’s safe to say I became obsessed. We went to see Black Panther on February 20th, and then we went to see Infinity War on April 26th (opening night). I’m still in shock from the ending of Infinity War.

Field trip to Minneapolis 

The Sport and Recreation Management major provides its students with an insane amount of opportunities, including traveling to different cities to network with industry professionals. During the month of February, I went on a field trip to Minneapolis, Minnesota and had the chance to tour U.S. Bank Stadium, Mayo Clinic Square, and the National Sports Center, as well as ask questions during Q&A panels with executives from the Vikings’ and Timberwolves’ organizations.

Spring break trip to Columbus

The University of Iowa offers an alternative spring break program where students can travel to different U.S. cities during spring break to volunteer with a team. During spring break, I went to Columbus, Ohio to volunteer with organizations centered around juvenile justice.

 

Thank you for reading! That’s it for this school year! Feel free to follow me on social media. Go Hawks!

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@kam_smithy

6 Things You Need to Hear

It’s been a minute.

The last few weeks have been crazy. I don’t think I’ve posted anything in almost two months. My life is basically a mess.

I got back from spring break and I was hit with paper after paper and test after test. Things finally started to cool down a little, but now it’s the week before finals week. I still have a project and a couple smaller assignments to finish, but after that I need to start studying for my final exams.

It’s just crazy to think I’m almost done with my first year of college. I’ve made some mistakes, but that means I’ve learned some things as well.

If you’re an incoming freshman, these are things you need to hear:

1. It’s OK to make mistakes.

You’re only human, after all. Just make sure you learn from your mistakes.

2. It’s OK to get a bad grade.

It’s not the end of the world. Your grades don’t define you — how you spend your time does.

3. It’s OK to miss home.

Being away from home for the first time is kind of scary. Or at least it was for me. Talk to someone about it — your roommate, a friend, or whoever. It’s not something you should be ashamed of.

4. Make the most of your time here.

Join clubs. Apply for jobs and internships. Network. Don’t just sit around and wait for things to happen to you — make them happen.

5. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.

Just because you’re in college doesn’t mean you have to do what — seemingly — everyone else is doing. If it’s not something you want to do, don’t do it. Fight the peer pressure.

6. You can do this.

It may not feel like it yet, but you’re an adult. You still have a lot to learn, but you can do anything you put your mind to.

Thank you for reading! Be sure to keep an eye out for my next post. If you’d like to see more of my everyday life as an Iowa student, feel free to follow me on social media! Go Hawks!

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@kam_smithy

 

3 Ways to Find a Job in College

College is expensive. Between paying interest on student loans and living in an apartment next year, my expenses are going to add up fast. Some don’t need a job while in college, but for the majority of us a job is a necessity.

I already have a job lined up for the fall (and technically the spring too), but there’s a chance I’m going to need a second job as well.

Here are a few ways to find a job while in college:

Use HireaHawk

HireaHawk is perfect because each Iowa student already has an account set up for them, and it’s free. You can upload your resume (and get tips!), check out recommended jobs and internships, search and apply, and so much more. It seems like there are new postings almost every day.

Look for “hiring” or “help wanted” signs around town

While eating at Buffalo Wild Wings a couple weeks ago, I noticed a “hiring” sign on the door. Upon further investigation, I noticed that quite a few places in and around the downtown area had similar signs.

Ask around (or get lucky)

It never hurts to ask around. Maybe someone has heard about an opening that would be perfect for you, or can at least lead you in the right direction.

I actually got really lucky when it came to finding out about the student video assistant job with the Iowa Hawkeye football team. The head coach for my high school’s football team heard they were hiring and immediately told me about it.

Thank you for reading! Be sure to keep an eye out for my next post. If you’d like to see more of my everyday life as an Iowa student, feel free to follow me on social media! Go Hawks!

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@kam_smithy

Life at Iowa: February 2018

February 2018 started off in the best way possible with dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. It was followed by a long weekend of working at three Iowa athletic events, and the fire alarm going off late Saturday night at Hillcrest.

I woke up the day after Super Bowl Sunday to snow falling outside and received an e-mail shortly after saying that my only class that day was cancelled. Maybe that was the universe’s way of making up the Vikings’ NFC Championship loss for me. (I’m still salty.)

On February 6th, I ate ice cream at Carver for the first time during the men’s basketball team’s almost-upset win over Michigan State. At least now I know what all the “Carver Cone” hype is about.

After a busy few days because of classes and athletic events, I spent the following weekend reading books, watching movies, and (finally) doing my laundry. It felt nice to sit back and do nothing for a couple days.

By Monday, it was time to get back to work. My school week would be cut short because of a university field trip to Minneapolis, and I was going to need to make up two exams for that reason. The trip, however, was awesome because we got to tour US Bank Stadium and Mayo Clinic Square, attend the Timberwolves-Lakers game, and meet with executives from the Vikings, Timberwolves, National Sports Center, and the MLS Sales Center.

After that, classes started to get a little crazy. I was slammed with assignments and papers, but I still made time to volunteer a few hours in the event management office at Carver. I spent most of my time there making 120 credentials for the 19th annual Musco Twilight, which is on April 14th, and cutting and laminating stuff for gymnastics.

My roommate and I also watched 17 Marvel movies in two weeks (from the 5th to the 19th). I had never seen any of the MCU movies before, but I really wanted to see Black Panther in theaters since Chadwick Boseman is one of my favorite actors. So, despite not really having the time to do it, we started a Marvel movie marathon. And on February 20th, we went to see Black Panther.

Barely having a life (not that I usually have one anyway) for two weeks was definitely worth it. Wakanda Forever!

Next month: Alternative spring break trip to Columbus, Ohio to serve with the community in criminal justice reform.

Thank you for reading and watching! Be sure to keep an eye out for my next post! And if you’d like to see more of my everyday life as an Iowa student, feel free to follow me on social media. Go Hawks!

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@kam_smithy

A Trip to Remember

Running on two hours of sleep, I finished packing my bags and headed outside to wait for my ride. It was 4:52 a.m. on February 15th — the day I had been looking forward to for weeks.

At 5:20 a.m., a bus full of professionally dressed Iowa students would leave for a four and a half hour drive to Minneapolis, Minnesota. For the next two days, we would tour professional and amateur facilities and meet with executives from multiple sports organizations.

The drive to Minneapolis was a little long, but I spent the majority of it watching downloaded Netflix films (I highly recommend watching the documentary “13th”) on my Kindle, so time flew by pretty fast.

At 10:40 a.m., we arrived safely outside of US Bank Stadium. Twenty minutes later, we started our all-access tour (courtesy of two Iowa alums working for the Minnesota Vikings).

THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS were incredibly close to becoming the Los Angeles Vikings. After years of back-and-forth discussions regarding the funding of the construction of a new stadium, an agreement was reached. In 2016, US Bank Stadium opened for its first professional football game.

As part of the agreement, the Vikings promised to invest more than two million dollars in artwork and photography to place around the stadium, including a beautiful re-creation of Prince using his lyrics and photos and paintings of former players and coaches.

The cool thing about US Bank Stadium (as well as other sports facilities around the country) is that it isn’t just for football games. In fact, when we were there for the tour, the stadium was being used for a home remodeling event. The field was completely covered. (No iconic photo on the field where Stefon Diggs caught the Minneapolis Miracle, but that’s OK. This trip was for far more than just taking awesome photos.)

It has retractable seats, which allows it to be used for baseball, hockey, concerts, showings (like the home remodeling one), and so on. Just because it’s the offseason for the Vikings doesn’t mean the stadium will go unused.

US Bank Stadium has a lot of unique features. It’s home to the five largest pivoting glass doors in the entire world, while the roof is made of ethylene tetraflouroethylene, which allows natural light to flow in, provides an outdoor feel for fans, and makes flyovers before games possible.

And while the Dallas Cowboys have a massive video board hanging from the center of AT&T Stadium and the Atlanta Falcons have a “halo-shaped” video board in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings went a different route.

The video boards at US Bank Stadium are located at both end zones, and they are at eye-level. Due to that, the Vikings lose out on around 5,000 revenue seats, but fans no longer have to strain their necks to look at the screens.

My favorite part of the tour was seeing the Vikings’ locker room. Since I’ve seen it in so many post-game speech videos, it was awesome to finally see it in person too.

After the tour, we went to a Q&A panel with six Vikings’ executives. They seemed incredibly happy to have us there, and it was interesting to hear how they each got to this point in their careers. They provided a lot of really helpful tips for a variety of topics.

When discussing resumes, one executive reminded us to try to keep our resume length to one page and to not exaggerate. Another said to make our resumes stand out by getting creative. They also mentioned some of the qualities they look for in an employee, such as passion and initiative.

However, there was one line I’ll probably never forget: “Never rely on just one face of the franchise.”

THE MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES AND LYNX partnered with Mayo Clinic to open Mayo Clinic Square in downtown Minneapolis in 2014. The Timberwolves and Lynx have offices and practice courts inside the facility, and we got to see a little bit of both on our trip. This facility is seen as one of the best in the country, and I can definitely see why. While checking out the Timberwolves and Lynx practice courts, the GM of the Timberwolves, Scott Layden, stopped to talk to us for a few minutes, which was an unexpected (but very welcome) surprise.

We also had a Q&A panel with Timberwolves executives. I learned more about an Inside Sales program the Timberwolves have, and it’s something I might be interested in later on. If you know me, then you know I’m still trying to figure out exactly what I want to do in the sports industry. Public relations? Marketing? Journalism? Sales? The list goes on. Good thing I have a couple years to figure it out.

After the Q&A, we went to the Timberwolves-Lakers game at Target Center. That night, they were honoring Flip Saunders, who passed away in 2015. He was a former head coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

It was my second professional sports game (I went to a Chicago White Sox game during a job shadow a few years ago), but my first professional basketball game. It was a fairly close game, but the Timberwolves pulled away for the win in the end.

After the game was over, we went down on the court to take a photo as a group. It was a really awesome experience and I look forward to possibly attending more games in the future.

THE NATIONAL SPORTS CENTER sits on 600 acres of land, which holds over 50 outdoor athletic fields, two indoor athletic fields, a golf course, eight sheets of ice under one roof, a 8,500 seat stadium, and a velodrome. It is considered the largest amateur sports complex in the world.

One sheet of ice inside Schwan Super Rink.

It is used for a variety of sports, including soccer, volleyball, skating, hockey, lacrosse, golf, football, and more. Not to mention, the National Sports Center is also the training facility for Minnesota United FC, a professional soccer team in the MLS. Another really cool fact is that “31 of the 48 USA men’s and women’s Olympic hockey players at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games have skated at the Schwan Super Rink at the National Sports Center.”

When we first arrived, one executive made a joke about how now we were seeing the more realistic side of the sports industry. A big part of getting a job in this industry is luck — a job opening at the right place and time. And that’s especially true when it comes to professional sports organizations like the Vikings and Timberwolves.

The National Sports Center has a really cool internship program that really relies heavily on its interns. You’re able to jump around and do a little bit of everything, but things will go wrong if you decide not to show up for work one day.

THE NATIONAL SALES CENTER office is located on the grounds of the National Sports Center. It is a training program that helps trainees learn about ticket sales through hands-on experience.

Trainees are able to stay in dorms at the National Sports Center during the program and get a monthly stipend while working. They do a variety of activities to help maintain focus and health, including yoga and a soccer goal competition.

I look forward to possibly applying for the program in the future.


 

Thank you for reading! Be sure to keep an eye out for my next post! And if you’d like to see more of my everyday life as an Iowa student, feel free to follow me on social media. Go Hawks!

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@kam_smithy

Getting Involved: Student Organizations

One of the easiest ways to get involved and make friends is to join one, or several, student organizations on campus.

There are over 500 student organizations to choose from at the University of Iowa, ranging from hundreds of members to only a few.

As a double major in Sport and Recreation Management and Journalism and Mass Communication, my interests include things like marketing, public relations, and journalism.

Current Student Orgs

I’m currently a member of these two student orgs.

Sport and Recreation Management Club

“The mission of the organization is to further the professional development of The University of Iowa Sport and Recreation Management students. It provides a platform for people to network amongst others in the program, gain valuable experience alongside program courses, and learn more about the local Iowa sports community.”

This student org is in its first year at the University of Iowa, and is always looking to add more members. I found out about it through one of the SRM (Sport and Recreation Management) classes I was taking during first semester.

During meetings, we often have a guest speaker and talk about upcoming networking events or ways to volunteer with the athletic department. I currently hold the Sports Information Chair, but, due to schedule conflicts, my attendance at meetings is limited this semester.

KRUI

“KRUI provides a real opportunity for students to be introduced to the radio broadcasting field. Although the University offers courses in radio broadcasting and audio journalism, only KRUI gives all students a chance to go beyond the classroom and experience the live atmosphere of broadcasting while still in school. Exposure to these actual situations allows students to gain confidence in themselves and their skills.”

KRUI happens to be the second largest student organization on campus. I found out about it through my Hawkeye Guide during orientation, who had been trying to recruit more members. He’s currently the Sports Director.

I joined specifically to write about sports online, but, admittedly, I have been slacking when it comes to that (really, really slacking). I also have the opportunity to produce athletic events or go on-air and talk about sports.

Future Student Orgs

I plan on becoming a member of these two student orgs within the next year.

PRSSA

“The University of Iowa Public Relations Student Society of America is a pre-professional organization for University of Iowa students interested in the field of public relations.”

I actually first found out about PRSSA by searching the web for ways to get involved in public relations and marketing at the University of Iowa. I’ve had other people recommend it to me since then.

It’s a great way to network, get tips for success, build a resume, and gain experience.

STAR

“STAR assists the Office of Admission in the recruitment of high school, transfer and non-traditional students through programs, activities, and events. We provide information about The University of Iowa’s programs, services, and special opportunities to prospective students and their families. STAR promotes The University of Iowa through contact with other students, parents, and alumni.”

I found out about STAR through the Office of Admissions’ Communications Coordinator when I was looking for ways to get involved with marketing.

This is a good way to gain some experience.

Honorable Mentions

These aren’t technically student orgs, but I wanted to include them.

The Daily Iowan

This is a student newspaper that works out of the Adler Journalism Building. It’s run by students and is independent from the University of Iowa. It’s definitely the best way to get your foot in the door on campus when it comes to journalism and communications.

I found out about The Daily Iowan during my campus visit junior year of high school. I planned on joining during my first year, but it hasn’t been in the cards for me yet. As of right now, I’m aiming to apply at the beginning of next school year.

Admissions Blogger

I found out about blogging for the Office of Admissions towards the beginning of my senior year of high school (don’t quote me on that). I really enjoyed reading the experiences of last year’s bloggers and I love writing, so I figured it would be the perfect opportunity for me.

And now here I am.

 

Thank you for reading! Be sure to keep an eye out for my next post! And if you’d like to see more of my everyday life as an Iowa student, feel free to follow me on social media. Go Hawks!

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@kam_smithy

College Q&A: Here’s The Truth

By this time last year, I knew where I would be attending college.

It came down to a battle between the University of Iowa and Florida State University. Truth be told, despite being born and raised in Iowa, FSU had been my dream school for as long as I can remember (for many reasons).

In the end, I chose the University of Iowa because of its location (it’s a lot closer to home) and cost of attendance (out-of-state tuition is insane), and because it felt like a place I could call home when I visited during my junior year of high school.

Let this be known: I don’t regret my decision of choosing Iowa over Florida State. Not even a little bit. (OK, maybe a tiny bit on days when it’s below zero here and I check the weather in Tallahassee.) It was the best decision for me at this point in my life, and I’m happy to call Iowa City my home.

I’ve truly grown to love the University of Iowa since starting classes a few months ago. I love the campus. I love the faculty. I love my classes. I love my job.

And I’m not just saying this because I blog for Iowa Admissions. It really is a university anyone would be happy and proud to say they will graduate (or have graduated) from.

Despite visiting and making the decision to attend the University of Iowa, I still had a lot of questions. I’ve thought back to this time last year and decided to answer the questions I had (as well as other random ones) with the knowledge I have about the University of Iowa today.

Did I make the right decision when choosing between schools?

I know I already touched on this, but I wanted to add on to what I said.

It’s not the end of the world if you don’t attend your “dream school.” Dreams change all the time, and chances are you’ll love the school you choose just as much…if not more.

I’m going to be completely honest and tell you I really struggled with this decision. When I accepted my offer of admission to the University of Iowa, I spent days scolding myself for giving up on my dream. It took me a while to realize I hadn’t given up on my dream, but that I was putting that specific dream on hold. I wasn’t ready to move 1,200 miles away from home. I also didn’t want to go that far in student loan debt. In the end, I made a decision that was right for me and I’m happy.

It may sound ridiculous, but weigh the pros and cons of the colleges you’re choosing between. Rory Gilmore did it in “Gilmore Girls” when deciding between Harvard, her dream school, and Yale. (I won’t spoil which school she chose.) Decide what’s most important to you, and go with it.

I came to terms with my decision when I realized I have another dream—a bigger dream—that involves working for a collegiate or professional sports organization. In fact, I wouldn’t even call it a dream. It’s an end goal (an outcome I won’t compromise) for me, and college is a means goal (a path in which to reach my end goal). The college I attend isn’t going to stop me from reaching my end goal, but how I spend my time in college can.

In the spirit of full disclosure, Florida State is a dream I’ll probably never give up. Because who knows? Maybe someday it’ll be in the cards for me.

What I do know is this: I will be proud, and privileged, to graduate and have a degree from the University of Iowa. What I do with that degree, however, is up to me.

Do I have to choose a major right away?

No. Maybe I’m wrong, but I feel like most people wait a year or two to decide on their major. Work on completing the general education requirements and think about what your interests are, where you see yourself in ten years, and so on.

And if you do pick a major but want to change it later on, then change it. Talk to your advisor. Talk to your parents. You’ll be fine.

I came into college knowing I would double major in Sport and Recreation Management and Journalism and Mass Communication. It wasn’t a hard decision for me, but it can be for others. It’s scary to think about what you might be doing for the rest of your life.

(I will talk more independently about my majors and the opportunities they provide in the future, specifically the Sport and Recreation Management program.)

What if I can’t find someone to room with and I get randomly matched?

Searching for a roommate is an awkward experience, or at least it was for me. It felt weird messaging and talking to random girls about possibly being roommates. Eventually I decided I’d let fate run its course.

I’m thankful to say my roommate and I get along incredibly well. We went to schools that played each other in some sports, and we have quite a bit in common. I’d go as far to say one of the biggest differences between the two of us is that she’s a Green Bay Packers fan and I’m a Minnesota Vikings fan, but we make it work.

I may have lucked out in the roommate department because I have heard horror stories about getting randomly matched. Just remember, it’s only temporary and, if you don’t get along, you can always swap rooms.

How do I manage my time?

That’s a good question, and I’m still trying to figure it out.

There are a lot of ways to keep track of your time, but actually getting in the habit of doing it is the hard part. You can use the calendar on your phone, a physical calendar, a planner, a bullet journal, and the list goes on.

It’s all about figuring out what works for you and getting in the habit of doing it.

Should I get a job?

Technically, I had a job during my first semester at the University of Iowa, but I was only a volunteer (I will start getting paid in Fall of 2018).

In general, I think it’s fine to wait a semester or two before getting a job unless you absolutely need one. And when you do decide to look around, you can use Hire A Hawk to help.

 

How are classes different from high school?

The easiest answer is they’re harder. You have to put more time in when it comes to assignments, papers, and studying for tests. If you fall behind, it can be really hard to catch back up.

What’s my favorite class and why?

I only have one full semester under my belt, but I’ll go with Introduction to the Politics of Race. It fulfilled a Gen Ed requirement, and it was unrelated to my major, but it’s a class I think everyone should take. I learned a lot about race, mass incarceration, and immigration law.

How is college in general different from high school?

You have a lot more “free” time. When I was in high school, I was stuck at school from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and after school was time for extracurricular activities or work.

When it comes to college, your classes are more spread out. You might have three on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and only one on Mondays and Wednesdays. You have all this open space on your schedule to do whatever you want, right?

Wrong.

You still have homework (readings, assignments, papers). You still have extracurricular activities. You still have work.

So it’s up to you to make sure you spend your “free” time the right way before you sit back and relax.

Is the food good?

In the dining halls/market places, it’s all-you-can-eat. One day you can eat a salad, and the next you can have a plate full of pizza. Or you can have salad and pizza all at once. It’s really up to you. If you ever want to see the options you’ll have to choose from, take a look at the menus for the three dining halls on campus.

There are a lot of non-dining halls to choose from when it comes to places to eat on campus. My favorites so far are the Street Hawk Food Truck and Union Station. I’ve heard that River Room Cafe and Black’s Gold Grill are good, but I haven’t eaten at either one yet.

I will say this: There are a lot of places to eat on and around campus, but dining hall food can get a little old after a while. Try to switch it up every once in a while.

Do I need a car?

No. At least not as a freshman.

If you want to go home, someone can come pick you up or you can catch a ride with another student. Or you can buy a plane ticket, if necessary.

Bringing a car means having to spend more money, and we’re already spending enough as is. Honestly, Iowa’s campus is close enough to everything you might need and more.

 

How do I get around campus?

A combination of walking and using the Cambus. You can download an app for the bus schedule, and you’ll catch on quickly to which routes you need to use. A lot of people have a moped, but I don’t have a very good history with them.

Getting around campus is not as hard as some people make it seem.

Should I purchase season tickets for football and basketball?

YES. All other athletic events are free for students, but I definitely recommend getting season tickets for football and basketball.

I didn’t have to purchase season tickets for football because of my job, but I would have if I needed to. The environment is insane. Kinnick Stadium is one of the toughest places to play—just ask Michigan and Ohio State. You definitely want to be a part of that, even if you’re not a huge football fan.

Thank you for reading! Be sure to keep an eye out for my next post! And if you’d like to see more of my everyday life as an Iowa student, feel free to follow me on social media. Go Hawks!

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