Ever wonder what it’s like to go behind the scenes of an Oswego State Hockey game? I wish I could speak for those who get to really see what goes down behind locker room doors, but instead let me tell you about how I wound up getting paid to watch and help others enjoy the game of hockey 😀
Since I was an energetic, Oswego-crazy freshman, I’ve worked for the Athletic Department at SUNY Oswego with their men’s and women’s hockey teams. A former Laker Leader and graduate of Oswego had introduced me to the ushering program and by my 6th week into the semester, I was donning a yellow fleece, khakis, and a smile as I greeted spectators arriving for the 7pm hockey game. Since then, I’ve been hooked. I get to watch hockey, chat with spectators, network with visiting teams and help make the game run smoothly… all while getting paid.
As I finish out my third year with the Athletic Department, I do so as an usher for 2 years who is now an Event Liaison. This means I arrive at the arena 2 1/2 hours prior to game time, hang around for a bit post-game, all in the name of behind-the-scenes game management.
First, I’ll unlock the bathrooms and referee locker room on the home side. Then I’ll head over to the visitor’s side and maybe have a chat with Jay, one of the Zamboni/ice maintenance guys (they’re all such cool guys to chat with!) and wait for the visiting team’s bus to arrive. Once they arrive, I introduce myself to the team and their coaches, lead them to their locker rooms and hand them their key. Then I’ll head back over to our side of the arena and wait for the officials to arrive, and do the same thing.
I hang with my ushers for a little while as we await the doors opening at 6pm, and then it’s all hands on deck as we handle the huge line of people looking to get into the arena. GAME TIME! I float around the arena with my cool Britney Spears headset and check in with my ushers to make sure everyone’s on their A-game. I also run errands for Malcolm, my boss and a really cool guy to chill with. By the end of the 2nd period, I head to the Box Office for the official spectator count and pass it along to Bill Foley, the PA Announcer for men’s hockey who announces it and deems our fans to be “FANNNNNN-TASTIC!” As the 3rd period winds down, I head to the official’s tunnel and finish out the game there. When the refs come off the ice I let them head into their locker room and grab their key so they can take their time to leave. I wait for the scoresheets to be completed and distribute them among the officials, our coaches, and Adele Burk in the Press Box for Sports Information. Lastly, I bring the visiting team their copy of the scoresheet, collect their key, and wish them well on their trip home. And that’s all she wrote.
Being involved with the hockey programs has also granted me other opportunities, which came about when the Assistant Athletic Director Cora Brumley approached me about PA Announcing for Laker Softball. I passed up the opportunity my freshman year because I was unsure of how busy I would be, but I decided to do it during my sophomore year and I am so glad I did. I played softball for almost 13 years and I also am a broadcasting major so by combining the two, I feel really lucky to have this opportunity.
So anyway, moral of the story: I’ve achieved all of this by networking. By knowing the people that I knew through the things I was interested in, I was able to land two awesome jobs in my college career that have enriched and improved my time here. Believe me, it’s who you know!