Bobby Dhaliwal is an incoming Sport Management graduate student at Brock University who gained a well-rounded sport industry experience through his hybrid role as Digital Marketing and Research Assistant at the Centre for Sport Capacity. Read to learn about Bobby’s thoughts after completing his role during the 2021 Spring/Summer term.
As I was nearing the end of my sport management undergraduate journey at Brock University in spring, 2021, I was looking for a position that would provide me with an outlet to present my abilities in the sport marketing realm. I spent the past four summers gaining experience in diverse areas of the sport industry to enhance my skillset consistently over time. These roles included a combination of employed and voluntary positions such as Student Ambassador for the Toronto FC, Game Day Operations for Canada Basketball, the Guelph Nighthawks, and the Brampton Beast.
As a dedicated student with a progressive mindset, I knew by my fourth year that I was capable of applying newfound concepts to positively impact an organization. The CSC provided an outlet for me to gain both digital marketing and research experience to best prepare me for my career aspirations. As I am starting my Masters at Brock this September, Dr. Michael Van Bussel and I agreed completing this role at the CSC would be a valuable part of my graduate studies.
I will start by reflecting on the Digital Marketing and Communications aspect of my role. As someone who passionately analyzes consumer trends and the marketing execution by various sport organizations, the CSC provided an outlet to put my creative abilities into practice. Through the use of Adobe Illustrator and Canva, I had the privilege of creating all CSC promotional material over the past four months. The material consisted of social media graphics, video graphics, brochures, and unique post captions to maximize consumer engagement on all channels.
Working for a research centre at a university made content creation more challenging as I had to maintain creativity while adhering to Brock University’s guidelines for online content. This forced me to brainstorm ideas more efficiently as a creative. I was able to implement new ideas such as video clips while ensuring colour codes, logo usage, fonts and text followed guidelines and portrayed the message our directors were looking for. Additionally, this process further developed my self-organization skills as I had to make sure to organize all draft and final version files in the appropriate team folders for all current and future members to access through OneDrive.
The sport industry is a fast-paced environment that requires you to adapt quickly to be successful. During the preparation period for our Safe Sport Forum that was held from June 16-18th, consistent meetings were held to ensure the completion of all requirements ahead of time. Thus, I was not confined to a single role due to the diverse needs of the CSC. I found myself contributing to various areas of the Centre such as communications and data management to ensure success.
For instance, I took on the task of searching and sorting all OUA teams’ Athletic Directory emails on Microsoft Excel to ensure an efficient rollout of our Safe Sport Forum communications. The inevitable cross-over tasks helped me build teamwork skills as I contributed to the roles of my co-workers when they needed assistance. However, this did not feel like additional work as the CSC does an excellent job of embracing all members of its team. Dr. Michael Van Bussel (Director) facilitated all team meetings by organizing a weekly agenda and highlighting specific areas to address with the names of contributors listed accordingly. This encouraged consistent engagement, allowing me to present new ideas and provide the team with updates on important tasks. Contributing to these meetings served as a major confidence boost for me as an up-and-coming professional. I was able to gain valuable perspective from our team while merging my own knowledge and research to consistently find new ways of development.
The second part of my role came as a Research Assistant as part of a partnership between the CSC and Community Researchers. This process offered the greatest opportunity for growth in my professional development. After completing courses such as SPMA 3P07 (Quantitative Analysis) and SPMA 3P17 (Qualitative Analysis), it was time for me to apply my acquired knowledge as I aim to earn a Master’s degree in the near future. The CSC research project required the completion of a four-part training program that helped me complete a client a needs assessment, a research proposal, a survey, clean data, and create a final report for Parks and Recreation Ontario. Under the guidance of Michael Harker (Director at Community Researchers), I gained valuable exposure to Microsoft Excel as I worked tirelessly to identify the different types of data, clean data, create different types of charts, and implement the appropriate cross-tabs to maximize the effectiveness of the report. These are all applicable skills to many different areas of the sport industry as it continues to evolve.
If you are a student looking to diversify your skillset under the guidance of very experienced professionals, you must consider an opportunity at the Centre for Sport Capacity. The Centre is able to offer a variety of experiential learning opportunities that can fit your needs whether if they are internship opportunities, volunteer opportunities, research opportunities, and more. Be sure to visit the CSC website for more information and submit an intake form here.