What do you want to do after you graduate? I’m pretty sure we can all say that we’ve been asked this question more times than we can count. As undergraduate students, we are constantly striving to set career goals, follow them, and, ideally, come out successful.
As a result of their ambition, dedication and perseverance, it’s true that a lot of JMU alumni are doing awesome things. To celebrate and share their success, The Daily Duke is bringing you an Alumni Highlight. This means that every month, we are going to introduce you to a JMU alum who is doing remarkable things after having graduated.
So, to kick off this series, I would like to introduce Mandy Adkins. Adkins is a double duke with a bachelor’s degree in Sport and Recreation Management and a Master’s in Sport and Recreation Leadership. She finished up her academic career here in the ‘burg in 2013.
Adkins currently works as the Director of Youth and Community Programs for San Antonio Sports.
“San Antonio Sports is a non-profit whose mission is to transform the community through the power of sport by developing Healthy Kids, Places to Play, and Events that Impact. San Antonio Sports serves as the sports commission for the City of San Antonio and works to bring large events with economic impact to the city (for example, the 2018 NCAA Men’s Final Four),” Adkins said.
At her job, she wears many hats. What did she work on this summer? The Olympic Games.
I know, so casual.
I’m sure you’re wondering: what exactly did she do?
“Through my job at San Antonio Sports and our community partnership with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), I was given the opportunity to apply to work Olympics team processing in Houston, Texas during the weeks leading up to the 2016 games,” she said.
All Olympic athletes go through team processing. Most of them who went to Houston for their team processing this year flew straight to Rio afterward.
Adkins explained, “Athletes rotate through numerous stations to receive their opening and closing ceremony outfits (Ralph Lauren), their medal stand outfit (Nike), their media outfit (Nike), their Olympic ring, their new Omega watch, Oakley sunglasses, Procter and Gamble products, and ‘village wear,’ or USA-branded clothes (Nike and Ralph Lauren).”
All of the companies and/or brands that were represented at team processing were Olympic sponsors.
“The Nike fitting rooms were incredible,” Adkins spilled. “When the athletes entered their personal fitting rooms, the Olympic seal and their name appeared in the glass wall of the fitting room!”
While working at team processing, Adkins worked specifically in the Ralph Lauren section. She says,
“Anywhere from 30 to 70 coaches, athletes, and staff came through per day. Each athlete would receive a Ralph Lauren rolling suitcase with village wear and their garment bag with their opening and closing ceremony looks,” she said. “Each athlete would try on everything—including socks, shoes, bracelet, and belt. It was important that the entire look fit perfectly.”
Adkins said that many of the athletes she worked with were first-time Olympians.
“Some of the athletes I processed were track and field athletes, men’s gymnastics coaches, women’s rowing, race walking, archery, and water polo.”
To me, Adkins’ job sounds like a dream job. When asked if she had any advice for JMU students who may be interested in her career field, she said,
“Get to know your professors, networking is crucial, as well as be willing to work hard and always have a positive attitude. The sports industry is hard work. The hours are long. But if you are willing to work hard and have a good attitude, you can do anything you set your mind to.”