Millennials LOVE #thirstythursdays! By Stephen Black

Back in October I watched Coach Hernando’s video on #thirstythursdays. My first impression as a sophomore in college was that thirsty Thursday is when the weekend really begins. But as I watched his video his message became clear. We all want to better our lives, but need the ingredients to do so. You have to be driven, you have to have the passion and you have to experience both the ups and the downs. Those who truly want to better their lives already have these ingredients in them. With these ingredients, all you need is the opportunity to run with them and goals to achieve.

After watching the video, I sat back and reflected on what drives me in my life, what I’m passionate for and what areas I have succeeded and failed in. Success drives me, I am passionate in sport management and have seen both success and failure within that field. I knew I had the tools to strive towards bettering my life and conquering my goals. From there it was just a matter of realizing that you can’t wait for opportunities to come knocking on your door.  YOU have to take charge and YOU have to go seek those opportunities. Not every door is going to hold opportunities for you, and that’s ok. What matters is how you act on the ones that do. Making a name for myself in the sport industry is my goal, and I know that it all starts with what I do here in college.

Throughout the month of November, I made it a priority of mine to seek out as many opportunities in the field of sport management as I could. I applied for internships, networked with alumni and industry leaders, conducted informational interviews, did research for professors and continued to set new goals. I did not always get the results I wanted, but was able to learn from any experience that led to a dead end.

My November became one big #thirstythursday, with a few college thirsty Thursdays thrown in there too. I was amazed with what a month of having this driven mindset had done for me. I expanded my network in the sport industry and opened up new doors which led to new opportunities. I became the Director of Business Operations for a basketball tournament, started interning for Hernando and Always Be Contagious, was asked to create a case study for my sport management department and applied for two summer internships (UFC and PGA Tour).

I was able to build on some of my goals and took on new opportunities that I was afforded. However, I’m still thirsty. I know that this is just the beginning of a long journey ahead. What’s important is to never become complacent with your goals and aspirations. Having a #thirstythursday mindset isn’t a one-time thing. This is a mindset that you build upon with each goal you achieve. Once you’re able to instill this drive into your head, the opportunities will continue to come.  

Stephen Black is a sophomore in college studying sport management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is from Okinawa, Japan and is currently the Director of Basketball Operations for the Pioneer Valley Tip-Off. He has previously interned for the J.LEAGUE as an international relations intern. In the future his goal in sports is to work in international marketing for a professional team or organization.