Written by Darius Murray

Going into my 3rd year attending NCAAHPERD Conference in Winston Salem, North Carolina. My expectations where set high to come in first place either in the Case Study Competition, the Student of The Year Award Video Resume Competition or maybe even both.

The past two years at the representatives from my Johnson C. Smith have notwon either competitions. For myself I wanted this year to be different because I was a senior. Bringing at least one plaque back to JCSU was the only option.  Over the years, staying involved with campus organizations and having the opportunity to gain experience through working with different organizations in sports has been important to me.  Submitting my video resume for the competition was no different. I treated it as if it was a job interview.  I had to submit my best work. Participating in NCAAHPERD Conference has helped me with overall, but the area where I see the most improvement is public speaking. I learned skills through attending NCAAHPERD Conference that I couldn’t receive in the classroom.

This year’s case study question was, “How would we improve attendance from the Hispanic community for Charlotte Knights Games?” We had a week to come up with ideas and present it to the Charlotte Knight's VP of Marketing. I felt that our ideas where great and we presented then well.  Unfortunaley it wasn’t enough and we didn’t win. Overall, this was definitely a learning experience for me. Not only did we network with other students from other universities we got to network with the Charlotte Hornets VP of Marketing. After the first competition, he gave the participants some information about his background and some advice about life working in sports. Even though my team didn’t win the case study, we still won.  I say that, because we got to network with the VP of Marketing for the Charlotte Knight's.

Now that the case study was over with, it was time to announce the winner of the video resume competition. Before the winner was announced the speaker announced drum row please....and that’s when I became nervous. For a second I took a deep breath and thought about ways to improve my resume, win or loss. Finally the winner was announced. “Your first place winner is....Darius Murray.” I culd’nt believe it.  It was truly an honor.  The only expression I was able to produce was smile from cheek to cheek.  Understanding all the hard work I put in to improving my resume over the years, this award means so much to me, our sport management department, and my university.

This years NCAAHPERD conference was special not because of my personal awards but because of me and my colleagues represented our department and our university to the best to our ability. Moving forward I will motivate more students to get involved in attending conferences like this. Not only will they have a chance to come back with an award but they get to network with hundreds of people who are in the sport management field.

Darius Murray