By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant
Alumnus Jason Whitcomb may have just graduated, but he is already off to a great start with a career in sports management.
After enduring a three-month interview process and going up against 2,500 applicants, Whitcomb was one of just six individuals selected in 2011 for the NFL’s Junior Rotational Program, a two-year paid internship in New York.
Sports Management Program Director Sonja Lilienthal says the most important thing for her students to do is gain experience in the field and volunteer as much as possible.
“Jason was a kid who took all the opportunities that I brought to class and followed up on them,” Lilienthal said.
Whitcomb played football, basketball and volleyball in high school. Then he played one year of football at Foothill College.
Now residing in Manhattan’s East Village, he is adapting to New York culture and working 9 to 5. He talked to SJSU Today about getting the job and what he does during his free time. The following was edited for length and clarity.
SJSU TODAY: Can you tell us about the interview process?
Jason Whitcomb: I took every round of interviews as an opportunity to prepare for the next stage. I used the SJSU Career Center’s online interview practice to help me prepare for my interview and met with a counselor to work on my resume. I tried to become more comfortable with my interview by practicing in my room at night.
SJSU: How important is it to have work experience in addition to your academic record on your resume?
Whitcomb: There is no way I would have gotten the job without my work experience. Professor Lilienthal recommended the Special Event Management Team with the Department of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism Management. The biggest highlight of my resume was living in Pebble Beach for a month, where I worked with upper-level executives to gain office experience while assisting with the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
SJSU: What types of things do you do with the Junior Rotational Program?
Whitcomb: I touch bases with different people in different departments. I’ve also worked with youth clinics, on an internal newsletter, and helped to plan the NFL Experience, a series of events that lead up to the Super Bowl.
SJSU: Were you a high school athletes?
Whitcomb: I played football, basketball and volleyball in high school. Then he played one year of football at Foothill College.
SJSU: What do you do during your free time?
Whitcomb: I like to put on a pair of sneakers and walk around the city. There are so many cool things to see, just walking down the street. There are a lot of cool parks and the East Village is such a fun area.