Industry leader stories
“I’ve worked with Sharyn and her team for many years and I have never found a more professional consummate executive. She is so well-connected and always manages the most incredible well-run events. I think she is the absolute best person to oversee such an exciting organization such as fieldXperience. We look forward to having her and Dr. Joey-Lynn’s team of exceptional students assist us again with the Amer-I-Can golf tournament and dinner at Super Bowl LIV in Miami”
Retired Louisiana State University basketball coach Dale Brown, a Hall-of-Famer who devoted himself to players’ off-the-court needs first is known for this quote:
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, you have to go with others.” Having known fieldXperience’s co-founder Sharyn Outtrim for many years, he is excited about this new venture and said “This platform is incredibly important and overdue to help develop students’ skillsets critical for their success in life after school. Knowing Sharyn as a tremendous force in her industry, now surrounding herself with the best in both academia and industry, fieldXperience will no doubt excel. I look forward to watching it grow.”
“The beauty of fieldX is that you’ll have steadying hands around you as you learn the ropes. School is a pretty linear affair. Read the book, go to class, take the test etc. Whereas, some of what you will be engaged in will come at you from several directions at the same time. No reason to fret…but remember, this is where you learn to make judgments and decisions based on imperfect & incomplete information. Welcome to the club! But fieldX will provide some guard rails and insights as you make your way.”
Early on, I was afraid of the uncomfortable – in particular, moving to a new city or taking a new position that was not in my skill-set, as examples. As a result, I missed out on opportunities that I didn’t realize until much later.
Mom and dad are a phone call away. Significant others will understand. You’ll make new friends. You’ll learn the skills you need to survive and succeed. In this industry, if you don’t seize the opportunity, someone else will.
I didn’t know squat, but I sure acted like I did. I wanted to make sure that my opinion was heard, regardless of whether it was warranted. “Two ears, one mouth”, as an old boss told me. “You need to listen with the intent to absorb, NOT the intent to respond.”
As a student at Indiana University, I set a goal for myself to have professional work experience year-round until I graduated. To achieve this tough goal I knew that I needed to look all over to find and sometimes create opportunities. Many of the best opportunities are not posted on job boards and require hard work/networking for one to uncover them. I was fortunate enough to be connected with Sharyn Outtrim back in 2010. Soon after we met, I was fortunate to get the opportunity to gain professional experience working with her at the 2010 Final Four. Using that as a springboard, I was able to work with Sharyn at numerous events until I graduated from college in 2012.
Whether I am speaking in a class at Indiana or casually talking with students at various professional events, I always let them know how lucky I was to have such great work experiences and the importance of utilizing all of your resources to create your own opportunities. Many students do not get work experience because they only look for posted internships or formal opportunities, but very few go seek out other opportunities or ways to gain valuable knowledge and experience. It is so important to get yourself out there and just ask for the opportunities to work/learn through volunteering or at networking events. The skills I gained from my experiences prepared me for the next steps in my life through job interviews and eventually full-time employment. By developing this centralized platform, fieldXperience is going to be a game-changer for students.
“If I knew then what I know now… that every personal or business relationship has a purpose I would have maintained contact and continued to network with everyone I have met throughout my career. You never know when you will need someone’s help or who your next boss will be. Be kind and respectful because everyone has value.”
“Oh Lord, I started out in this business back in the dark ages…1977. The only sports management program in the country was just getting started back then at Ohio U. It truly was a different world…not necessarily a bad one, just VERY different. For example, in my first 5 years of being in the venue/ event business, I did stints in everything from production to box office to merch sales to concessions to basic facility and event operations. It truly was baptism by fire…jump in and learn; skin your knees; live and learn from your mistakes and by watching others. What fieldX offers in terms of opportunities in the sports and events business now is light years beyond anything I could have imagined way back then. For someone starting out now, fieldX is going to be a requisite just to have the chance to get your foot in the door in today’s competitive environment. As Nike might suggest, Just do it!”
“From playing college basketball, playing professional basketball in the NBA, then to my current teaching and coaching endeavors I have carried an abundant amount of best practices and skills along the way. My drive, hustle, and work ethic, as well as my ability to spot and recognize trends yet embrace the old school and traditional methods of engagement are what have driven my success.”
“I was fortunate to have college mentors that facilitated my getting experience in the industry but realize not everyone is that lucky. fieldX should help level the playing field so more students can get access to the necessary internships and experience in order to land their first full time job.”
“The skills and character traits that have helped me to be successful is being a good human being and treating everyone with respect whether I agreed with them or not. Relationships are an important aspect in life, learning as much as you can and building those relationships is the best advice I could give the next generation to become successful.”
If you knew then what you know now what would you have done differently?
“I would’ve taken a different approach at my craft. As opposed to seeking validation from contemporaries and upper level executives, I would’ve sought consumer validation, by going direct to market with all products and services, even on a small scale…”
“I needed all the help I could get as a kid. I was never a great student so I hung out with the smartest kids in class. I wanted to be successful so I hung out with kids from successful families. Eventually I realized I could manifest the life I wanted by surrounding myself with people who possessed the qualities I wanted. If you want to be funny, hang out with funny people. If you want to be successful surround yourself with successful people. If you want to be rich, hang out with rich people.
I believe we are the average of the 5 people we associate with the most. Think about that for a second. If you don’t wake up every morning inspired to be a better version of yourself because of your 5 then you might need to re-think your group.”
A piece of encouragement for others on skills and traits to be successful, Sue says, “The same skills and character traits that are in today’s vernacular are what helped me be successful. Grit, persistence, confidence with humility, the ability to consider/incorporate other’s ideas/talents, roll-up-my-sleeves attitude, the desire to treat everyone equally no matter their stature. And when I started leading events, those same skills were utilized.”
“To know that you can realize your life goals in pockets and to embrace the journey, even when there is change or unknowns come into play. Just being your true self and adding unique value to the world is a reflection of your calling. We are here to leave an everlasting impact through our respective unique calling. Make time for introspective and bring all of your unique skill sets and passions to the work that you do and the life you create. Impacting others through the work that we do is the purpose of our existence.”
“As a former DI swimmer, I know first-hand how hard it is to maintain a balance between school and practice, let alone adding in an internship. I was limited in my search for internships based on restrictions placed on my practice / competition schedule, which was not the ideal. fieldX is providing opportunities that are not necessarily a “9-to-5” and allow for more flexibility for student-athletes. In addition, fieldX has focused their model around gamification, which is something that IdeaQuest has studied the benefits of and has started implementing these principals into strategic sales incentive programs. I can definitively say that gamification compliments a student-athlete’s mindset and places them in a structured environment, where they can thrive.”
“Character traits that have helped me succeed in the sport and entertainment industry have been vision, determination, curiosity and openness to new experiences, resilience, and always pushing to expand my body of work into new areas of the industry. Success is a journey, not a destination.
fieldXperience is making this journey more accessible than ever for today’s students and young professionals through the multi-discipline aspects of live events.”
“If I would have known that a company like fieldX existed I would have been all over being a part of it when I was in college. The opportunity to work a major event like the Super Bowl and too put that experience on your resume…. that’s the dream! Everything about it [fieldX] is perfect. So many students will be affected in such a positive way.”
“fieldX will add specific structure, processes, and quantifiable experience to individuals that previously would have only been able to achieve anecdotal, unstructured, networking opportunities. Unlike previous experiences, fieldX will evaluate a participant’s contributions, and document those is such a way that outstanding performances will be acknowledged / recognized. The experience gained under the fieldX business model will quantify success versus just indicate that participation took place. This distinction will greatly help hiring companies.”
“if you knew then what you know now…
If I knew that technology and social media would rule the day as it does now, I would have spent more time learning different forms of technology (website design, graphic design, etc.) as I believe anyone with that skill set is setting themselves up for success down the road.”
“What skills and character traits have helped me be successful?
My most important character trait is trying to always be honest to myself and honest to others, try to be very respectful of the people you encounter, and to listen, be patient and try and understand different points of views of other people…My work ethic, and my ability to overcome obstacles put in front of me have always helped me to keep progressing….”
- Jim Brown
- Coach Dale Brown
- David Barrett
- J.W. Cannon
- Josh Sherman
- Elisa Dove
- Carl Adkins
- Acie Earl
- Callye Emmons
- Larry Brown
- Jamal McCoy (DJ MaL-Ski)
- Jamie Fritz
- Sue Robichek
- Carolyn Moos
- Madelyn Robinson
- Sheri Barros
- Matt Snyder
- Stan Beck
- Steve Webster
- Warren Moon
“fieldX gave me the opportunity to improve my leadership skills as a Zone Manager at Formula 1, where I had multiple real managerial responsibilities. Having such an important role – not just a typical intern role – exceeded my expectations of fieldXperience. When you’re working a live event, you’re putting yourself in potentially difficult situations which in turn improves your soft skills and helps you become a better professional and person. This managerial role allowed me to solve problems while practicing multitasking in a large working environment with high-profile clients. You can never have enough experience. I think learning by doing is the best way to gain experience and knowledge and fieldXperience provides that opportunity to learn. It was such an honor to receive the MVP Award for this Formula 1 experience and I am definitely looking forward to my next fieldXperience event to learn even more.”
Working the Formula 1 Military Outpost during the race in Austin gave me the opportunity to practice and showcase my customer service skills as well as demonstrate how to instill a “Culture of Care” with my other teammates – because it’s not only how you treat the customer, but how you treat those who work with you.
I’m still learning exactly what I love and am good at, so the Formula 1 micro-internship was a stepping stone to helping me find my true strengths and understand how I should best apply my skills. The connections and networking available were invaluable too.
Two years after my first experience at the Rose Bowl, I was trusted to lead a group of students at Super Bowl LIVE in Atlanta! These events have given me amazing insights into what it takes to work in the sport industry.
“I graduated with my undergrad from Concordia Wisconsin with a sport and entertainment major. Through my experience with Concordia I was able to get connected with fieldXperience and Sharyn and her team. The best part about working with fieldXperience was getting in the industry that I want to be a part of is seeing behind the scenes, not just the glamorous big game experience but how to get the fan experience, work with vendors, and see all the moving parts mold into one. I want to thank fieldXperience and Concordia for the amazing opportunities.”
“fieldX helped me grow in my connections and experience right after my undergraduate education. I was given the opportunity to work on site for both the NBC production “The Voice” season 13 finale shows as well as the L.A. Chargers Charity Golf Tournament with the L.A. Children’s Hospital. This experience helped me learn to adapt to situations at events and network with professionals running the production, and also guests attending the events.”
“Working at Formula 1 was my first time working an event and I can honestly say that working with fieldXperience was exceptional because I was set up for success from the start. Before working with fieldX, I knew my passion was for sports and that I wanted to work in the sporting realm, but this micro-internship solidified my decision. I will never forget my time practicing exceptional customer service at Formula 1 and the real world situations I was able to navigate as a fieldX Learner. I know the training and experience I’ve gained from fieldXperience will positively impact my future.”
“For my fieldXperience, I worked in the VIP exclusive hospitality location for Formula 1 at COTA. The fieldX team was a great resource helping me navigate so many unknown variables. The micro-internship allowed me to get real, valuable experience managing people on site and it fit into my busy school schedule.”
“As a young professional in the events industry, fieldXperience has filled the void of what I’ve been needing to gain experience and knowledge while pursuing my career. You truly can’t gain in a classroom what fieldX has to offer. I’m grateful to have participated in Leadercast Women and Formula 1 this year. Each event is completely different and unique, as are the lessons learned and values gained.”
“My name is Leah Refenes, I’m a third time fieldXer. I love going on these experiences because I’m always placed in a field where I know I’ll succeed and my natural talents will be ready to shine. Can’t wait to jet off to my next experience!”
Lauren is a senior at Michigan who was was a crucial aspect to the Voice event, representing fieldX she says, “I’m here with the 2 founders of fieldX on my first immersive industry experience. I’m in LA at Universal Studios on the season finale of the Voice. I’m working with VIP clients and sponsors, and I would love to talk more but I gotta go to work!”
“Like my fieldX peers, I was given a lot of freedom to make decisions during our fieldXperience at the Formula 1 Haas Hill hospitality area. fieldX is truly amazing and is going to change the sport industry by giving up-and-coming professionals like me the chance to problem solve in real industry situations as well as connect with leaders in the industry.”
“The experiences I’ve been a part of through fieldX have benefited me greatly by allowing me to make new connections in the industry I wouldn’t have otherwise made. Adding the fieldXperience micro-internship at the Formula 1 Haas Hill hospitality area to my resume will open new doors for me, diversify my resume and help me reach my career goals of working in sponsorship and business development.”
“Getting into the sport world isn’t hard. What’s hard is moving up! With fieldX, I’ve already had the experience of working both Super Bowl LIII and Formula 1 and have a network of connections to vouch for me. fieldXperience exceeded my expectations from training to actual real-world experience. The fieldX executives were not only professional, but also very personable and seemed passionate about really helping us students get ahead in our careers. The event Leaders entrusted us with responsibilities and let us make decisions on the fly. fieldX helped me determine that my passion was in guest services and hospitality which solidified my decision to change my major to Sport Management.”
“I am an introverted individual who has struggled with speaking to new people. In my program, I primarily learn problem-solving and product development strategies with limited interpersonal skills development to oral presentations and group work.
I have worked various sporting events that have helped me develop the skills to be an effective verbal communicator, so much so that interviews are easier and result in getting superior internships. My improved communication skills also got me a teaching assistant job.
I look forward to further developing my soft skills as they have proven to help guide my career down a successful path.”
After working Super Bowl LIV Clay Coltson reflects on his Xperience with a story, “One of the workers that I had was crying as I said goodbye because of the impact that I had on her while managing our event.”
“I would recommend fieldXperience to other students looking to gain real-world experience in a capacity that they may not have initially thought they needed. By working events like Formula 1, any fieldX student will be able to witness how a business operates a highly intensive and fast-paced event, which will prepare them for their future careers.”
Tris’styn Williams enjoyed the sense of teamwork and comradery that developed while she was working the event, saying, “I feel like everyone was easy to get along with! I loved meeting and talking to everyone, and I feel everyone worked together when they were able to reach a common goal.”
Luke Konkel after working the Bruce Arians Celebrity Golf event says, “This was one of the best events that I have been given the opportunity to work. Once we figured out who worked well together, we made this an event to remember giving first class experience to an amazing family foundation.”
- Sebastian Munoz
- Catalina Santamaria
- Allison Peters
- Jason Klug
- Kate Kirchoff
- William Proctor
- Lindell Galvin
- Ashlee Shaffer
- Leah Refenes
- Lauren Geurard
- Lauren Drinane
- Kristian Stengel
- Jen Spell
- Matthew Quon
- Clay Coltson
- Nathan Kim
- Tris'styn Williams
- Luke Konkel