Kyle Phipps Shadowing Amanda Holt, Director of Communications with the Jacksonville Jaguars (Jacksonville, FL)

October 21, 2018

I had the opportunity to shadow Jacksonville Jaguars Director of Communications, Amanda Holt. If you are looking to shadow upper management of any organization in or around the Gainesville community, the first step is to find the Gator grad! I began my search on LinkedIn and other similar websites to find positions I would be interested in spending the day with or potentially reaching about internship possibilities. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the highest managers and their assistants! Persistence is sometimes key, but know where to draw the line. After several emails, I have been able to meet with directors from the Jaguars and Gators to learn more about the growing field of sports communications.

 About My Day

I began my day with a behind the scenes tour of almost the press area and touchdown club of TIAA Bank Field. An NFL stadium houses much more behind the fan concourses than you would expect! I was exposed to stressful situations faced by the crew I was assigned with. I was told by Amanda, problem-solving is one of the most important skills one can have in the field. Throughout the day, I was also able to meet local celebrities and Jaguars players (a little later in the day). Professionalism in these situations is key. No matter how much you want to play fanboy or girl, you have to realize this is not only a workplace, but this is their workplace.

The press box is a busy setting, local and national media flood the over 250-person staff seated area. It was somewhat overwhelming at first, it is often hard to find your place in situations like these. However, there is always an opportunity to meet someone new and make a connection. Take full advantage of your opportunity of being in an area that is not open to the public! Ask questions and be engaging, this will often make the most difference.

 Reach Out

I am a senior at the University of Florida, majoring both in public relations and political science. I have interned with Congressman Ted S. Yoho, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and have actively participated in student government. If you have an interest in these areas, feel free to reach out to me at kphipps81@ufl.edu.