Friday, Ole Martin Vebenstad, a former student at HiMolde, returned to his academic roots to tell the current Sport Management students how to succeed in the sports industry, and how to avoid failing.
By RAPHAELA OSSBERGER and ANDREAS HUSTAD (photo)
«It is kind of weird coming back to Molde University College as a ‘lecturer’, but I am of course very happy to share my knowledge and experience with the current students.»
It’s just slightly more than two years ago when Ole Martin Vebenstad, 25 years old and originally from Molde, graduated from HiMolde with his bachelor’s degree in Sport Management successfully wrapped up. That he now got the chance to return to where everything started, is owed to the broad network he has been establishing over the last years.
After his bachelor’s at HiMolde, Ole Martin headed to the United States to do a master’s program in Sport Management at University of San Francisco.
«What fascinated me about them was that they really focus on gaining experience and learning through practical work.»
In his case, that meant to get the chance to work for San Francisco City Football Club as stadium operations assistant as well as for Pro-Am Beach Soccer as operations and events manager – and thereby broaden his horizon:
«The US do the sports business quite different, so that is a good chance to experience another aspect of the sports industry.»
Exactly this knowledge is the reason why the students from Sport Management Seminars invited him to talk to current students and show them what it takes to get a foothold into that business.
«One of the main aspects is: Do more than what is asked of you. The sports industry is so small. It is easy to get spotted, when you do a good job. But when you do a bad job, you’re fucked!»
The current problem in the sport market is that there seems to be no real place where one can find a sport job. So what is the solution?
«Become comfortable being uncomfortable! Get out of your comfort zone and show that you really want to succeed in the sport industry!»
Ole Martin encourages the students to actively connect with sports professionals and to build authentic relationships.
«Especially for Norwegians, who tend to be introvert, it might be easier to just start by contacting people that you are close to. Check out former students from the program and make use of their relations and experience.»
To support the future Sport Management graduates, Ole Martin is currently working on a social network for the sport industry, because in the end «it is not about who you know. It is about who knows you!»