In the Spotlight - Nicholas King '15
He did everything with the Staten Island Yankees except crack the lineup. But that’s about the only thing Nicholas King didn’t do with this New York Yankees minor-league team.
Nicholas King ‘15, a Farmingdale Sport Management major, did a 700-hour unpaid internship with the “Baby Bombers” last year (only 195 hours were required), where he learned pretty much all there is to know about running a baseball team. He ascended the heights, working with the team’s CEO and President/General Manager, and did the nitty gritty too, helping pick up trash after the game, painting foul lines, and dragging the tarp onto the field when it rained. In between he worked on team rosters, ticketing, marketing, accounting, playoff schedules, public relations, special projects, field operations, and more. He even escorted a few celebrities onto the field at promotional events.
“I felt like every time I walked into the office I was working my dream job,” Nicholas says. “The internship was a life- and career-changing experience for me. I came out of my shell and developed skills I never thought I had – communications skills, interpersonal skills, and organizational skills, to name a few.”
It was Farmingdale that paved the way for Nicholas to find that dream job. He enrolled at FSC because of its affordability and the quality of the sport management program, and on the recommendation of FSC alumni. Now he will graduate with a BS in Sport Management, a minor in Business Management and a New York State coaching certificate. He credits his mom, who worked for a company that gave her New York Yankees box seats, with nurturing his love for sports.
“From the smell of the grass, to Derek Jeter’s grin, the taste of a hot dog, and the feel of the crowd shaking the ballpark, I fell in love with sports – mostly baseball. I knew from then on I wanted to have a career in sports.”
His career literally started at Farmingdale, where he works as an Athletic Assistant. One of the highlights of the job was setting up for the NCAA Division III baseball regional championship tournament. So it wasn’t such a leap that he would succeed with the Staten Island Yankees.
”Working in the Athletic department has been a great chance for me to apply what I’ve learned in the classroom to real-life scenarios,” says Nicholas. “The thing I learned from working with the Athletic department that carried over into my internship was communication and teamwork. “
Nicholas is also somewhat of a philosopher, quoting John F. Kennedy about purpose and direction and Winston Churchill about living a meaningful life. He also likes volunteer work, pitching in for the Make a Wish Foundation, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and a number of sports teams. “For me that’s what it’s all about – giving back to those who need it.”
He gives in the classroom too, according to Professor Sarbjit Singh, assistant professor in the Sport Management department, who lauds Nicholas’s ever-present energy and enthusiasm. “He is very committed. He is a real ambassador for us,” says Professor Singh. “The thing that stands out about Nick is his embrace of the importance of networking, to get out there and meet people who may have an impact on his career.”
Nicholas agrees. “Getting a degree is a good start, but now it’s all about who you know. Networking is a huge key to achieving your career goals.”
Tom Azzara, FSC’s Associate Athletic Director, will bet a bundle that Nicholas has all it takes to make a successful career.
“He is a great worker with an amazing work ethic. He is one of the best workers we’ve ever had in the Athletic department. “
Surprisingly, Nicholas believes he has what it takes for a big-time career, because he has not been afraid to fail.
“My advice to students would be, take every chance you get. Keep pushing forward. Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure doesn’t define you; it’s how you respond to failure. Life is about risk-taking. Fail as much as you have to in order to succeed.”
Given Nicholas’ academic and career paths, it sounds like awfully good advice.