Mentor Spotlight: Cicely Nash
Cicely Nash, c’04, earned a bachelor’s degree from KU in biochemistry. She’s currently a senior events producer at Sportico, a sports media company.
In her role, Cicely is responsible for organizing and producing events for the global sports business industry. She works with the Live Media Events team to develop and implement the overall event experience, production budgets, and handle logistics from start to finish for each event across the Sportico Live calendar.
Connect with Cicely on KU Mentoring+.
How did you end up in your career?
After graduating from Kansas with a B.A. in biochemistry; I immediately went into the workforce as a lab analyst for a pharmaceutical company. During those initial working years, I experienced an “A-ha” moment and changed direction in my career to pursue my true passion of working in the sports industry. I moved forward in receiving my MBA in Sports Administration. That defining moment in my career forever changed the trajectory of my entire life.
My current 14+ year career has developed my expertise in sports facility management, event production, catering, budgeting and revenue forecasting, along with non-profit foundation development. I have worked in the sports industry for organizations including the Miami Dolphins, AT&T Stadium – Home of the Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, ESPN collegiate sports division, Sacramento Kings, and the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games.
Who was or is a mentor for you, and how did they help you?
I have been blessed to have so many role models throughout my personal life and career. My former supervisors Monique Boyd and Toni Hill are a few of my important mentors because they are my biggest cheerleaders during my wins but also give tough love when I need it. Also, I have amazing men representing in my family, friends, colleagues, and peers that steer me in the right direction when facing challenges or questions.
What advice do you have for current college students or young alumni?
There are two things that I always advise current students and young alumni as they navigate through the initial phase of their careers. First, it is critical to be patient and nurture your career. We tend to want to rush the experience in our current roles and demand promotions when we haven’t taken the time to truly experience and understand if that job falls in line with our passion or goals in life.
Second, the art of networking is a skillset that should be developed throughout one’s career. It’s all about who knows YOU when you’re seeking growth in your career. You want to build relationships with your network where they know as much about you as possible and you’re not only conversing with them to seek employment. Your network of experienced professionals are more favorable to be in rooms with executives and HR representatives discussing roles that are not posted on job boards. You want your network of advocates to immediately nominate you when their contacts reach out to them about future job opportunities.
I have made a conscious decision to nurture my career and build relationships by networking as ingredients of my formula to being successful within my industry.