Alumni Highlight - Stan Campbell
Courtesy: Brian Weaver
While at Western Illinois University, Stan Campbell (M.S., 1975) gained some valuable knowledge and experience that he has been able to use in his professional career. Campbell stated that his supervisor, John Colgate, prepared him very well for life after Western. He came to Western with the goal to become a college athletic administrator, but found his passion while working as a graduate assistant for Campus Recreation at the university. With his experience gained through his graduate assistantship, he was hired as a full-time employee at Western at the completion of his graduate degree.
After spending three years at Western with Campus Recreation, Campbell moved to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he is currently employed. He serves as the Director of Campus Recreation at Nebraska and oversees nearly 30 full-time professional staff members.
He stated that the experience that he gained in the classroom and in the work environment at Western Illinois helped him to become indispensible upon arriving at Nebraska. Especially helpful were some creative ideas that he had implemented while on the staff at Western and his classroom experiences while taking his facility management course.
Campbell offered some great advice to those seeking employment in the sports profession. One valuable skill for a manager is political savvy. Knowing who the decision makers are, the process that they follow, and their timeline for making decisions can be crucial for getting things done the right way. More work can be achieved through collaboration, and beneficial partnerships are essential to success.
Campbell believes that the biggest challenge that one faces in the field involves human resources. Supervising staff effectively and creating a positive and communicative work environment should be the focus of every sport manager.
To differentiate oneself from the majority of job applicants, he believes that preparation is key. In addition, demonstrating innovative ideas is also an attractive quality. Going above and beyond job requirements by earning relevant certifications in the field is also a piece of advice that Campbell has to offer.
The best career advice that Campbell offered was for each individual to determine what he or she is passionate about, and then achieve a career that follows those passions. Having a job that one enjoys makes all the difference in being satisfied and content in life. In this way, Campbell feels as though coming to work is not like work at all, but is truly something that gives him pleasure.
In his spare time, he pursues all forms of recreation, including golf, basketball, and leading an active lifestyle in every way possible.