Q. I am a 28-year-old author who lives in Raleigh, NC (heaven for college basketball fans) and has a huge passion for the PR and marketing field, but I don’t have a college degree. Is it possible to make a name for myself in this industry without one or will no one take me seriously? Any advice is appreciated. -TM
A. It’s tough, but not impossible, to land marketing and PR jobs without a college degree so I asked two sports marketing gurus for their thoughts and recommendations.
Kevin Donnellon of Macali Communications confirms that sports PR jobs are “very coveted at all levels. With such competition, a candidate will benefit from the advantage of having a college degree and any and all levels of experience.”
Sports marketing pro Wally Hayward urges you to begin taking classes with a goal of getting a degree. He feels you can work and get your degree at the same time, although he acknowledges only hiring one person without a degree so the odds are against those without degrees. “Don’t give employers an excuse not to hire you,” Wally urges. He also suggests that you utilize your writing skills as a freelance writer for Sports Business Journal or other industry trade publications. Since you’re in the heart of NASCAR Country, Wally says you also might try to work for a NASCAR team or sponsor.