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Celebrating Women

frrrdayfeat’ure: @CMansfield27

All mankind intrigues me. It’s the stories; coming from the slums, Mother Theresa’s tale, fairy tale wedding, pain, betrayal. 

Life is an open book, what are you writing in your book?

Between today’s feature and reading the article ‘Women’s History Month: Celebrate By Strengthening Women’s Financial Futures’, I understand the importance of being knowledgeable and skilled in a career field in order to remain competitive and relevant, but even more so for women. This month, I’m using it as a catalyst to put to practice, an intentional process of obtaining something from the lives of dynamic women in all career fields.   

Today’s frrrdayfeat’ure is a dynamic women who works in the field of college sports, Chevonne MansfieldAssistant Director of Media Relations at Southeastern Conference (SEC) 

How did you get started in the sports industry?

I have an interesting story, because I did not plan on working in sports. It all started back in my college days. I was a Spanish major at St. John’s University with hopes of working at the United Nations. I was also in need of a job being a work-study student. I remember looking for jobs on campus and there was an opening in the athletic communications office. Once I started working there, I fell in love with it. I changed my major to Communications and decided to pursue this as a career. Still, even though I loved working in college athletics as a student, I was not too sure of my ultimate career goals. I knew that I wanted to work in sports, but I wasn’t sure what area I was best suited for. So I took a wide range of classes — sports broadcasting, public relations, video editing, economics, financial management — just to get a feel of what each area was about. Thru those classes, and thru different internships, I realized that I had a knack for sports communications and that I was good at it. From there, it was like osmosis. Things seemed to work out well for me, but I still had challenges getting my first gig after graduating. As a senior I was offered a job at Fox Sports in the public relations department. But (and against the advisement of my mentor/advisor at St. John’s) — I turned it down to participate in a teaching exchange program in China. Fast forward a few weeks. I wound up not going to China, and Fox Sports had moved on and offered the position to someone else. That was expected, that’s just the way of the world. I already knew during the interview process that they would offer the job to someone else if I didn’t accept it. I spent the rest of the summer looking for a job and getting worried. I posted my resume on and got a couple of calls back, but I wasn’t sold on any of them. Maybe I was being too picky, who knows. It just didn’t feel right. I felt like I was not qualified for one of the jobs I was offered, and the other job was a year-long internship. Finally, I got a call from University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) about a graduate assistant opening in athletic communications. That sounded promising to me. At least I could get a free graduate degree and be close to family members in the DC area. I spent the next three years at UMES honing my skills and that set the tone for the rest of my career. I moved on to an Assisant Sports Information Director position at Howard University after that. Then, after three years, moved on to the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) as Assisant Director of Communications. After a year at the SWAC, I was offered a job at the Southeastern Conference (SEC) as Assistant Director of Media Relations. I have been at the SEC for six months now. 

Work day …

Every day is different. Mondays and Tuesdays are my busiest days. I announce weekly honors for my sports on Mondays and put together a conference notes package on Tuesdays. I update statistics at night several days each week and distribute that information to the conference media contacts. That is the core of my job, and that happens regardless of any events we have going on. Which brings up the other part of my
job. I also assist with the SEC neutral site championships (football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, gymnastics and baseball). For championships, we travel and run media operations. Actually, as I write all of this, I am in Nashville working our women’s basketball tournament. But even though I am in Nashville, I still have to continue my statistics and conference notes updates with softball and gymnastics. It makes for long days and long nights. 

Strength & Weakness (No words, in pictures)

Hmm! …

What do you hope to achieve during your time as Assistant Director?

I hope to move up in rank. I am an Assisant Director and the next step would be Associate Director. After that, Director. Each step comes with more responsibility and more opportunity for administrative duties.

5 bucket-list sporting events

 The CIAA Tournament, Talladega, Superbowl, Summer Olympics and the Kentucky Derby. (in no particular order)

Also Seen On

Black Enterprise: Sports Business Professionals (of Color) to Follow on Twitter

"The lives we change today may be the same lives we honor tomorrow!"- Women’s History Month: Celebrate By Strengthening Women’s Financial Futures