Join the Team Behind the Team

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Credit: Jessica Jiamin Lang

By Elizabeth Barcelos
San Francisco Argonauts Manager

Here’s my dirty little secret about being a quidditch volunteer: I never believe in doing something for free if it doesn’t benefit me in some way. While being paid is the goal, money comes and goes–and goes, and goes when you have student loans and rent to pay–but experience is priceless, especially when you’re applying for jobs with a resume that’s just one of many. Everyone mentions putting quidditch on their resume, but has anyone really told you how?

You can’t just slap quidditch on there and wait for the jobs to roll in. You need to know how to translate your quidditch experience into marketable skills. In my case, I didn’t just have a degree in English when I left San Jose State; I had experience in budgeting, event planning, management, problem solving and more of those soft skills employers look for–and I got it all through volunteering in quidditch.

While I encourage everyone to try out for their local team, may I suggest looking at some of the non-playing roles MLQ has to offer before you decided to take to the pitch? You never know when the experience will come in handy.

Manager

Who should apply for this position: The power behind the scenes, spreadsheet aficionados

How you stand to benefit: This job gets a bad rap for being a non-playing position but the off-pitch experience is invaluable. While you might start your post-college career as someone’s minion, you won’t want to stay there for long. Being able to say that you managed a budget, a seven person staff, travel itineraries for a team of thirty and booked venues for events isn’t something most people can say–especially if they’re still waiting for the ink to dry on their diploma.

All MLQ manager positions are currently filled, but feel free to hit up the manager of your local team and see if they’re in need of an assistant.

Coach

Who should apply for this position: Strategists, leaders who knows how to put others first

How you stand to benefit: “Leadership skills” is one of those Hail Mary things you and everyone else puts on their resume but you have to back up this intangible idea with real evidence. Bringing together a group of players–most of whom may be on different squads the other nine months of the year–is a true test of leadership. Coaching is a good way to bring up quidditch in an interview in a relevant way, not just a last ditch attempt to stick out from a pile of applicants.

All MLQ head coach positions are currently filled, but feel free to hit up the manager of your local team and see if they’re in need of an assistant coach.

Team Statistician

Who should apply for this position: Numbers junkies, analysts in the making

How you stand to benefit: Everyone likes to say they’re detail oriented, but how do you quantify that? I might be more of a words person but even I know that there’s no proof more concrete than cold hard math. Tracking seemingly inconsequential details and bringing them together to find new insights is another job skill you can apply to a variety of fields.

Team Videographer

Who should apply for this position: Film junkies, anyone looking for a job in media

How you stand to benefit: Um, did you guys read the job description? This position comes with free training. Even if videography isn’t something you’re interested in as a full-time career, knowing how to stream or how to handle a GoPro can make you a well-rounded and multifaceted candidate if you’re looking for any job in media.

Team EMT/Athletic Trainer

Who should apply for this position: People who are actually certified (sorry, you can’t wing it with this one!)

How you stand to benefit: A lot of people are EMTs or sports trainers on a freelance basis but if you’re looking to work for a sports franchise, a school or some other organization that’ll give you more stability, being part of an existing team’s staff will help you stand out from other applicants. Spending the summer travelling with a team you probably would have already been following anyway is a bonus!

When it comes to quidditch, playing is great, but the glory of victory and the sting of defeat are fleeting. As these MLQ team positions prove, volunteering can truly have a long-lasting effect on your lives–so what’s the wait? Apply now!

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