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Gloria Nevarez: Going Beyond Labels – Work in Sports podcast
27th March 2019 • The Work in Sports Podcast - Insider Advice for Sports Careers • Brian Clapp - Work in Sports
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West Coast Conference commissioner Gloria Nevarez is the first Latina commissioner of a Division 1 conference - but she's much more than that. In this episode of the Work in Sports podcast, we go beyond the labels.Today's Sponsors:To learn more about the Georgetown Master's program, you’re invited to attend an upcoming webinar on Wednesday, April 3, at noon Eastern Time. Visit to! Check out our latest promo connected to March Madness, we call it #JOBMADNESSHi, everybody, I’m Brian Clapp, Director of Content for and this is the Work in Sports podcast…I’ve never really had a big goal. I know it sounds weird for a guy that shares career advice all the time to share that…but it’s real.I went through college day by day. I had an inkling of what I wanted to do in the sports industry, but I never had some lofty aspiration.I started working at CNN/Sports Illustrated and all my goals were short term. Get this game edited on time, I have a press conference coming up, the show starts in 20 minutes.Maybe every once in a while I’d start to think about being a producer someday…but more often than not, I was living exactly where my feet were on the ground.Looking back, I don’t have a perspective on whether this was good or bad… it just was. I eventually became a producer, and then a news director. But I still never had these high aspirations to own a network, or become a CEO… I always felt I had so much to learn right where I was.Most people will tell you to set goals, write them down, read them, aim high – all the clichés – and they are right. You should. I’m not telling you, you shouldn’t.But you’d be amazed at how many people, how many successful people, don’t really think that way. Most people I speak with in the industry speak of flexibility, being liquid and following opportunity, being versatile and fitting into the roles that need fitting.Most of the people I talk to share their stories of doing whatever needs doing, of emptying trashcans that needed emptying, of changing lightbulbs, of picking up the slack around the office.Most people don’t say – I knew when I was in college that I wanted to be the Chief Marketing Officer of an NHL team.I don’t think people process information that way…no matter how many books, and other podcasts, tell them they should. I believe most people think at most 6 months ahead, not 6-10 years.And you know what, I think that is smart.Getting locked into a career concept can be limiting. Convincing yourself there is only one way to achieve, can make you look the other way when opportunities arise.Today’s guest Gloria Nevarez, Commissioner of the West Coast Conference didn’t set out saying, someday I’ll run this league you’ll see!She took her steps. Undergrad in sports management. Law degree. Compliance officer. Assistant Athletic Director. Associate Commissioner.She worked to gain experience and figure things out along the way. She learned sponsorship, fundraising, negotiating, relationship building and so much more. And you know what, these were all qualifying experiences to become commissioner.At some point along the way, maybe when she was Sr. Associate Athletic Director at the University of Oklahoma or Senior Associate Commissioner at the Pac12 -  I’m sure she started to think… maybe I can be a commissioner. But she discovered her path while she was on the path.The point is, stay open, stay flexible, learn a multitude of skills and enjoy the journey… like Gloria Nevarez has… well, I guess I should let her tell you…Questions for Gloria Nevarez, West Coast Conference Commissioner:1: When an event like March Madness comes around and one of your teams is a #1 seed and another qualifies and faces the reigning champion – do you get to sit back like a fan and enjoy…or is it a totally different experience for you?2: Let’s dig a little into your background. You grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area but traveled across the country to atten...