SARASOTA, Fla. (July 23, 2015) – USF Sarasota-Manatee senior Darrell Xayarath is crediting a student-ambassador experience with helping him to land a job at IMG Academy, the elite sports training academy in Bradenton.
The College of Arts & Sciences senior and newly named USFSM ambassador said he jumped at the chance to volunteer at the prestigious IMG 7v7 National Championship youth football tournament when contacted last month by Director of Alumni Affairs Jay Riley.
The two-day tournament, played on the campus of IMG Academy, featured 60 teams from 16 states and Canada. The academy worked with Riley to provide volunteers. Riley contacted the Ambassadors, a student organization that regularly helps at community events.
Xayarath, a biology student aiming to become an athletic trainer, readily agreed, saying it dovetailed with his interests. He grew up in Aurora, Ill., just outside Chicago, loving football and rooting for the Bears. Plus he figured the tournament might open doors to a job, and he was right.
After keeping score and helping the referees and event managers, he landed a part-time position this week at IMG Academy.
Of course, it wasn’t that easy.
Xayarath said he worked hard to impress, diligently lending a hand where he could at the event, and he took time to network. He also made sure to follow up with a note thanking IMG Academy staff for the experience.
He got a quick reply and learned a part-time position might open up to assist at tournaments and other youth events. That was fine for Xayarath, who wanted a part-time job in his field that allowed time to continue his studies. After graduation, the 30-year-old Air Force veteran said he hopes to pursue a master’s degree in athletic training.
“We’re excited about the addition of Darrell to our game-day and part-time events staff,” Titus Queen, IMG Academy director of events, said Thursday. “His strong work ethic and ability to accomplish tasks in a timely manner made him an easy choice and we look forward to building a relationship with USF Sarasota-Manatee.”
For his part, Xayarath said he’s looking forward to joining the academy. He started job orientation this week.
“It’s definitely the type of environment I want to be in,” he said. “It’s very professional. The expectations there are very high.”