A Co-op Reflection

It’s hard to think that just four short months ago, I was welcomed onto the Gryphon Football support staff team. In these past few months, I have been introduced to so many amazing people and experiences within such a beautiful program.

I’ve had a wide range of responsibilities within this job. My main responsibilities included managing the Gryphon Football website, writing the monthly newsletter, assisting with the organization and execution of any events, and assisting with the posting of social media content, specifically Instagram. This job has allowed me to expand my marketing experiences through being trusted with both the website and the social media content as those are both skill sets that I never got to experience with any of my prior co-ops.

 The past three Gryphon Football co-op students. From left to right: Alex Zebeljan, myself (Taylor Floris), and Sarah Shepherd at John Galt Public School for Bell Let's Talk Day.

The past three Gryphon Football co-op students. From left to right: Alex Zebeljan, myself (Taylor Floris), and Sarah Shepherd at John Galt Public School for Bell Let's Talk Day.

I have also had the opportunity to be a part of so many amazing events and experiences in my four months here. I was a part of the 2018 Wildman Awards dinner, the Winter Training Camp at Florida’s IMG Academy, Spring Camp, charitable events, and the camps that we run for high school students.

 

One of the things that I admire most about this team is the culture. This team is taught more than how to be great on the field. A huge focus of the coaching of the Guelph Gryphons football team is placed on how to be great men off the field as well. With this team, it’s “cool” to want to help out with charitable events, camps or within the community.

One thing I noticed on this team is the difference between first and fifth year players. At the beginning of my work term, I had the opportunity to travel to Florida’s IMG Academy with the team. After spending a couple of long bus rides and a week with the team, I quickly noticed that it wasn’t in the culture of the team to act in the way that many assume “jocks” act. The nicest guys on the team are the upper year players and I think a huge reason for this is due to the fact that they know and understand that it is in the culture of the team to be the best guys you can be.

 Special Forces Coordinator and Director of Football Advancement, Bill Brown (left) poses with myself and Videographer "D" Bulsara (right) at Training Camp at Florida's IMG Academy. 

Special Forces Coordinator and Director of Football Advancement, Bill Brown (left) poses with myself and Videographer "D" Bulsara (right) at Training Camp at Florida's IMG Academy. 

 

This culture was really shown true during the Amanda Lang HeForShe event. In March, Gryphon Football partnered with the College of Business and Economics to present the Amanda Lang Book Signing & Public Talk event. This event focused on award-winning author, Amanda Lang’s book, The Beauty of Discomfort, tying in the HeForShe movement. At the beginning of the public event, members of the football team stood in support of the HeForShe movement. These young men are coached to demonstrate actions of leadership toward gender equality throughout their everyday lives. Being a part of this event made me so proud to work for an organization that takes the time to go the extra mile.

I can genuinely say that I have felt so welcomed onto this team. It was quite intimidating at first to join a team where there are over 100 guys, most of which I did not know. Almost all of the guys have taken the time to talk to me, say hi as they pass by and ask me how my day is going and it means the absolute world.

 Myself (left) and Team Manager, Sarah Shepherd (right), admire the early sunrise at IMG Academy. 

Myself (left) and Team Manager, Sarah Shepherd (right), admire the early sunrise at IMG Academy. 

In these short four months, I have grown so attached to the culture of this team and have fallen in love with sports marketing. I feel so blessed to have been provided with such an amazing experience throughout these past four months. 

Although my work term has come to an end, I am not saying goodbye just yet!

I have been fortunate enough to have been offered a full-time position as the Recruiting Coordinator for the summer. Here, I will be working alongside Director of Recruiting, Mike Aloisio to take care of all the behind-the-scenes components of recruiting.

I am so excited to continue my journey with this team and to continue to enhance my experiences in the sports marketing field.