recently interviewed Kolby Castillo, owner and founder of Sports As A Job, a weekly podcast that features people who work in the sports industry. Kolby also helps people land their dream job in the sports industry by doing local and national outreach through different sports organizations. 

Interview with the Founder of Sports As A Job, Kolby Castillo

Q) Tell us about what got you into working in sports? How it all started.

The journey began the first year of college. At 18 years old I decided to make the move from my home of Hawaii to continue my education and football career at the University of Minnesota – Crookston. I went into that first year with the goal of majoring in health science then eventually going to physical therapy school. I mean how many people wouldn’t want to be called a doctor and in a field that many respected.

A lot had to do with the fact I really didn’t know working in sports outside of being a coach was an option. My bubble of limitations (leads into my motive of sports as a job) didn’t have the knowledge of sports as a career. More importantly, the goal of being a physical therapist was not mine. It took the help of my advisor to realize that at the end of the day its my life. My happiness and success depended on me. He exposed me to Sport Management my freshman year of college by convincing me to stay undecided and try a few classes out. From the first sport management class, I fell in love with working in sports.

Q) You founded Sports As A Job. Tell us about what drove you to get this started.

I believe that from the day we are born, we are all placed in a bubble. This bubble of limitations size depends on the information we consume, the people we around, and the experiences we go through. Its stories that help make people aware of what lives outside of the bubble. Its different stories that help pop this bubble.

Sports As a Job started as a simple blog about my week to week of my first year of full-time work in the sports industry. I wanted to document my journey but also provide honest insight into what working in sports is like. After a few articles I decided to start a podcast with the same concept. Three episodes in there were only five people listening. Probably my mom, dad, aunt, girlfriend, and friend. Yet, out of nowhere I got a direct message on instagram from someone in Ireland. A DM from a person in Ireland could only be spam right? I mean how many times have I got spam, like you many times too. I open the message and it is a person thanking me for sharing my story of how I decided to work in sports in episode 1: Introduction. He said he always wanted to chase a career in the soccer industry.

The opportunity wasn’t in Ireland but my story inspired him. He booked a ticket and decided to go all the way to England to pursue his dream. From that moment, I realized the importance of not only myself but others sharing their story. The Sports As a Job Podcast as many know it started from that moment. I started to message and email as many people in sports as possible. I was able to get people from all levels and aspects of the sports industry. Now, we are a full blown online sports media company that produces written articles, a virtual book club, and a couple podcasts.

Q) How often are you producing Podcasts for Sports As A Job?

With the main sports as a job podcast we are releasing an episode every Sunday. We typically are recording every week with multiple guests. On hand, I probably have 5 episodes waiting to be released. With the Sports Free Agent podcast under the Sports As a Job Company we are releasing 5 episodes on sundays as well.

Q) I see you graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Sports and Recreation  Management. How much impact has your degree benefited you in working in the sports industry?

With anything its important to have a strong foundation. My education was able to build that for me. It gave me the groundwork to be able to get my foot in the door. In college it is a lot of practices and theories that have been thought over for years. We are able to learn them and discuss them. Internships are huge in college but many times we take for granted in class discussion. Like an athlete that takes mental reps, it’s important for Sport Management students to do the same. That is what those in-class discussions are for. I was able to get some practice before entering the full-time industry.

Q)  Have you always been a huge sports fan? Did you play any sports in school?

Always have been a huge sports fan. The love of sports came from my dad. His favorite teams became my favorite teams. I am a Lakers and Chargers fan. From when I was little I always participated in sports. Baseball from five years old until high school. Then high school is when I found football. I was decent enough to get a scholarship to play at the University of Minnesota – Crookston that competes at the NCAA II level.

Q) When you were in the thick of your job search, what were the things that frustrated you the most?

It was interesting that I never got frustrated in the search. I was confident enough that I did the preparation. The mindset I have working in the sports industry is the same as when I competed as an athlete. In college I did everything that was necessary. I think thats the most important thing is that you do your best to be ready for certain moments. You can never truly be ready but you can stay ready. My first job out of college was with my alma mater as an Assistant Event Management and Intramural Coordinator. Getting that job was a four year process of when I began working for them as a student worker. I did internships each summer. We control the outcome and I can never be frustrated with that.

Q) What noticeable trend are you seeing in the recent grads and entry level employees you’re working with? Are they as driven as you were, do they all have the same degree, or come from the same college program?

It is getting more and more competitive. I am seeing so many people enter the full-time world with masters degrees. In many ways it seems that most people have a Bachelors and to separate themselves are getting more education.

Q) Is there anything you’d like to tell our audience about, any new projects or passions you’d like to share with users?

I say this with confidence in the team we have been able to build here at sports as a job but we are working on it becoming a household name for those aspiring and currently in the sports industry. We are continuously going to be the connector within the sports industry through various ways. We continuously work to connect people with opportunities, information, and other people within the sports industry.

Q) What advice would you give to anyone looking for a career in the sports industry?

Persistence and patience. These two things are things I have seen in many of the people I had the privilege of interviewing for the podcast. It is about constantly putting in the work. It is about persistence in networking. I only remember the people that say yes and not the many no’s I have got. Lastly, stay patient. Don’t frustrate yourself by comparing yourself to others. Each path is different. There is no set path to achieving the goals we set for ourselves.

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