Crossovers: From Sports to Tech

Violet Nowak's WFH setup

By Violet Nowak, Intern

My journey to public relations started in a very minor way: joining a fantasy hockey league. The game was intense as only teenagers with too much time on their hands can make it. We simulated games on NHL15, created logos and started Twitter accounts to emulate our favorite NHL teams’ live Tweets.

Without truly realizing it, I created key performance indicators (at least one follower in our fake team’s real city and 50 total followers) and a brand voice (unhinged). After we hit all our KPIs at the end of the “season,” my friend asked if I’d considered a career in public relations. For the first time, I started to and ended up choosing it as my major in university.

In undergrad, I stuck to sports PR and saw the good and bad sides of that industry. People are so passionate but can also be immensely cruel. I learned a lot by stumbling my way through — about what I was good at, what was effective and what I wanted in a workplace. I loved the work of social media management, running events and working with journalists, but I wanted to feel safe while doing it. I wanted to be excited about my work without having it consume me.

After I graduated, I went to grad school and explored other industries through our student-run agency while applying for jobs and internships. That search led me to finding Hoffman. What got me to stay, though, was the culture.

From my first interview and through the next, everyone was exceptionally enthusiastic and kind. The work and the industry sounded exciting — I found tech fascinating, and I was eager to do more real-world PR work. What it always came back to, though, was how naturally every conversation flowed, how every interviewer raved about the culture and how for the first time in an awfully long time, I felt like I’d found a place where I could fit in without it being a fight.

Now that my internship has kicked off, I’m most looking forward to learning the industry and honing my skills from school. Tech is a brave new world for me that I’m just beginning to grasp. Along with that, I’m excited to continue learning about my clients and understanding their voices. Being handed projects right off the bat, from media monitoring to writing social copy, has been incredible, if a little scary, but I couldn’t be more grateful for the support and encouragement of my new colleagues.

I still love hockey — watching and attending games is still my favorite thing to do outside work. I keep old game pucks and other memorabilia on my desk because they make me smile. For now, though, I’m excited to take on a new challenge and industry.

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