July 12, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) - Although it has been nearly two months since the season ended for Seminole softball, rising redshirt junior pitcher Jessica Nori has wasted little time in gaining real-world experience with a valuable sales internship for notable athletic company Louisville Slugger.
Nori, who has earned her reputation as an outstanding academic student, continues to put her emphasis on what she will be doing after softball while excelling at the game she loves. Luckily for her, she jumped at an opportunity that gives her the best of both worlds in terms of aggressively pursuing a career path while staying connected to the game.
In fact, all of the FSU softball team is made aware of opportunities to benefit themselves in the working world thanks to having a mentor in head coach Lonni Alameda who always accentuates the importance of bettering themselves in life in addition to putting in the hard work on the field.
"Coacha sent us an email about the Louisville Slugger opportunity last year and it interested me then, but I didn't think I had the time to do it," Nori said, referring to her coach by her nickname. "When she sent it again this year, I knew I couldn't let an opportunity to see another side of the sports industry pass by. The main reason I pursued this internship is because it allows me to get a hands-on experience in the sales industry, which is what I'm double majoring in so it gives me the chance to see if I would enjoy a career in sales."
The Weston, Fla., native has already gotten a head start with her internship, spending a week in Colorado and learning the in's and out's of working in sales and selling Louisville Slugger and other distributors' inventory at various softball and baseball tournaments. Later this month, Nori will head to Las Vegas and South Carolina and use what she learned in the Centennial State to try to enhance her job skills.
"One of the things we do is set up the tent to promote our `Beautifully Powerful' campaign as well as our products," Nori added. "Overall we are responsible for the daily setup and breakdown of the tent, and promoting and selling our products."
The hard-throwing right-hander is a true student of the game, possessing a knowledgeable approach to each and every appearance she makes. Softball is something she has always enjoyed playing, and to be able to stay a part of it from a working standpoint and influence younger players is an enormous benefit.
"The chance to intern for Louisville Slugger came at the right time for me and not only do I get to promote and sell the products for such an iconic company, but I also get the chance to give back to the sport and help younger players choose the appropriate gear for them," she added.
As a student-athlete, Nori knows the importance of using her resources and taking advantage of the help provided by academic advisors and other mentors. The limited hours and constant juggling of school and sports can be a mighty task for student-athletes, but Nori handles it all in stride.
And like many collegiate students, she still faces an unknown road as to where she may want to begin her first year of employment. However, in her case, she has taken such an interest in so many choices and will undoubtedly find the perfect skill when she finishes college.
"Initially, I did have a game plan for achieving my career goals, but lately I've been unsure of what I plan to do because there are so many options out there that interest me," Nori said. "I've always wanted to open an indoor training facility, mainly for softball, but other sports would be able to train there. Now, I'm considering a career in sales or even something in event planning. For now, I'm just focusing on finishing up undergrad and researching/planning for grad school."
Nori also isn't taking her internship lightly, knowing that it could lead to greater things and introduce her to influential people. She hopes that her experience will pay big dividends and guide her to something even bigger.
"This experience is all part of building a resume, as well as taking the opportunity to discover if what you thought you wanted a career in is actually what you want to do," she added. "It is a great learning and work experience, you meet such influential people along the way who could be important contacts for later on in life. Many times interns become company employees once they graduate, so it's the chance to get out there and find what truly interests you."
While she works on building her resume, she also stays focused on improving herself inside the circle following consecutive years where she showed her true worth to the program. The former walk-on tied FSU's single-season saves record in 2012 with four and led the Seminoles with a 1.29 ERA in conference play. Losing just one every day starter next season combined with an enormously talented recruiting class, Nori realizes the sky is the limit for the Seminoles in 2013.
"We had a solid season (in 2012) from start to finish and we're in a good spot to come back stronger next year," she said. "The team battled through some key injuries throughout the season and gained experience, but in the end we just came up short of our ultimate goal of the CWS. However, next year we have a talented recruiting class adding to our depth, and combined with returning players we are in a good position to achieve that goal."