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How NCAA Assistant Director, Sahar Abdur-Rashid Focuses on Faith and Family to Advance in Her Career

Dedicated to the often evolving and fast paced sport industry Sahar Abdur- Rashid has been successful in conquering the rigorous day-to-day operations behind

the media it takes to produce NCAA Championships.

Name: Sahar Abdur-Rashid

Age: 35

Company:  NCAA
Current Title: Assistant Director, Media Coordination and Statistics, Marketing and Broadcast Alliances

Location: Indianapolis IN

Education: Temple University

 Press releases, locker room quotes, and media send-outs are just a few of the items that cross the desk of Ms. Abdur-Rashid daily. Her journey started out unexpectedly and morphed into a purposeful, dedicated and determined journey of which she attributes to relying all on God’s timing.

 Working alongside her colleagues near and far  she works to execute championships across various sports from behind the scene. Always willing to help the young professionals trying to make their way into the sport industry she finds a balance through prayer and patience to get her job done with ease.

What was your first job out of college and how did you land the position?

 Straight out of college I had interned at the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and also did a ton of other internships (paid & unpaid). I applied to the position and just trusted that God would place me where I needed to be.

 What drove you to pursue this type of career in the field of sports?

 I grew up around sports with my siblings and parents. I was a cheerleader and always surrounded by the world of sports.

The turning point for me was during my undergraduate studies. One day as I was riding to school on the subway I saw an ad for Temple University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality. At the time I had not declared my major and the program included sports and recreation. So that day I made a decision to at least do the research to gain a better understanding of the field.

 Soon after, I ended up speaking with the dean for an hour about the program. I knew from then this was what I must pursue.  This began the journey I am on now working in this continually changing world of sports media.

 What has been the most difficult adjustment you’ve had to make in order to continue driving your career to the next level?

I wouldn’t say I have had challenges, I would say I have been blessed to learn from every opportunity I have had. It has been a blessing to continue to learn and move within the industry and be able to continue doing something I enjoy doing.

 What advice would you give your 22-year-old self?

Keep Grinding, you will be okay and that the plan that is in your head, will work out! It is just a matter of going outside the box and getting out of your comfort zone and making it a point to network and genuinely meet people and then use your network.

 Anything that was easier or more challenging than you expected?

 Patience was something I learned and I have been able to use and incorporate daily. For example, when it comes to situations during events like the wireless [server] going out and media are trying to get their images sent to their respective constituents via wireless I know how to effectively and calmly handle those situations. So this is something I have mastered.

 What is your morning routine and how does it prepare you for a successful day in the office?

 My daily routine consist of prayer and listening to a sermon or audible at night. I also journal at night and speak with my mother and father regularly! These things allow me to be equipped to handle what ever is thrown at me. I know when I do these if a situations arises I will be calm in making decisions under pressure.

  

 If you could do it all over again while on this journey what would you change?

 I would say researching and using the resources out there available to have had help to finance my MBA education. In thinking back the load the was totally on me and [there are scholarships and grants available] that would be the only thing I would consider changing since this career journey has begun.

 If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be?

 Outside the sport industry, I would say the Obamas and Oprah. They think outside of the box and have been able to go against the grain in what they wanted to pursue and have been able to face adversity and rise to the top.

Within the [sports] industry, I would love to sit down with Robin Roberts and Michael Jordan. I would just want to pick their brains about their business ventures and their thought process at the height of their success.

 What’s your favorite way to celebrate a success and why is it important to celebrate accomplishments?

 I think it is important to celebrate success!

 I probably do not do it enough, but I think in celebrating it is great to step back and see that I can do this. An example I will share was brought to my attention when I was able to bring my mother and other family members to an event I was supervising. It was the first time she saw me in my work environment. She was able to see and appreciate what I do and understand why I have late nights in the office. For the first time she had been able to see my accomplishments and gain a deeper appreciation for what I do and realize I’m really good at it!

 Learn more about Sahar Abdur-Rashid on LinkedIn.