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I’ve laid out 3 different types of days: the lead-up, one month out, and Grey Cup week.
Manager, Grey Cup
Canadian Football League (CFL)
One thing is for sure, it’s never a dull moment! As Manager, Grey Cup at the Canadian Football League, my ultimate responsibility is to oversee the entire planning and execution of different events and projects during Grey Cup week. It involves a lot of preparation – building out workback schedules, planning site visits, implementing processes, and finding efficiencies to better equip our team. Once leads are assigned their events and projects I’ll track and monitor overall progress, ensure we are working cross-functionally with other departments, and help support the team whenever I can.
In conjunction, our team is in constant communication with the local Grey Cup Festival Host Committee. We work very collaboratively to figure out where we can combine efforts and essentially act as a resource to help their team make decisions in their planning and execution.
Grey Cup is really a beast of its own! There’s a ton of moving parts and many stakeholders involved but ultimately, what we want is to create the best possible experience and make each moment of Grey Cup week, including the Championship game, memorable for our fans.
I’m sure I won’t be the first to say this: every day is different and that’s what makes it exciting! I’m always learning something new. With that said, I’ve laid out 3 different types of days: the lead-up, one month out, and Grey Cup week.
If someone told me at a young age that I was going to be working in sports, I wouldn’t have believed them! Sure, I played recreational volleyball and table tennis during high school, but that’s not why – I honestly fell into it.
Growing up in an immigrant family, a career in sports wasn’t even a thing! I’m Filipino and not to stereotype, but my mom wanted me to become a doctor or a nurse or a teacher. I knew early on that I didn’t want any of those career paths. Believe or not, I studied Interior Design. It wasn’t until years later I moved to Toronto to study Event Management, which got me to where I am today. While I was in university full-time, I managed to juggle working two part-time ticketed-relating jobs for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and True North Sports & Entertainment. Without even realizing it, that was when I first dipped my toe into the sports industry and grew to love it. My mom is also now one of my biggest supporters and is a Bombers fan.
What really attracted me the most to pursue a career in this industry is because of the amazing people I’ve met along the way. Sports have a great way of bringing people of all different backgrounds together both on and off the field.
I’m honestly lucky to be surrounded by some of the most passionate and hardworking people at the CFL. When we need all hands on deck, everyone is all in! How often do you see Directors or Executives in your office helping lift boxes, tearing down after an event or volunteering as a handler? Our office is like one big family – we support one another to overcome obstacles and get together to celebrate our accomplishments.
I wish I had the magic formula, but here are the 3 things I do that helps:
Trying to get 40 hours of work done in 24 hours! But really, one of the most challenging aspects of my role is dealing with things that are out of your control. I know it’s easier said than done but try not to stress over it. A current example that the world is facing right now is working through COVID-19. There are a number of items up in the air right now, questions that can’t be answered, and site visits that can’t be done. All our team can do is focus on the things we can control at this time and find ways to work with what we’ve got. During this crucial time, everyone’s health is the number one priority. Stay safe everyone!
One of the most rewarding parts of my job is seeing everything come to life! It’s one thing to see your stage set-up completed, for example, but seeing people come together and having a great time is what takes the cake. Knowing you had a hand in creating those special moments, it makes all the hard work you put in and sacrifices you had to make worth it.
Even if the position you want in an organization isn’t available and there are other job openings in other departments, go for it! Not only is it a way to get your foot in the door but who knows, you might yourself enjoying another path you weren’t expecting!
Be a sponge and learn everything you can. Shout out to Celine Seguin and Erin Moxley for teaching me everything I know. If you have the capacity and your manager approves, offer to help on projects or simply ask to go for coffee to learn about what they do. Learning different aspects of the business will prove to be valuable in the long run.
The last thing I’ll add is, soak it all in. This goes for anyone who’s just starting out or has been in the industry for a while. This industry can go by extremely fast and sometimes, it’s easy to forget to take a step back and appreciate everything that’s happening around you. Enjoy it!
With great power comes great responsibility as Camille has faced in her role as the CFL’s Manager of the Grey Cup. Change is inevitable when planning for a large event but after working four Grey Cups, Camille has learned to laugh at the things that may go wrong. Working in events is a grind, (long hours, lack of sleep, forgetting to eat) yet to those who watch, it’s a spectacle. As Camille said, things happen that are out of your control. Expect the unexpected but try not to stress it. After all, creating special moments is what matters most.