The world of sports was once thought to be solely a man’s world. Now, it is 2013 and the times have changed. Current game-changers like WNBA player Brittney Griner, NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, WTA player Serena Williams, and UFC fighter Ronda Rousey are making a name not only for themselves, but for women all over. Drexel University has their own female game-changer in the sports world, and her name is Hayley Zedeck.
Hayley, a pre-junior sport management major, is the President of the Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority chapter here at Drexel. Growing up a New York Yankees fan in the heart of Boston Red Sox country, Hayley quickly learned the lessons of “hope, desire, sympathy, admiration, and loyalty” that sport brings. Those lessons have brought her to where she stands today.
Upon arriving on Drexel’s campus, Hayley quickly learned that walking into a majority-male industry like sports present its own unique set of challenges. Not many majors have a class of twenty with only one girl registered. Zedeck sees this as both a challenge and an opportunity.
“I constantly have to assert myself and prove that I deserve to be there, and know what I’m talking about when it comes to sports,” she said. “In any new job or classes, I don’t gain the respect until I work hard to earn it.”
Hayley also quickly got involved within her major with the Drexel Sport Management Student Union (SMTSU), the student group focused on development, education and networking in sports. By the end of her freshman year, Hayley had earned herself the role Director of Marketing Outreach while also contributing regularly for the SMTSU’s blog, The Sports Complex.
As Hayley began making the transition from the SMTSU to ASA during her sophomore year, she realized that the skills were easily transferrable.
“My time as an officer for Drexel SMTSU taught me how to budget my time to accomplish my goals and fulfill my responsibilities,” Zedeck said. “I had the opportunity to plan events and recruit new members that helped me develop different strengths and opportunities for other leadership positions.”
Now in the enviable position of ASA President – like it or not – Hayley is a role model. “I have to set an example and be a role model to younger girls in a way that I did not recognize before,” Zedeck said, but it is a role that she has come to embrace.
With major events like their annual pasta bake-off and unique impressions fundraiser, the ASA under Hayley’s watch has never been stronger. They are even planning 5K run for next summer to benefit charity.
Wherever ASA goes from here, Hayley has learned valuable skills and knowledge that will help her in her career. With a love for sports news, and a communications minor to boot, Hayley has already landed internships at 97.5 The Fanatic and WPHL 17, both among the top radio and television stations in Philadelphia.
She hopes that one day her experiences will lead her on a path to her dream job; becoming a sports news producer at a major television network.
Certainly, Hayley has the strong resume to get there, but what else is important to one day make this dream job a reality? How about nailing that all-important interview.
She said, “Always go into the interview with the confidence that you DESERVE the job. If your mind set is that the job is yours, it will be evident in your demeanor that you’re the most qualified.”
With the lessons learned through sports, facing adversity in a male-dominated industry, becoming a leader and a role model, and gaining loads of real world experience, Hayley is on her way to becoming the next game-changer for women in the sports world. But for now, she will settle for dominating her role as President of Alpha Sigma Alpha.