By Bruce Claussen
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Omar Majzoub never quite knew what he wanted to do. He always had a love for sports, but didn’t know where that would lead for a career. When he was a 10th grader in high school, he found a passion for journalism.
Majzoub then pondered how sports and journalism could be combined for a job and later left his hometown of Houston to attend Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where he majored in journalism and had a minor in sports management.
Before graduating from college, Majzoub had several internships.
“When I was in college, I worked for scout.com covering SMU athletics and that led me to a job at the Dallas Morning News. I covered Dallas local sports and was an interning editor,” Majzoub, 24, said in a phone interview.
He also wrote for the university’s campus newspaper, the SMU Daily News.
After graduating from SMU in 2014, he landed a yearlong internship with the National
Football League’s Houston Texans. His internship was not exactly journalism, but he gained a new interest in that field when he interned.
“I interned for media relations, which was the other side of the coin, but really liked it. It was very hard work, but I realized it was something I wanted to do. I still used my writing skills, but it was a little bit different than writing for a major newspaper,” said Majzoub.
After a successful internship, Majzoub accepted a position as communications coordinator for the Texans.
Some of Majzoub’s jobs as communications coordinator, include writing
press releases, mass mailing and media schedules.
“My favorite part about working in sports is that everyone is a part of the team. Every member is valued. If I don’t do my part, my department can’t function. I like to compare it to the game Jenga, where if one part gets pulled it can all come down,” he said.
But, Majzoub said the job is really a stepping stone for his ultimate goal.
“In five years, I would love to be a manager of my own department for any team. In ten years, I would love to be a director of my own department and work closely with head management/coaches,” said Majzoub.
Majzoub said editing hasn’t taken a backseat in his sports communication job.
“I would say my ability to edit and catch mistakes is something I use every day,” he said. “I use editing skills every single day. It’s very important to take a step back and be accurate before first.”
Majzoub credited the journalism editing courses at SMU for his skills today.
He also said that media organizations at times feel the need to be first, rather than accurate, which is troubling.
“You could be right 100 times, but it’s the one time you’re wrong that you’ll always remember. The bigger the story, the bigger emphasis on taking your time, the bigger the potential mistake,” said Majzoub.
Majzoub said social media in daily life can be a challenge, but also be used for good. He recently posted on Twitter, “all thoughts and opinions are my own.”
But he soon realized the representation of the Houston Texans doesn’t go away. He also said that companies have to adapt to the pros and cons of reaching millions of consumers at a single time.
“The Houston Texans Twitter handle has 1.1 million followers. It is timely (and) relevant
and social media has made the ability to get news out there direct and accurate,” said
Reflecting on his short career, Majzoub said a recent college graduate can’t expect to get his or her dream job right out of college. But, he did have some advice. for college students interested in sports media relations.
“Get your foot in the door, have a professional somewhere that can vouch for your work,” said Majzoub.
He also said aspiring sports communications professionals may have to sacrifice some fun, social experiences for work obligations.
“I remember missing out on events my senior year in college because of work. It was missing those fun times that later on my boss would notice my time and commitment,” said Majzoub.
He said that starting at the bottom isn’t a bad thing.
“Your first job won’t always be amazing, but you have to swallow your pride. If I put down my head and work, I can go anywhere. It’s all about sacrifice,” he said.
A note about the content: This site showcases the final projects of University of Nebraska-Lincoln editing students. Each semester, students pick a journalist or communications professional to profile. This is their work.
This is me. I run this site.