In this week's podcast, I share a perfect example of how exploring your interests in high school can pay off.
In Kevin Fitzgibbon's case, it meant getting a dream job with the NFL at age 19.
Kevin used PrepWell Academy's strategy of "interest probing" to land this job and pave the way for an amazing future.
If your child is looking for examples of how this strategy works in real life, listen to this episode.
Paragraph for show notes.
Hello, friends, and welcome back to the PrepWell Podcast. In today's episode, I want to continue giving examples of how hustling in high school can help you find your path. Whether that path is an intended college major or a job or a career. And I keep harping on this topic because it seems to get so little attention in school, and by so little I mean almost none and very little attention outside of school as well.
And not knowing what you're interested in and not building up a body of evidence to show that you're interested in something makes your job a lot more difficult when it comes to college admissions. As we've talked about many times before in the last few episodes, I've tried to offer a bunch of examples of how to use what I call interest probing to help you figure out what you like, what you might like, or what you thought you liked, or something completely new.
This week I want to share an Instagram post from a teenager named Kevin Fitzgibbons that absolutely nails this concept. I could not have scripted it any better myself. I feel like I need to put Kevin on the prep payroll. Now I've had prep others who've done things similar to this in different areas like investing military, real estate. But no one who has captured the essence as clearly as this teenager has.
If you want to look him up again, his name is Kevin Fitzgibbons. And you can find him on Instagram. Kevin's story perfectly captures exactly what a motivated teenager should do if they have a growing interest in a particular topic. What's even better about Kevin's story is that his interest is so universal and relatable and common, for that matter, that almost any teenager, especially male teenagers, can relate to it.
I don't want to take away any of Kevin's thunder, so I'm going to simply play the audio from his Instagram post. If you're interested in seeing the video that accompanies the audio, which I think is well worth the watch, feel free to find him on Instagram and check out the post. Here we go. This is how I got a job working for the NFL at 19 years old.
Growing up, just like every kid, it was my dream to play in the NFL. When I was in middle school, my mom taught me how to edit videos so I downloaded Instagram. I started to post my own football edits after two years of editing for my own account. Baker Mayfield posted my video on his Instagram and received over a million views.
I then decided it was time to pick up a camera. I started filming for my high school basketball and hockey team and then started working events for free to help make connections. In March of 2020, I was in Miami for a couple of weeks and noticed that NFL receiver Tyreek Hill was training around the area. I then messaged him on Instagram and offered to film a free video.
The very next day he invited me to one of his workouts to make an edit and utilize this connection and started a network with other athletes around Miami. Within two weeks I got the film Jerome Baker, Dexter Lawrence, and even got cooked by Cleveland Pharaoh in a one on one. I continued working with Tyreke and even filmed a video on a boat with him when I got back to New York.
I started using my new networking skills and got the opportunity to film Saquon Barkley in the New York Giants. This was a dream come true for me as a lifelong Giants fan. The next year I moved back to Florida and attended the University of Miami. At around the same time, my old friend Tyreke got traded to the Miami Dolphins.
I applied for a job with the NFL and sent in all my password. If Tyreke and other NFL players. After months of waiting, I finally heard back that the Dolphins were bringing me on as a live content creator. I get to film some of the best athletes in the world, go in the tunnel for team rollouts. Live my dream of being on an NFL field and most importantly, recreate the boat picture.
Retiree. How about that story? Kevin landed his dream job with the NFL at 19 years old. Based on his talent and hard work and probably a little bit of luck. But in my opinion, even more important was his willingness to take action to hustle, to learn, to develop skills, and to stick his neck out and try something. He started small and early.
He was patient. You may recall that he was creating and posting his own football edits for two years before NFL player Baker Mayfield, out of nowhere, posted one of his edits on his own Instagram, which immediately went viral. Kevin worked on his craft. He believed in himself. He kept at it. Then he upgraded his camera. Then he started taking videos of high school basketball and hockey games.
Then he started making videos for other sports personalities for free. He started to network. This is something that anyone aspiring to work in the sports industry could do. I've actually recommended this tactic to countless private students of mine who claim they're interested in the field of sports management, sports, entertainment. The bigger question is how many of them actually did something about it?
Kevin then took it one step further and deemed one of today's most famous talents in football. Tyreek Hill asking him if he could take some videos of him training. This is a perfect example of hustle. Most teenagers would be intimidated or scared or too nervous to do such a thing. Kevin did it anyways. He took a chance and Tyrique agreed and a friendship was born and they were off to the races.
From there, Kevin learned how to network, kept creating new content and then had the audacity to apply for a job with the NFL as an 18 year old. This is good old fashioned hustle. And as you heard, Kevin did get the job and now is working full time with the NFL at age 19. What's the moral of the story here?
The moral of the story here is that there could be thousands of Kevin's out there who love the NFL and ESPN and who know every stat for every player and can spit out trivia for days, who also love editing videos and who would give up their left arm to get anywhere near the NFL in terms of a job or an internship or as a ball boy.
But who don't want to hustle. They don't have the vision or the confidence or the talent or the work ethic or the patience to take action. Massive and sustained action. They don't want to get out there and try something or open an Instagram account or learn a new skill. They'd rather sit back on their bed and consume other people's content like Kevin's.
The difference is that Kevin had a dream about working for the NFL someday, and he took action on it. He did something. He tried something. He stuck with something. He risked something. He took a chance. He trusted himself. And look where it got him. He didn't have to wait on the sidelines and take the conventional path by going to the perfect college and majoring in sports media and submitting his resume into an online black hole where it will never see the light of day.
He bypassed all of that within a few years as a teenager. That is possible in today's world if you're willing to hustle. One advantage to hustling as a teenager is that you can get away with almost anything. Just text, email or DM someone and let them know that you are an aspiring blank, aspiring photographer artist content creator, engineer, surfer, whatever it is.
And you're wondering if you could do blank in order to help you learn about the business. Shadowing, interviewing, researching something. Nine out of ten people will respond to that by saying, Sure, come on down, Will every one of those connections bear fruit? Probably not. Well, every one of those opportunities pan out like that. Tyreek Hill connection. Probably not, but you have to get in the game.
You have to take action. Test a theory. Experiment. Probe. Make a bet on something. If you're interested in the sports industry, Kevin Story should really hit home for you. You should be wondering, is there something like that out there that I can do that will help me make some progress on my story? Chances are, with enough forethought and creativity and hustle, there will be.
What about if you have an interest completely outside of the world of sports or videography or social media? That's okay too. I didn't share Kevin's story only for the benefit of the sports junkies out there who claim that they want to go into sports management. I shared it because it provides a blueprint for what any student could do to further explore their particular interest, whether that's as a moviemaker or glassblower or musician or farmer startup entrepreneur or private investigator, you name it.
With the technology available to teenagers and the learning resources available online and the access to people through social media and the virality of some types of work product people like Kevin are bypassing years and years and years of conventional grinding. They are short circuiting their path to a career in an industry they love. But like anything else, this takes work.
Kevin didn't snap his fingers and make all of this happen overnight. He put in the work. He put in the sacrifice and the time. So when you're struggling to find an extracurricular activity that will help you refine what you think you might be interested in. Think of Kevin. Think about what he did to test himself. Think about the steps he took and the risks he took to get where he ended up.
You may not end up at your dream job by 19, but if you follow prep academies advice and Kevin's game plan and you hustle and you stick with it, you certainly will have a much clearer picture about where you might want to end up in college, what you might want to major in in college, and maybe even what you want to do after that.
So give it a try. That's all I've got for you today, folks. Thank you for tuning in. Thank you for the continued support. In case you didn't know, this podcast supports prep academies, online mentoring program or high schoolers, and their parents receive weekly videos from me where I break down important topics and give timely advice about college admissions, particularly for top tier colleges, service academies, and for ROTC and athletic scholarships.
Many parents who listen to this podcast already have their high schoolers enrolled in Prep Academy, which is great. If you don't yet, please consider enrolling them. Registration is only open during freshman or sophomore year. After that, we no longer accept new students. So if you have a freshman or a sophomore in high school and you like what you're hearing in these podcasts, and if you'd like to get more content like this tailored specifically for your child for their specific grade with their specific goals in mind.
Go to Prep Academy and enroll today. If you know a parent with a middle school or high school that might find this helpful, please share the episode with them and give us a rating. Word of mouth and positive ratings Help our podcast reach a much wider audience. If you have questions, comments or an idea for an upcoming episode, please reach out to me by email.
Demi on Instagram Check out our blog or our Facebook page. Connect with me on LinkedIn. I would love to hear from you. Until next week, Goodbye. Good luck and never stop preparing.
This podcast is brought to you by PrepWell Academy PrepWell Academy is my one of a kind online mentoring program that delivers to your ninth or 10th grader a short, highly relevant video from me every week. Every Sunday, in fact, where I give them a heads up about what they should be thinking about, to stay ahead of the game to get these valuable lessons into your child's hands.
Please head over to www.PrepWellAcademy.com and enroll your child today.
PrepWell Academy's Founder, Phil Black, has spent a lifetime cracking the code on the world's most competitive programs: Yale University, Harvard Business School, Navy SEALs, Goldman Sachs, Entrepreneurship, Shark Tank (2X), etc.
Inside PrepWell Academy, Black teaches students everything they need to know about the college admissions process in a series of expertly-timed, 3-5-minute, weekly training videos starting in 9th grade and continuing through 12th grade [Note: this program can only be joined in 9th or 10th grade]. My specialties include military service academies, ROTC scholarships, Ivy League, and student-athletes.