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Ask any career counselor the keys to professional success, and networking would most likely be in their top three. This is a lesson graduating senior Luis Sanchez says that he learned soon after transferring to Becker College in 2010, and it has served him well.
“The most important thing I have learned is to network; introduce myself to everyone and anyone to get my name known,” says Sanchez, and it has been an effective strategy.
Since January 2012, visitors to www.becker.edu, especially prospective business and sports management majors, have been introduced to Sanchez. His was one of the first sports management success stories added to the newly redesigned website. At that time, he was a wide receiver on the Becker College football team, a resident assistant on the Leicester Campus, and he was already planning for his future, to coach football and become a teacher.
“Coming to Becker College was definitely the right decision,” says Sanchez. “I love it here. I like the close relationships I have had with my professors in the sports management program. They all took a sincere interest in their students and, when I realized that, I took interest in getting to talk with them whenever I could.
“Along with the assignments in my core classes and going to Career Services for help, some instructors went out of their way in class to offer resume tips and advice,” Sanchez continues. “I learned what to do in real-world situations.”
Sanchez is planning to secure a job in his field and gain more experience before pursuing a master’s degree. He’s already coached Pop-Warner, attended football clinics to help “learn the trade,” and interned for the Hawks football program and Head Coach Mike Lichten, and in Becker’s Sports Information office as a videographer, learning to break down and edit film, another vital component to successful coaching.
A leader on campus and on the football field, Sanchez earned the captain position for the 2012 season. He earned Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) Second Team honors for the season and set a school record with 916 receiving yards and 68 receptions.
Sanchez, who was one of 10 players on the football team who earned ECFC All-Conference honors, has high expectations. “We broke all sorts of team records,” he says. “It speaks to what we can do as a group.”
In early 2012, Sanchez chose a different path when he joined Becker’s Drama Club and starred as Angel Dumott Schunard, a bubbly 19-year-old drag queen, in their production of Rent, a musical that tells the story of struggling young artists living in New York City and dealing with the harsh realities of HIV/AIDS.
“I wanted to do something different,” Sanchez said at the time. “I’m in college; now is the time to do it.” He went on to explain his initial tentativeness about playing a character so different from himself, and then embracing the opportunity and making the character his own. “Becker has helped me become more comfortable in my own shoes.”
Sanchez credits Professor Ginger Daley’s positive influence for helping him become a member of the Alpha Chi honor society and earning the Aspiring Scholar Award in sports management.
He cites similarities between acting and playing football, adding, “It’s really about paying attention to details. A script is like a playbook.”