I came into this trip in a unique situation: as a coordinator. I didn’t fully understand that title, and I’m still working to find a definition for it, but I know that it felt like a somewhat strange half-manager half-staff member position. Truthfully, I didn’t know what to expect of this and was nervous coming into the trip because of it.
To explore the coordinator position deeper, I feel I am obligated to discuss my age. For me as an underclassman, I think it was the perfect fit. Many people often don’t respect underclassmen based on their age, which isn’t fair to underclassmen, but it is the truth. Many people didn’t know I was 19 throughout the trip, which is what I wanted. I didn’t want me being “too young” or “too inexperienced” to influence my time at the Super Bowl.
As a coordinator, I got the chance to be a manager on the first day of the trip before most people arrived. This was nerve-wracking because I didn’t have anyone to model what I should do in the beginning. However, I think that diving in worked even better for me. I have a very specific leadership style, and I try to make sure that I am always being fair to people so that everyone is the happiest they can be while on my team. If I had not been true to my management style on day one, I would have regretted it. That day bled into the rest of the trip.
Throughout the week, I realized why I was placed as a coordinator. It wasn’t that I wasn’t ready to be a manager, though that may have been true at the beginning of the trip. It was mostly for me to learn from my peers older than me. I am 19, and many of the managers are between 21 and 25 years old. Each of the managers has a very different leadership style, and I was able to observe all of them during the week in different situations. Seeing how Libby dealt with a situation versus how Ben handled a similar one was eye-opening to me. There is no “right way” to be a manager. Everyone brings their own flare to the position, which is what makes the managers as a whole stronger.
I am so grateful that I went to the Super Bowl this week. There are so many people that I met and learning experiences that I garnered, and I can’t thank everyone enough for this amazing week.