Jenkins Built Career Around Love for Sports

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The old adage is to find something you love to do, and then find a way to make money doing it. When it comes to Dru Jenkins’s career, he’s managed to do just that.             

“I’ve always loved sports and played soccer and basketball and run track,” said Jenkins, intramurals coordinator at the Campus Recreation Center (CRC). “I feel so fortunate to have a job that allows me to make a job out of a hobby — and that allows me to share my interest with our students.”

While in college at James Madison University in Virginia, Jenkins majored in sports management and took a job refereeing for intramural basketball teams on campus. After graduation, he transitioned into a sports administration master’s program at Georgia State University, which is when Jenkins began working in the CRC as a graduate assistant.

“Five years ago, it was time to find a job, and I applied to places all over the country,” he added. “But I ended up accepting the position I’m in right now, and the rest is history.”

Read on to learn more about Jenkins and his time at Tech.

Tell us about your job.          
I oversee 45 student officials (who referee intramural sports) and 17 student supervisors. I’m responsible for scheduling them, their payroll and training. In addition, I also develop game schedules for the 17 intramural sports we offer, which includes anywhere from 280 to 325 teams (depending on the time of year) and about 13,000 to 14,000 participants. I end each day spending about one to two hours each night at the games, working with our student employees and hearing feedback from the students who participate on the teams.

What is one misconception people have about your job?       
I think a lot of people think that I just schedule games. But a large part of my job is helping our students to develop as leaders. Our unit has learning outcomes in place for students, just as there are learning outcomes in place for academic classes. I spend a lot of face-to-face time with our student officials and supervisors, providing both positive feedback and thoughts on how they can do their jobs better.

What is the most satisfying part of your job?    
I love working with the students. And it’s always nice to hear that what I’m doing makes a difference. For example, I recently had a student write to tell me how his experience as an official helped him to become a better speaker and be more organized.

What is one piece of technology you can’t live without?
My iPhone. I realize how much I miss it whenever I don’t have cell service.  

What is the biggest risk you ever took?
I recently got engaged. I had a feeling that my fiancée’s response would be “yes,” but it was a pretty nerve-wracking moment.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Always think before you speak. This is especially important in the world of
intramural sports where a lot of reactions
are knee-jerk.

Where is your favorite place to have lunch?
It’s probably the Student Center Food Court where I eat at least once a week. I’m a big fan of the gyro wrap.

Tell us something that others might not know about you.  
This summer, I went on a five-day, 53-mile backpacking trip in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. I was with a group of friends, and we’d wake up at 5:30 a.m., hike all day and then go to sleep around 9 p.m. It was an amazing experience that I’m proud to have made it through.



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