By Anna Sveiven
As a student athlete at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, I never thought about what goes into preparing for a typical game day. For Jill Millis, the assistant athletic director at the university, this is a normal work day for her.
Millis graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire earning a bachelor’s degree in communication and journalism as well as in history with an emphasis in public relations. Millis then went on to graduate school at Ithaca College in Upstate New York, completing her master’s in sports management and media. During graduate school, Millis interned for the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) in media relations.
When I came to her office Millis was in the middle of getting ready for the university to host the NCAA Regional Wrestling Tournament on Friday, February 22nd and Saturday, February 23rd. In addition to everything she had to do, Millis had to print off the numbers for the winner’s podiums. It seemed very trivial, but she pointed out to me that it was just another day in the office.
I continued to ask her what her job consisted of. She laughed and then went into a long list of her responsibilities. Maintaining the athletics website, media interviews and promoting home events. She also covers all sports statistics, editorial write ups, and supervises student workers. Millis represents anything and everything that involves Blugold athletics.
Throughout my job shadow I could not help but smile. Millis is very passionate about her career. We came to the question about what she loves about her job, and yet again she gave me a list of reasons. She began talking about the atmosphere of the campus. The energy from the students keeps it exciting, and her work environment in her words is, “Awesome.” The athletes and the rest of her staff she says, “Make all the extra hours worth it.” She loves that her job makes her feel like a part of something bigger. Millis repeatedly said that in this profession no two days are the same which is another reason why she loves this job.
She believes her education at Eau Claire truly prepared her for this career. With her degree in communications and journalism she understands how to report the facts and how to get to the point. Along with her degree in history she gathered that not all the information you will need will be in the first place you look, you have to dig a little deeper. Her emphasis in public relations prepared her to promote the university and represent the student athletes. She cares about the student athletes on campus and wants to represent them in the best possible way. I feel very lucky to be one of those athletes.
When asking Millis what job seeking advice she had for students, this is what she had to say.