University of Washington Alumni Association
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Meet the Contacts - Mike Cragg
Name: Mike Cragg
Current position: Senior Associate Director of Athletics, Duke University
Location: Durham, NC
UW degrees: B.A. Communications, 1986
What activities were you involved with at the UW?
I lived in Sigma Pi fraternity for my final three years after some friends and I from McCarty Hall started the fraternity. We were approached by the national fraternity recruiters while we were playing IMA football. The guys from the fraternity are still my best friends, and we get together at least every year—usually around a Husky football game. The fraternity didn't last long, though. I think it was on campus about six years altogether.
Why do you volunteer with Husky Career Network?
Because I believe in the UW. It helped me get started in life, and it's a place I have a passion for. If there's any small part I can play to help someone who shares that common bond, then I want to do that. It's hard being so far from the campus, so I think Husky Career Network helps me stay connected as well.
What do you find most challenging about your work?
Finding enough hours in the day. Also, always needing to be "on"—that's challenging when you get the late-night phone calls or the all-day meetings. I love it, though. I really don't know any other way. One of the best parts is working with and being around the student-athletes. Watching them grow and mature into great men and women is very rewarding. I also enjoy the personal relationships I've built with people around Duke. This is a fantastic place. It's a very unique program, and being with Coach K (men's head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski) for the past 17 years is like a dream come true. I've always said if I start feeling like it's a "job," I should find a different profession. This is like being around your family every day.
Has networking played a key role in your career development?
The relationships you build are a vital part of everything you do, whether it's building your own team or learning from others. Whether it's in preparing budgets or going out to raise funds, the personal relationships you build are the most important. You have to have great networking, communication and interpersonal skills. People rely too much on technology; there's nothing like being with somebody face to face. Technology is great and useful, but be aware that it's not the be-all-end-all.
Do you have any advice for students and alumni using Husky Career Network?
Follow your passion and get involved. Generally, you're not going to get rich working in college athletics; you have to have a passion for it. But if you do have that passion, then make a call, find someone in the athletic department and say you want to help out. Get a foot in the door as an intern or volunteer.