by Josh Lawrence, CSL Graduate Student
Not long after he enrolled at the Center for Sport Leadership in 2006, Justin Jannuzzi was drawn to development.
Jannuzzi is currently the Associate Director of Iron Dukes Major Gifts at Duke University. As shown by the jobs he has held during his career, he is quite aware of the importance of development and the role it plays in collegiate athletics.
After playing football and graduating from Wabash College, Jannuzzi earned his Master’s degree from the Center for Sport Leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University. His first development job was at North Carolina State. He then returned to VCU as the Assistant Director of Ticketing and Donor Relations for VCU Athletics. After two years, he was hired as the Director of the Big Blue Club at Old Dominion University. This fall, Jannuzzi left ODU for his current role at Duke.
At the CSL, Jannuuzzi’s says he learned the value of building relationships. It’s a critical component in development and one he believes can help him reach his ultimate goal of becoming an athletic director.
“I understand that there is much to learn and many challenges to face along the way. Instead of shying away, I genuinely look forward to the steep climb to the top. My hope is that if I am fortunate enough to reach my ambition, those who I manage will look up to me as I will have been in there similar shoes at one point. By not skipping steps towards success, you will build off valuable experiences that will only benefit you as a leader, no matter what style of leader you are. Natural leaders tend more to have been there and done that, and are not scared to get their own hands dirty to get the job done.”
Jannuzzi has been fortunate to work with some amazing leaders in college athletics and has learned from each of them. One common trait they all displayed is being confident in who they are.
“Some leaders are more vocal and some lead more by example. However, both types of leadership are equally as important and effective. If you are confident in your own abilities you will be a more natural leader.”
One of the biggest pieces of advice he would give CSL students is to not take shortcuts towards success. He conveyed the importance of pursuing career opportunities that will allow learning and responsibility instead of just going through the motions.
“You will build off those type of experiences on your climb to the top of your career. Also, be patient, humble, hardworking and truly enjoy being a part of a team.”
When asked what influence the CSL has had on his career, Jannuzzi replied, “CSL has been a major influence on my career. It opened the door for me to work in the industry I love. I’m very proud and grateful to be a CSL alum. I simply wouldn’t be where I am today without graduating from the CSL.”