Akinyooye is making a career out of his childhood passion, working for the New York Knicks.
One valuable lesson that David Akinyooye ’11, now an assistant coach for a minor league NBA team in Oklahoma, took away from his time as a student at Adelphi University was that having a long-term plan was just as important as having an immediate one.
Learning that lesson from Office of the President Chief of Staff Maggie Yoon Grafer ’98, M.A. ’08, who was director for community relations at the time, Akinyooye began to explore opportunities off the basketball court that allowed him to network. Shortly after graduation, he obtained a job with the New York Knicks as a coaching workout associate. He credits earning that position to a series of mock interviews with counselors at the Center for Career and Professional Development.
“I’m still around something I’ve loved doing since I was a kid,” Akinyooye said of his job as an assistant coach with the Oklahoma City Blue, a member of the NBA D-League and the development team for the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder. “I get to work with the players and I like interacting with them and helping them develop both on and off the court.”
Akinyooye still credits what he learned as a communications major at Adelphi to helping him get where he is now. When asked what he learned at Adelphi helps him most at his current job, Akinyooye answered that he feels it is the ability to interact with others.
“As an assistant coach, I have to meet with other coaches, players, management and people off the court daily,” he said. “Junior year, I started attending events that didn’t have to do with basketball and it helped me get out of my comfort zone. The skills I learned there are essential for my job now.”
While Akinyooye views communication as a critical asset to his current job, he will always remember the networking experience he received as a student.
“I learned through the Center for Career [and Professional] Development that selling yourself in interviews is really important,” Akinyooye said. “Thomas Ward [’93] and Bernadine Waller [M.A. ’10] really instilled in me to make sure that I don’t leave any interviews with any regrets. I wouldn’t have gotten my start without networking and hard work toward my craft.”This article appeared in the Career Compass Fall 2016 Newsletter.