Jake Essler

Jake Essler

Major: Elementary Education

Year of Graduation: 2014

Graduate School/Location: University of Minnesota-Duluth – Master of Education (2017)


Current Position/Location: College Scout – Minnesota Vikings (Eagan, MN)


Please give a brief description of your current position.

As a college scout, I travel to colleges in my area (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, North/South Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri, Montana) to evaluate and write reports on college players that are potential NFL prospects. We want to provide valuable information to our GM so he can decide whether a player is a good fit for our organization and team.


What path did you follow to get to your current position?

After graduation, I attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth for a graduate degree in education and my graduate assistant job was coaching football. I coached the running backs at UMD for almost 3 years before I was offered a scouting internship with the Vikings in 2017. My goal had always been to be a college coach, but I couldn’t turn down the opportunity.


What advice/suggestions would you have for students who might be interested in your career?

Reach out to teams to see if they have any summer or training camp internships available. We have a ton of interns during training camp (marketing, operations, public relations, etc.) and it’s important to get your foot in the door. The more football experience you have the better, but we do have multiple scouts that started in operations and PR. Getting into coaching, whether it’s high school or college, is also a good start. It’s very hard to get with a NFL team right after graduation so it’s important to build experience and a good resume.


What skills are important in your field?

In both coaching and scouting, I think “attention to detail” is the most important skill. It’s more important for your work to be correct and thorough than it is getting it done quickly. Also, working as part of a team and being a good co-worker goes a long way.


What is the most satisfying/rewarding part of your position?

Being part of something that’s bigger than yourself (the team). And winning football games on Sundays. Life is always better when we’re winning!


Most challenging?

Probably the number of hours we work and time away from our family and friends.


What activities/experiences were helpful at CSB/SJU (and elsewhere) in preparation for this career?

Finals week – I have deadlines in the Fall and Spring, and I treat those like finals week.


(November 2019)