With my second semester of graduate school mere days away, it seemed an appropriate start to the new year to take a look at my first. I entered graduate school in the Masters of Business Administration program but have moved to a Masters in Sports Management, largely because of the scheduling and emphasis. With an undergraduate degree in marketing, I felt I had a lot more to gain in “new” classes of the sports management program. Looking back at the weeks I spent stressing the decision, it shouldn’t have been as difficult as I made it. Regardless, upward and onward. A few other thoughts:
With a little more rational thought and a little less fear of change, switching my degree from business administration to sports management would have been easy. Last semester consisted of a CIS Management class, Economic Research, and Marketing Research (albeit a bit more technical titles). In short: It was a lot of what I spent my first four years of college on. As a junior and senior, I was consistently excited for my marketing classes – and I loved the readings of the Marketing Research class. Unfortunately, an MBA is a bit more than marketing. I couldn’t picture another two years of economics, finance, accounting, management, and otherwise. Make no mistake: I respect the hell out of those who stick with it. It simply wasn’t for me.
With that in mind: It shouldn’t have been such a painstaking thought process for me to switch programs. What concerned me? Telling people I ‘dropped out’ of the MBA program, admitting that the sports management program would be ‘easier,’ and everything else that I perceived to be associated with switching. Beyond the perception, I hadn’t taken non-business classes in some time. Could I make the jump? Doing so wasn’t a “final” decision to commit to sports as a career, but it was pretty substantial.
I came into my position (Graduate Assistant for Marketing & Promotions) uncertain what I was aiming for in a career: a sports marketing firm, semi-professional league, major league, collegiate sports or otherwise. After the first couple months, it was clear to me that I wanted to stay in college athletics after I finish graduate school. I had the pleasure of working football, volleyball, and women’s soccer games this semester with varying roles in each.
On Saturdays – and one particular Thursday – I considered myself traffic control. With my boss a hundred feet above me in a media booth, I was the sideline eyes and ears. Hours before kickoff, the role included working with our promotions team to set up our stand and assist other odds and ends to prepare for game time. Every game was different, but that’s what I love about the job. By the end of the game, my feet were sore and I was ready for some time on the couch.
But I often wasn’t done. Half the time, I went from the football stadium to the arena for volleyball or the fields a mile down the road for soccer – and I loved it. I’m sticking to collegiate athletics.
Eye on the Ball
It’s a weird spot – being a Graduate Assistant working towards a Masters. I’ve already graduated, but I’m not in the “real world” in the way most would see it. I still take classes, it’s not the traditional 9-5 schedule, and – frankly – I spend my job with college students. As such, the inevitable job search seems less traditional. My degree will be complete in May of next year, but my job search will begin long before that. As I look at College AD’s Scoop, it only confirms common sense – job openings aren’t on an academic calendar.
On occasion, I look through openings just to see how I could better prepare for the job market. (Admittedly, I do this rather often.) In doing so over this past winter break, graphics experience for creating content is a pretty substantial one. So I’ve got my goal: Adobe Suite.