Feb 11, 2013
By Sam Flynn
Numerous Ohio University undergraduate Sports Administration students gathered in the lobby of the Computer Service Center building on February 4 to hear talks from professors, graduate students, and alumni for the program’s first Sports Management Night. Topics ranged from details on the major sports management organizations to the importance of getting involved in the field while still in college.
The two-hour event was the brainchild of senior Laura Bachman, with the support and encouragement of faculty members Louie Iglesias and Andrew Kreutzer. Bachman is president of OHIO’s International Sports Agent Organization chapter and vice president of Sigma Alpha Sigma Mu, the professional sports management fraternity.
“I initially decided to do this event as another resource for students to learn about ways to be involved with sport management outside of listserv e-mails and class,” Bachman said. “This event's purpose also was to serve as a marketing tool to get their name out there, and to get students interested in joining organizations.”
Students enjoyed free pizza and soda while they listened to talks from professionals with real-world sports administration experience, who stressed the need to join extracurricular organizations to build experiences to help in the job hunt.
“It helped me meet older sports management majors who were able to give me a lot of advice,” said freshman Ashley Harker. “It gave me opportunities to learn about the major from listening to people who have already graduated and people in the profession.”
Iglesias is a recent addition to the OHIO faculty, having joined in August 2012 after working for over a decade with the Dallas Cowboys. But he is not new to the university, having received his master of sports administration in 1995.
“All my life, I thought my passion was sports. It wasn’t. It was an area of interest,” said Iglesias. “My passion is human development.”
It’s the expertise of faculty such as Iglesias that draws students to OHIO’s Sports Administration program. “When I went looking for something in the sports management field, the first thing I saw was OU,” said Will McGirl, a junior. “The teachers have such a wealth of knowledge.”
It also gives the program consistent recognition as one of the best of its kind not only in the United States, but internationally as well: It was listed at the top of SportBusiness International’s postgraduate sports course rankings in 2012. The program maintains a detailed database of close to 1,200 alumni working for high-profile athletics organizations such as Stanford University, University of Florida and the Dallas Cowboys. And students can pick up real-world experience through opportunities such as a two-week summer internship in California with the San Diego Padres through the College of Business’s Global Consulting Program.
With a network of involved alumni and a top-flight educational experience, the program can give students an edge in a competitive market—if they play their cards right, Kreutzer said.
“The university represents an opportunity. It is your responsibility to take advantage,” he told the students in attendance. “If you do, there’s an unbelievable career ahead of you.”