Coaches, athletes, sports broadcasters and analysts often say the greatest growth for an collegiate athlete comes following their freshman season. A year’s worth of experience, quality coaching and more than a little adversity serve as the foundation for long-term development. Business and education mirror the development model of collegiate sports. A great initial investment of effort and time during the early stages of the learning process speed up the maturation of both students and interns.
The Sport Management Program at the University of San Francisco is no different.
Opening up the program with a Leadership and Critical Thinking class taught by Dr. Cellini, students are taught professionalism and methods to succeed in the sport industry. Students are also required to conduct informational interview with respected leaders in their field of interest, while making weekly presentations to class members. When asking students from both Southern California and San Francisco campuses about their experience in the program’s first class, they spoke passionately about the growth they made in just 8 weeks. The newest cohorts started this past July and are now info their third class.
With that I turn it over to Cohort 37 of San Francisco and Cohort 14 of Southern California…
How are you different from 8 weeks ago?
“I think I am more confident in myself and willing to take more chances. I am also happier because I love everything and everyone involved with this program. I have an EXCELLENT cohort.” – Annie Gavett (Cohort 37)
“Today, I am more confident and less shy of meeting people. Before it would take me a while to introduce myself to someone (at times, I would do it after a conversation); today, I make sure I introduce myself and not be afraid of having a conversation with this person.” - Katrina Delen-Briones (Cohort 37)
Eight weeks ago, I was just a recent college graduate, working a summer job, and figuring out what the next few years of my life would be like. Now, I am still all of those, but with a lot more direction and clarity, as well as opportunities coming up. I also was able to meet 33 other people who are going to be sharing the next two years of journeys with me!” – Lucy Tseng (Cohort 14S)
How has your understanding of what it takes to be successful changed?
“I see now that it takes more than just hard work and savvy to be successful, it requires the appropriate attitude and approach. Without a positive attitude and the ability to think critically, one is not truly equipped to be a leader in the sport industry or elsewhere.” - Brandon Fleshman (Cohort 37)
“I really want to dedicate what ever it takes to get a job here. I don't want to go back bare-handed. I think for international students, it takes a very outgoing personality. Through that way, you build mature social circles which is the most important thing to find yourself a position here.” – Jeremy Gao (Cohort 37).
“Today, I've found more ways to be successful, on top of what I already know, such as how far a person goes beyond the norm. For example, I have heard stories of people flying and driving thousands of miles to meet with someone for about 15 minutes and resulted to job offers. It is not just traveling far but also little things such as giving more than what was asked at all times. You always have to differentiate yourself amongst others and to do so, you must give and do more than the average person.” - Katrina Delen-Briones (Cohort 37)
What opportunities have you pursued since joining the program?
“I am currently working for the Bay School of San Francisco in the Athletic Department, at the San Francisco Bulls on the Promotions Team and at the University of San Francisco as an Athletic Event Manager. I have also volunteered for a Youth Football Clinic for Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl and I will be volunteering at the Olympic Club this Monday for a charity golf tournament in conjunction with Saint Mary's Hospital.” - Annie Gavett (Cohort 37)
“Completing the Career Prospectus paper project has given me the opportunity to network and build connections with people of all backgrounds. I will be working at UCLA Athletics as an Academic & Student Services Intern beginning Fall 2012.” – Lucy Tseng (Cohort 14S)
What insights did you gain from going through the informational interview process?
“Most importantly, I've learned that many professionals whom I admire have had similarly difficult paths to their 'dream jobs'. They faced several obstacles that made them question what they were doing, but in the end they were able to rise above those challenges and achieve their goals.” - Brandon Fleshman (Cohort 37)
“I learned the ins and outs of the industry I am interested in (PGA golf tournaments). I learned that one of the biggest sacrifices I might have to make is family, since there is great amount of traveling and the possibility of working far away from home. This made me think of my decision to work in this industry.” - Katrina Delen-Briones (Cohort 37)