My Story: From T-Ball to Athletic Business

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Charlie Adkins is not your typical business student. He isn’t especially money-minded, and he isn’t shooting for Wall Street. Instead, he wants to go into baseball.

He grew up in southeast Texas, was raised to love the University of Texas, and has always played sports. In fact, he was playing t-ball when he was two years old, and his childhood dream was to be a professional athlete.

When he realized, in high school, that those dreams might not be realized, he still had no intention to leave sports or Texas behind. Instead, he started brainstorming how he could work in the industry in a different way and decided that a business degree would help him break into sports management.

He is now a rising junior at the McCombs School of Business and was recently accepted into the Masters of Professional Accounting program (iMPA), combining his bachelor’s and master’s degrees into a projected four-and-a-half-year degree plan.

At this point in his education, just two years after arriving at UT, Adkins has already made athletic use of his business degree. He has worked with companies like Round Rock Express, the Australian Baseball League, and UT Athletics. He is also the director of the Longhorn Run, a charity race put on by the UT student government.

He hasn’t limited himself to athletics though, and has made a name for himself at McCombs as the VIP Distinguished Speaker Series Chair – organizing events that bring the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies to UT. Of course, these events have taught him management, networking, and an endless number of skills, which he believes are all applicable to sports.

After he finishes his iMPA, he says he might consider law school but might also jump straight into work. Either way, he’s staying true to his original dreams and finding ways to make a life in athletics.

Here’s his story:

I’ve been told that when I was a baby, my nana and my mom would roll balls to me, and I would fetch them like a dog. That was me taking ground-balls as a baby. I’ve just always loved sports. As for wanting to study business – that all started in high school when I was trying to figure out what to do. When I realized that I wasn’t good enough to play baseball or basketball at a professional level, I still wanted to go and work in the athletics industry. I decided that business would give me a good foundation for the industry.

I love sports in part because I’ve been taught so many life lessons through it. Something I’m proud of is the discipline that I try to always have. One of my coaches would say that discipline means being where you’re supposed to be and doing what you’re supposed to be doing when you’re supposed to be doing it. That saying has always been up in my locker, and it’s something I try to do. Sports have taught me teamwork, good work ethics, and responsibility. It was the best way for me to learn as a child, and I want to be part of the industry that shares those opportunities and lessons with other people as well. I want to share the value of sports.

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