It’s easy to apply what we learn in class to athletics. The baseball industry is a business at heart, so you can take whatever you’re learning in a class like accounting, and say this is applicable to a player’s contract or to the stadium value – things like that. It’s great to take those lessons that we learn in class and say, okay, how does it work in the sports industry, because everything translates somehow. Making that connection really allows me to learn better, because it relates my studies to something I love.
I’ve also been very involved in McCombs student life. It began at the McCombs Kickoff, which is an event for students to go and get acquainted with the school before term starts. I went and heard about the Undergraduate Business Council, which I saw as a way to connect with faculty, administration, and other students. That’s how I got involved with the VIP Distinguished Speaker Series my freshman year.
I was the publicity director that first year, and last year it was my job to reach out to CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, inviting them to come in and speak. This opportunity to interact with industry officials – I mean, I’ve been able to work with CEOs of Fortune 500 companies – has really helped me. It’s shown me what I can do with my future.
Everything I’ve learned in the classroom and through the business council has helped me develop skills I can apply to sports – and I have. The Longhorn Run is a race that we put on – sponsored by the UT student government and various athletic companies. We raise a lot of money through it, and that money is given back to student organizations, so it’s a way for me to practice my business skills in sports and also give back to my fellow students. I also work with UT Athletics, and I’ve been working in sports outside the university as well – with Round Rock Express and the Australian Baseball League.
Since I got here my plan has been to go into baseball operations – to be a general manager of a baseball team. I don’t know if that’s what I’m going to end up doing, but studying business has given me applicable knowledge. I’ve had the chance to see that I really enjoy working in sports business and that I enjoy being able to give people the entertainment and show them the lessons you can learn through sports.
I don’t know where next summer will take me, but I’m happy with where I’m taking my education. Accounting has always made sense, and I chose it because it’ll give me a solid business background that I can apply to whatever I need to do. I might also apply to law school when I’m done with my iMPA, since it’ll make me a more versatile worker in the sports industry. Either way, for people following similar paths, my advice is to follow your passion and just work hard to get there. If you’re disciplined in your approach and you put the work in to prepare for the future, good things will happen.
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