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Major of the Month–Sport Management

By: Jessica Sabato
Senior Staff Writer

     The Sport Management program started at Neumann in 1997 when Dr. Sandra Slabik, Director of the Undergraduate and Graduate Program, was contacted by the school to create the curriculum for the major.  With a history of playing sports her whole life, coaching and being an Athletic Director at another college, Slabik was perfect for the job.

     “Growing up I was always involved in sports, whether it was playing in an organized league or just a pick-up games with friends so choosing this major was not a tough decision,” junior Brittany Russ said when asked about choosing her major. “I started working at the recreation center in my town when I was 16 and from then on I knew I wanted to work in the sports industry.”   

The Camden Riversharks are one of many possible internships for Sport Management majors

The Camden Riversharks are one of many possible internships for Sport Management majors.

  However, some people get into the major for all the wrong reasons, such as thinking the four year program is a glorified coaching degree and that all your classes are sport related and require little work. 

However, when Slabik was in the midst of creating the program, she knew adding business classes to the major requirements were a key factor.  By putting business classes, such as microeconomics, into the curriculum, Neumann Sport Management students were one step ahead of other graduates in their major.

     While most freshman come into the program in hopes of working with a major league team throughout their four years, the reality hits that there is not a job opening for every Sport Management with their potential dream team. Senior Matt McGovern agrees.

     “My dream job in this field is to become an Athletic Director at a high school or a small university such as Neumann,” said McGovern. “Coming into Neumann I always believed I wanted to work for a professional sports team but as I got deeper into the major, I realized that working within an athletic department would be the best fit for me.”

     When most people think of a Sport Management student, the image of a male normally comes to mind.  However, at Neumann, there are approximately 20 women within the major.

     “On the first day of class it was weird just looking around and seeing only three other girls in a class of thirty students, said senior Julia Keenan. “But after that day you really get used to it and it seems completely normal to me now.”

     The classes and seminars challenge both men and women within the major, leaving for interesting classroom discussions and projects.

     “Some difficulties would have to be in our Facilities Management class going over the different stadiums and arenas,” said Keenan. “I mean who knows that the kind of grass Citizens Bank Park has is Kentucky Blue Grass off the top of their heads? I can say that I do now.”

     It’s always good to love what you do and it seems that sport management students have chosen the right field to do just that.

Photo Provided By Julia Keenan