(Georgetown University is a proud partner of Front Office Sports)
The most important factor of any graduate experience is the practical application of material directly from the classroom to the workplace. Georgetown University’s Sports Industry Management master’s program instills these lessons in a 30-credit program that’s offered on campus, online, or through a blend of both.
Andrew “Drew” Edson is a 2019 graduate of the program who is already reaping the benefits of his Georgetown experience. Edson joined the program looking to transition into a career in sports after spending more than a decade working in other business-related sectors.
Now entering his second year with the Georgetown Athletic Department, Edson works as the Director of Team Business Operations. In this role, he manages a portfolio of Hoya teams, including men’s and women’s cross country, indoor and outdoor track, lacrosse, golf, tennis, and soccer. He acts as the primary business manager for these sports and handles business functions such as budget monitoring, expensing, procurement, compliance, travel advances, and other business-related administrative functions.
“My day-to-day here is never the same. That’s what I like about the job,” Edson says. “There’s always some new fire to put out or some new issue with a sports program that needs to be addressed. There is never a dull moment week to week.”
While completing the Sports Industry Management program, Edson began an internship within the business and finance office of the athletic department. It was a combination of dedication to the role, as well as good timing within the department, that led to Edson earning his current role.
“Through that internship, I was able to make connections with some of the people who are now my supervisors and peers. From a networking standpoint, being a student at Georgetown opened those doors. I never would’ve been picked out of a pile without that opportunity, despite my lengthy resume,” says Edson.
While enrolled, Edson found that the Sports Industry Management program provided students with a strong base of knowledge that prepared them for entering into areas of sports such as sales, guest services, facilities & operations, and marketing. Through that, students who have the best chance for success during the program and in the sports job market are those who are open to learning what it means to be in these roles and are willing to work at it.
“I came into this program thinking I wanted to be the Director of Operations of a sports venue,” Edson remembers, “and then when I found out what that meant in terms of the day-to-day, I decided that wasn’t for me at all. At this point, I’d be happy continuing to work in college athletics or a sports technology startup would be nice, but we’ll see what happens.”
Edson’s personal favorite aspect of the program was the practical, real-world knowledge that Georgetown’s adjunct faculty brought to class and instilled in the students.
“I like that the professors—given that they’re all adjuncts and they’re not in academia—are all professionals actually working in sports,” Edson says. “You can really trust what they have to say in terms of how the curriculum translates into the real world as opposed to a professor with no applicable industry experience. That’s super valuable because a lot of institutions have a sports management program or a sports marketing program in the United States, but I would be willing to bet that many of their professors are not currently working in the sports industry.”
When deciding on a graduate program, Edson advises prospective students to do their research on the faculty and potential work experience and networking opportunities. These three items will have the biggest impact on the educational experience and a student’s ability to get hired in the future.
“As a prospective student, look at the faculty of the program you’re thinking of attending and then see if there are people there that you really want to learn under or work with,” Edson says. “I think one of the biggest assets for Georgetown is their faculty and the ability high-performing students have to then leverage those relationships into a network that they’ll build into a sports career down the road.”
This combination of real-world experience and opportunities to connect with members of the sports community is why so many Georgetown graduates like Edson have found successful careers. Future Georgetown students can expect the same type of experience within the Sports Industry Management master’s program.
Learn more about the Georgetown University Master’s in Sports Industry Management.