Regardless if you are currently employed in the sport industry or trying to get your foot in the door, it’s imperative to continually grow your network of fellow professionals. The network you build will help showcase your talents and skills throughout your career. Part of that network must include one or several mentors who are willing to show you the ropes and help you navigate an often complex and nuanced industry that is dependent on who you know.
However, finding a mentor is not an easy task and may not come easily if you currently don’t work in the industry. The University of Miami recently enhanced their initiative to help students develop relationships with sport industry insiders and leaders.
The newly formed Sport Industry Leadership Council (SILC) includes a wide range of prominent figures in the industry, including Stephen Bashore, general manager of Buffalo Run Casino & Resort in Oklahoma and Shawn McGee, vice president of marketing, Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The idea for the Council was developed last fall by Professor Warren A. Whisenant, Chair of the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences at The University of Miami.
“The focus was on C-level executives that have decision-making power within their organizations,” Whisenant said of reaching out to the founding members of SILC.
The goals of SILC are focused around expanding UM’s influence globally as the premier institution for developing future leaders in the sport industry which will be achieved through such efforts as mentoring opportunities for UM students and monthly speaker series. In addition, many Council members are not based in Miami, so mentorship opportunities can be made available to students no matter where they live.
Stephen Bashore said he’s honored to be a graduate of the University of Miami’s Sport Administration program and a founding member of SILC. “Being a part of such a highly respected academic and athletic educational institution is truly rewarding. And being a part of SILC allows me personally to give back to the next generation of industry professionals.”
Bashore who graduated from the online MSED in Sport Administration program in 2016 believes the University of Miami’s online sport administration program is unique in providing networking opportunities beyond the classroom. Faculty members are dedicated to connecting students with their industry contacts and finding the right contacts that will benefit their students.
For Ganesha Johnson, an online MSED in Sport Administration that opportunity took place when the University of Miami women’s basketball team played an away game at the Ohio State University. Johnson was put in contact with the team’s staff by faculty member Windy Dees and was able to connect with the UM staff before and after the game. Johnson a former high school basketball coach currently works as the Athletic Director for The Ohio State University’s regional campus in Lima.
In addition to the traditional classroom experience, the online MSED in Sport Administration provides a uniquely strong foundation for students post-graduation by ensuring students have the opportunity to make direct connections with peers and leaders within the sport industry.
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