Sacred Heart MBA Program Prepares Former Student-Athlete For Marketing Role

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(Sacred Heart University is a proud partner of Front Office Sports)

One thing that sports and a strong education have in common: they prepare young people for the professional world. Katherine Haines, a former basketball student-athlete and current project manager at Media Planet, found an opportunity for both of these at Sacred Heart University. 

An injury late in her playing career granted Haines a fifth year of eligibility, which Haines used to enroll in Sacred Heart’s MBA program and work as a graduate assistant within the college of business.

In addition to learning from Sacred Heart’s world-class faculty, Haines benefited immensely from connecting with her fellow students in the MBA program as well as her Capstone project of creating a marketing plan for Homes For The Brave in Bridgeport, Connecticut. 

Image via Katherine Haines

“Everything is very open,” Haines told FOS. “It’s not really a lecture, but more of a conversation between everybody, which is what I really liked. You’re hearing from people with different experiences, different backgrounds, who have many different current titles in their jobs. I felt like I was the only one that was a full-time student there. Hearing from everybody and learning from them I thought was very beneficial and helped me decide which way I wanted to go for my future.”

Now in a role that focuses primarily on client relations, Haines found that she loved having the opportunity for those daily personal interactions throughout her time in the program. 

“I really liked the Sacred Heart program,” Haines said. “There were many different options that were available and throughout each individual class you gain more real world knowledge. It was a big stepping stone to starting my career.”

Haines found her way to Media Planet about six months after completing the degree thanks to a great deal of searching on LinkedIn and an alumni connection within the company.

“Getting that job was an exercise in persistence and perseverance,” Haines said, “But I thought New York would be a perfect place to start my career since it is very fast paced and competitive.”

Many aspiring sports professionals get bogged down in the misconception that a sports-specific degree is essential to succeed professionally. Haines and other Sacred Heart alumni are evidence to the contrary. 

“I was able to complete the program in one year. It was really flexible,” Haines said of her experience. “I did my MBA in general management which touched upon a wide variety of topics including accounting, finance, and ethics. For me, I thought that more beneficial than a program that’s focused solely on sport management. It really opened my eyes to many different things I could do with my career.”

Learn more about Sacred Heart’s MBA program