Sunday December 3, 2023

The Faces Behind FOS: DaWon Baker

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As the summer winds down, we decided to showcase the many faces behind FOS, what they do outside of the site and what their career aspirations are! Today you get to meet one of our contributors, DaWon Baker!

What is your current role/year in school outside of FOS?

I am a 1st year graduate student at the DeVos Sport Business Management program at the University of Central Florida (UCF), Currently the 2nd best Sport management/business masters degree program in the world. My graduate assistantship is with the Institute of Diversity & Ethics in Sport (TIDES), where I will be a research assistant, helping produce the racial and gender report card, among other publications of the institute.

What is your current role for FOS and how long have you been doing that?

I am an interview contributor. I reach out to potential interviewees and conduct interviews that FOS reaches out to. I have been a contributor for about 2 and a half months now.

What drew you to FOS in the beginning and why do you think it is important for students and young professionals to know that this resource is out there?

My own personal research is similar to FOS. As an undergrad, I did a research project with minority athletic directors. I used interviews as my way to collect data. FOS uses similar interviews to learn more about the Professionals in the sport industry. After I was following them on Twitter for some time, I saw the progress and eventually the president of FOS, Russ Wilde, said that the team was looking for contributors. We spoke and from there it just clicked.

The resource is so important because it’s so easy to access these individuals. As busy as we all are at times, I think as students and professionals, we want to see people excel in our industry. The usual way of getting ahead in this industry is knowing people personally. This is definitely still true, but today it is much easier to have access to these people. This resource is important because it shows that you are doing your homework. You see the people that are where you want to be & you are trying to get to them.

Favorite professional sports team? Favorite venue that you have been too?

My favorite professional sports team would probably be the New York Knicks or St. Louis Cardinals. I don’t associate myself with teams much, more like players. I jump teams a lot. Lol. My favorite sport venue that I’ve been to is probably the Scott Trade Center in St. Louis. I was fortunate enough to tour it, & it was amazing. Busch Stadium is a close second. I haven’t been to many sport venues in my time, the list is expanding. I’ll throw in another thing. My favorite sporting event I’ve been to, is the Mizzou vs. Kansas basketball game in 2012. It was the last game between the two at Mizzou arena for the rivalry. Mizzou is my alma mater & it was an amazing atmosphere. We were both ranked in the top 5 & we won that game.

Career aspirations and goals?

I always say that I would like to be an Athletic director (AD) someday, but really I just want to change the culture of sport. It’s had such a positive impact on me & I hate to see it in a negative light. Besides AD, I want to work with diversity & inclusion in sport for sure. I’ve also thought of being a professor, since I’ve done research before. Hopefully I can do something with all 3 in the future. But right now, I’d say I would like to work with diversity and inclusion at the collegiate athletics level.

Words of wisdom?

Don’t be afraid to be great. I know a lot of people try to act modest, but this industry needs shakers and big time players. It’s ok to be good. Pick something you know you can make a difference in, & be confident in that. I’m not saying go around and be arrogant, but people like winners. Be a winner in your respective area. Set goals & go get it.

By this time next year I see myself…..

I see myself still in grad school of course. But I see myself hopefully having my post graduate internship, or job already secured. I graduate in December 2016, and to not have to worry about the job pager after school would be cool. I also see myself being going to at least 2 conferences, and having my research published.

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