When Megan Cornell set out to make her mark in the sports industry, her eyes were only fixed on baseball. As the daughter of an MLB scout, Cornell has been around the game since she could walk. Cornell’s passion for baseball is one that holds true today and has become the central focus of her professional career.
Having spent her undergraduate years at Auburn University, Cornell was able to use her vast experiences and learnings of the sports industry from the Auburn Athletic Department to create a solid foundation for her career.
“Each position [I served] built upon itself because as I gained more experience, I was able to grow my network,” said Cornell. “Many connections I made at each stop [along my career] helped me to get into my next position.”
It was not only these connections that allowed Cornell to take the next step in her career, but also her relentless desire to take on more responsibilities in the collegiate athletic field while she attended Auburn.
“Working in the sports industry is all about experience,” said Cornell as she reflected on her time interning in the Auburn Athletics Department. “I’ve seen plenty of people take a job in sports, and get burnt out after one or two seasons after they realize that the hours can be long and [the job] is not as glamorous as most would believe.”
Before jumping into the professional world, Cornell decided to make a stop in Dallas, Texas, where she received her master’s degree in Sport Management from the SMU Simmons School of Education and Human Development. It was in this program where she was able to marry her experience as an undergrad with the rigor of a top sports management master’s program that she knew would pay dividends as she explored a professional career in the very competitive sports industry.
Beyond just setting herself up for a lengthy career, Cornell knew that SMU, being located in the heart of Dallas, would be the perfect place to connect with professionals in a market with all five major U.S. sports leagues present.
“I wasn’t set on going to grad school until I found the Master of Science in Sport Management program at SMU,” said Cornell. “Knowing that my ultimate goal was to work in professional sports, being in a large sports market was important. On top of that, having a master’s degree from a school with the academic reputation that SMU has would be beneficial in my career.”
During her time at SMU, Cornell interned at the Texas Rangers in the Business Partnerships department, as well as at SMU in their athletic recruiting operations department. Thanks to her self-motivation, perseverance, and academic success, Cornell was able to land a full-time role with the Texas Rangers upon graduation.
Growing up around the game of baseball, it’s only natural that Cornell loves every moment she gets to spend in her role. However, the best part of her job may very well be the fact that she gets to be around people who love the game as much as she does.
“I like other sports, but my heart has always been in baseball. It was a dream come true when I was offered an opportunity with the Texas Rangers in business partnerships,” said Cornell. “I love going to a baseball stadium for work every day, but the greatest part of my job is that I get to work with awesome people who love baseball like I do.”
Unfortunately, Cornell has had to face people who have questioned her knowledge about the game, something that she has learned to brush off and not allow hinder her performance and success.
“What is most challenging for me is the look of surprise I get from people when I want to have a conversation about baseball. Sometimes having to prove that I too have knowledge of the game can be frustrating, but the bottom line is you choose how you let these types of situations affect you. No one has the ability to take your knowledge from you.”
While still just a year into her professional career, Cornell has taken advantage of every opportunity thrown her way and has executed it with a confident and optimistic attitude. This positive mindset is something Cornell believes that others should always remember.
“It may sound obvious, but always have a good attitude and treat your coworkers with respect. During baseball season, I sometimes spend up to 14 hours a day with my department. By having a bad attitude, you not only make yourself miserable, but you make everyone else miserable too, which is not sustainable long-term.”
From Auburn to SMU, and finally to the Texas Rangers, Megan Cornell has seen her career positively grow in both her roles and responsibilities—two things that won’t be stopping anytime soon.
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