North Central College - Naperville, IL

Going pro in sports—off the field

Even if your athletic skills aren’t up to a professional sports career you can become a sports professional. Majoring in sport management allows you to enjoy a passion for the sports world while preparing for a career. In addition to courses like Sport and Recreation Marketing and Sport Law and Organization, this major includes studies in business, coaching and leadership.

Outside the classroom, students find plenty of other ways to develop their talents. Ashley Popp decided that she would gain experience by studying abroad in Ireland to learn more about sports on an international stage. “I realized that studying sport management in Europe could potentially provide leverage on my resumé or in an interview, and would make my education and background more memorable to prospective employers,” she says.

She chose the University of Limerick specifically because of the proximity of the Munster Rugby team. She is also completing an internship with a company that distributes sport-related products to both Irish and United Kingdom markets, requiring her attendance at a trade show in London. “Not only have I learned about the international sports management industry, I have also gained valuable experience in how business is conducted internationally in general—spanning the spectrum from cultural differences to managing currency exchange rates and transactions.”

Closer to home, sport management major Andrew Sauer has been in charge of maintaining North Central’s baseball complex for summer tournaments and camps and has also been interning in the College’s athletic department for two years. “It’s been a great experience to learn about game day operations and how a successful collegiate athletic office is run,” he says.

Anna Wirtz decided to attend North Central College specifically for the sport management major. “I liked how the curriculum was heavily based in business,” she says.

Anna was able to attend the NCAA Division III Student-Athlete Leadership Conference and was challenged to create a new program, so she developed Cardinal Cuisine. It was designed to promote nutrition and healthy eating for athletes in campus dining facilities. “I’ve also gained experience in North Central’s sports information office and as an intern in the athletic department,” she says. “My dream career is to work for a professional team in community relations.”