Mount Union Sport Management Students Experience New York City
December 5, 2006
'Everything we do in higher education is geared toward giving students practical experience,' said Mount Union College President Richard F. Giese. Recently, Mount Union sport management majors were given an opportunity to get outside the classroom and get a real life view of the business side of professional sports.
'Everything we do in higher education is geared toward giving students practical experience,' said Mount Union College President Richard F. Giese.
Recently, Mount Union sport management majors were given an opportunity to get outside the classroom and get a real life view of the business side of professional sports.
The College's Seminar on Careers in Sport Management class, instructed by professor Jim Kadlecek, traveled on a one day trip to New York City to meet with senior level management officials from the Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Hockey League (NHL) offices.
Kadlecek, President Giese and 11 students took part in the one day trip around New York to meet with executives Scott O'Neil, senior vice president of marketing and team business operations for the NBA, Mount Union graduate Todd Fleming '00, director of inside sales for the New Jersey Nets, David Lehanski, senior director of corporate marketing for the NHL and Ari Roitman, director of new business for MLB.
'The reason I thought this trip would be beneficial is that the students would have a chance to hear from senior level managers who are relatively young and on the fast track for their careers,' said Kadlecek. 'To hear what it is about them that has allowed them to achieve success so fast and to give our students a broader scope of what the sport industry is all about is extremely important.'
Not only did the students get to experience the business side of professional sports first-hand, they also received a taste of real life in New York, starting with the morning flight out of Akron-Canton Airport, which was delayed an hour due to foggy conditions at LaGuardia Airport.
Once in New York, the group scrambled to find ground transportation to make up for lost time. Fortunately, the delay did not hinder any of the scheduled meetings.
'To be in a big city is a new experience for some of these students,' added Kadlecek. 'What do you do when your flight gets delayed and you have a schedule of meetings lined up and you have to adjust quickly? All the way around it was a really good educational experience.'
'It was a lot to take in but New York was great,' said Ian Mack, a senior from Concord. 'You see things on television and in movies, but to actually go there and see for yourself was great. New York is a very busy city but a lot of fun.'
After adjusting the schedule around the morning delay, the group first met with O'Neil at the NBA league office and then hit the streets through Times Square for lunch at the ESPNZone. From there, the group met with Fleming '00 to talk more NBA sales and then met with Lehanski at the NHL office and Roitman at the MLB offices. Each office was conveniently located within short walks of the other through Times Square, Rockefeller Plaza and Park Avenue.
Another exciting experience for the students was meeting with Roitman in the room where the most recent MLB collective bargaining agreements were negotiated and finalized ' the Jackie Robinson Conference Room.
'I really enjoyed the MLB offices and getting the background on baseball since that is the area I am most interested in,' said Mike Dellosa, a senior from Green. 'The biggest thing to take away from this trip is that everyone we talked to said they wished they'd had this kind of opportunity when they were in college. We were real fortunate to take a day, see New York City, and get insight on the careers we are looking into pursuing.'
By 5 p.m. the group was headed back to LaGuardia only to find out their return flight home originally scheduled for departure at 7 p.m., was delayed until 10:15 p.m.
'That's life in New York,' Dellosa commented. 'Despite the delays, it was a great day.'
'It was a great experience to get into all the professional sports offices and speak with senior level people and network,' said Erin Schwing, a senior from Greensburg, PA. 'The networking is key to some day getting a job, so to be able to meet and talk with them meant a lot.'
Not only was the experience unique for the students, but also a great opportunity for the College.
'For our students to go to New York City and be in the offices of Major league baseball, the NBA and the NHL are experiences that not too many people get an opportunity to have,' said Giese. 'This is a unique program for Mount Union in that we have a very practical program that leads to careers students want to be involved in.'