Linfield students exposed to the sports management industry
“The students learned about the importance of networking in the sport industry and the attributes and qualities of standout employees in the sport industry,” said Linfield junior Jennifer Larson, who was the course teaching assistant.
Career and Development Director Michael Hampton and Assistant Director Kristi Mackay for Linfield College’s January Term taught the four-week class. The class was made up of 20 first through fifth year students, most working toward sport management minors. Students visited 20 different organizations and met around 50 individuals that were involved in the industry.
Starting off in the classroom, students learned about professional skills, resumes, networking, how to ask appropriate questions, marketing themselves and interview skills.
“The main advice the individuals that we met with gave the students was to work on networking, and not just collecting numbers, but building meaningful relationships,” Hampton said. “And also how to do internships and to find a mentor.”
This is the first time the class has been focused on the sports management, but a version of the course was offered during the 2012 Jan Term with a focus on the wine industry.
“The idea is that there are the same professions in different industries,” Hampton said, “and it’s a different look at those professions. It’s a look at where [the students] can fit in the industry.”
The course allowed the students to explore the behind-the-scenes of professional sport teams such as the Portland Trail Blazers, the Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Mariners. One opportunity the class had was to see the functioning of the Rose Garden with the help of a Linfield alumnus. Ovations general manager Tony Hendryx gave the class a tour of how things operate during game day. Ovations provides the food services at the arena during Blazers games. During their trip, the class also watched a Blazers game from a suite.
“I would say the Portland Trailblazers was a favorite trip for students because we were able to see the background of how the Rose Garden and Ovations set up and get ready for a game day,” Larson said. “Students also enjoyed are trip up to Seattle to meet with employees of the Seattle Seahawks and Mariners.”
The success of the course is evident in the three students who have already obtained internships, Hampton said. Every student in the course also has successfully scheduled six informational meetings with companies.
“Students went in very interested in the bigger companies like Nike and Columbia Sportswear,” Hampton said, “but realized the big environment of those companies were not for them.”