Wow. That was fast. Three years ago around this time, I came to SUNY Cortland as a timid kid from Long Island just trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life while also finding a way to have a great college experience. As I write this, I feel that I have accomplished those two goals while also now being a confident guy from Long Island, ready to succeed.
The past three years have been the best years of my life to this point and it is because of my college experience.
I was lucky enough to meet lifelong friends at Cortland and form memories with those people that will last a lifetime. I have SUNY Cortland to thank for that.
However, I am most thankful for the lessons I learned from the Professors in the SUNY Cortland Sport Management Department.
The things that I have learned from the Professors in this department will not only last a lifetime, but they will be a huge reason as to why I succeed in the business side of the sports world, a dream that I realized while here at SUNY Cortland.
So, with that being said, I would like to thank the various Professors that helped me grow as an individual, and as a worker.
I remember my first Sport Management class of my freshman year with Professor Han, Introduction to Computer Applications. During syllabus week Professor Han scared the crap out of me, and that was the most important week of my college career.
The reason Professor Han did this was to make sure that everyone in that room, most of us freshmen, knew that the business side of the sports world isn’t easy to get into, the workload is heavy, and to be successful we would have to treat our college careers as a full-time job.
I remember after my second class with Professor Han that week I immediately called my Dad because I was afraid that I wouldn’t have what it takes to make it in the sports world, but I didn’t give up. I didn’t change majors that very moment because I realized that Professor Han was just trying to make sure we understood the mindset it would take for us to succeed. So for that Professor Han, thank you.
Another Sport Management class I took that first semester was COR 101 with Professor Vooris. That class is designed for first-semester freshmen to get an idea of what it is to be a college student, events available on campus, clubs you can join, study habits, so on and so forth.
The most important lesson I learned in that class was to figure out what I wanted to do in the sports world. So for that Professor Vooris, thank you
It isn’t easy to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life at the age of 18, but luckily I had support from the Sport Management department which allowed me to take classes that allowed me to find what path I wanted to take.
A big reason I was able to take these classes was because of the direction of my advisor Professor Morris. Professor Morris joined the department as a professor the same year I came in as a freshman, but that didn’t stop her from explaining all of the classes the department had to offer in detail.
She ended up recommending the most important class I would take in the spring semester of my freshman year. So for that Professor Morris, thank you.
The class Professor Morris recommended to me was Foundations of Sport Management with Professor Brady. It was in this class that I learned from Professor Brady, who was very successful in the business side of the sports world before joining the staff at SUNY Cortland, that I have what it takes to succeed myself.
I also learned that I wanted to work in marketing or in media in professional sports. More importantly, I met Professor Brady, who I consider my mentor, but I will touch on that later.
I soon realized that I wanted to write about professional sports, so I got to work. Luckily my brother graduated from SUNY Oneonta with a Computer Science degree and could create a website for me to do just that.
I named the website New York Sports and Beyond, I wrote and still write articles on professional sports teams for the website, while also running the social media outlets for the blog on Twitter and on Facebook.
In doing this, I received invaluable advice from Professor Vooris and Professor Fischer.
Professor Vooris was so kind as to explain to me the differences between writing articles for blogs and newspapers and how you would write a paper for class. He showed me some plug-ins I could install on my website to improve the experience for my readers. He also gave me an opportunity to write for the brand-new Sport Management blog, which I am writing this article for right now, The Red Beat. So for that Professor Vooris, thank you.
Professor Fischer showed me some grammatical nuances that I had never known before. My writing style isn’t perfect, but it is largely improved because of the time Professor Fischer spent critiquing my writing. She also helped me improve the social media presence for my blog which allowed me to improve the following I had.
Professor Fischer has left the school since then, but I will be forever grateful for the help she provided me. So for that Professor Fischer, thank you.
In my sophomore year, I took Sport Media Management with Professor Seyfried. Professor Seyfried had been a successful television sports reporter before joining the Sport Management Department at SUNY Cortland and he discussed every facet of the job throughout the semester.
The most important lesson I learned from Professor Seyfried in that class was to have confidence in my ability to succeed. I could tell confidence was something I needed to improve upon and I have become ever more confident in myself because of that class. So for that Professor Seyfried, thank you.
The best part about this Sport Management department is that the professors collectively push us to get experience in the sports world no matter how small the experience may seem, it will help us in the future.
It is for this reason that I applied for my first internship at Stony Brook University within it’s Athletic Department. It is also because of the professors here that I secured that internship for the Summer of 2018.
Professor Han sat with me and showed me how to create a resume because, well my first attempt was brutal. It was because of Professor Han’s help that I was able to interview for that internship in the first place. So for that Professor Han, thank you.
To prepare for the interview I met with Professor Lovich, Professor Seyfried, and Professor Brady.
Professor Lovich taught me how to prepare for an interview by researching the place I was applying for. It was due to that research that I felt confident walking into that interview. Professor Lovich has left SUNY Cortland since then, but I will use those research techniques for a long time. So for that Professor Lovich, thank you.
Professor Seyfried went over dozens of questions that I could be asked and gave me pointers as to how to answer these questions by using the right words in my responses. So for that Professor Seyfried, thank you.
Professor Brady sat with me on multiple occasions to look over my resume, to critique my emails, and to do mock interviews with me. Without the time spent with Professor Brady, I would have been petrified walking into that interview, but he helped me prepare so well that I was offered the position on the spot. So for that Professor Brady, thank you.
This past year I took Sport Marketing and Sport Law with Professor Dodds, who is known to be a Professor that expects nothing less than your best work. Professor Dodds is a lawyer who worked for a successful marketing company before joining the SUNY Cortland faculty, so his knowledge and experience was exactly what I wanted to learn from.
His marketing class, in particular, was eye-opening for me. He showed us what actually goes into creating a marketing plan and how to create one ourselves. The semester-long project for that class is to write a 40+ page marketing paper for a sporting event. My group and I decided to create a marketing plan for the 50th anniversary of the New York Mets 1969 World Series team.
That project cemented in my mind that working in sport marketing is the career goal for me. So for that Professor Dodds, thank you.
This past year I also applied to dozens of internship opportunities for the summer and this fall, which meant writing dozens of cover letters, writing dozens of emails, and improving my resume every day, always trying to improve my opportunity to receive an interview.
Although I was unsuccessful in securing a summer internship Professor Vooris and Professor Brady, in particular, helped me in every way imaginable to help prepare me for interviews, to look over my applications, cover letters, etc.
I must’ve met with at least one of them once a week to ask them for their help and I was always greeted with a helping hand.
When I did receive interview opportunities they seemed more excited than I was. So for that Professors, thank you.
I would be remiss if I did not also thank Connie, who was the Sport Management department’s secretary up until this semester. Connie was always abundantly helpful when it comes to anything you needed to know about the requirements of the Sport Management degree and various components of the program.
My one regret to this point in my college career is that I have not had the opportunity to take a class with every professor in this department because, as you can tell, every professor I have had an opportunity to take a class with has helped me in so many unimaginable ways.
The whole point of this was not just to thank the professor’s who have impacted me so positively to this point, but to acknowledge that I am ready for the real-world because of the program itself.
I have an internship with The Auburn Doubledays this semester, which I will be doing while completing my final semester of coursework at SUNY Cortland before I finish my degree with a capstone internship in the spring.
I will graduate from SUNY Cortland with three internships, a Bachelor’s degree in Sport Management, and with an abundance of knowledge learned from the best Sport Management department in the country.
So for that SUNY Cortland Sport Management department, thank you.