Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
WVU’s Sport Management degree is a blended, or hybrid, program which means students complete the majority of the work online, and come to the WVU campus in Morgantown during a two-week period over two consecutive summers.
That worked out well for Steve, since he works full-time and puts in a lot of hours with his marketing job at Longwood. He had never taken online classes before, and was a little unsure at first.
“It’s unfamiliar and you have to learn the style of it, but I was actually surprised that it was a lot more manageable than I thought it was going to be,” he said.
“The structure of the online classes made it really easy to adapt and I was able to get into a routine that made the time management much easier.”
Steve just finished the research for his capstone project, which is titled “The Influence of Technology on the Fan Experience.” “It’s a fun one,” he said. “Things are going all digital now. So I’m looking at fans going to a game and what elements and technological advancements in the facility enhance their experience.”
He has Dr. Gonzalo Bravo at WVU to thank for teaching him how to research effectively.
“It’s definitely a different world from that of an undergrad,” he said. “You have to think for yourself, as opposed to having someone there to hold your hand. The professors here really challenge us to think differently. That’s something you have to learn in this field.”
What has Steve enjoyed the most about the program?
“It has definitely been my classmates, first and foremost,” he said. “I learn a lot from them and I like to think they learn a lot from me too.
“We come from different backgrounds, which is is the best thing about our summer classes. That makes for meaningful discussions.” His advice to other students entering this program is to have fun and step out of your comfort zone and try something new.
“You may face some difficult challenges along your journey, but it’s going to make you better and that’s why you’re doing it,” he said.
“Just soak up everything and learn as much as you can.”