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Exploring sports industry career options through internships

Madison Reeser, from Sykesville, Md., is majoring in Sport Management, with a minor in Advertising. She knew that sports needed to be a part of her academic program and career path. Ultimately, Reeser selected the CPASS Sport Management program for its experienced faculty and successful alumni network. It was a perfect choice, especially once she discovered the many experiential learning opportunities that would allow her to build a resume and discover the career path to meet her passion for sports.

Why did you choose WVU CPASS?

I attended community college for two years and received my AA degree in general studies at Howard Community College, Columbia, Md. I have been a student athlete my entire life and knew that sports needed to remain in it even though I was no longer an athlete myself. Sport Management appeared to be the perfect choice, with its involvement within the sports world and the background behind it. I knew the WVU CPASS program would help me explore options to find my specific niche in the future, plus I discovered that the WVU sport management program was high on the list of successful programs. Since my older brother also attended WVU I was exposed to the university at a young age and fell in love with the school’s overall atmosphere. The combination of these two things allowed me to feel confident that WVU CPASS and sport management were the right steps to take to ensure I had a positive and successful career.

Describe your efforts with Certified Basketball – Girls’ AAU basketball.

When working with Certified Basketball, I experienced what goes on behind the scenes to run a successful top-level AAU girls basketball tournament. I connected with the owner, Ryan Polk, through my Sport Management 486 professor, Justin Wartella. It was an opportunity to network with professionals and learn about what a day in their life looks like. Ryan offered the opportunity to work under him during a tournament he was hosting in April in Cincinnati, Ohio. I spent the weekend handling the administrative and operational pieces of the event. I quickly learned that a career in sports is not your typical 9-5, behind-a-desk job. Working this event allowed me to be deeply involved with the sport of basketball, players and their coaches. This was a great career-learning experience. I am joining the Certified Basketball team this summer, implementing these same aspects into multiple tournaments hosted throughout the country.

How were you involved with the NFL Draft?

I was presented the opportunity to work the 2021 NFL Draft in Cleveland, Ohio with Landmark Event Staffing Services by being a part of WVU’s Sport Management club. My responsibilities included providing help to audience members who had questions/concerns, checking for correct backstage credentials and confirming that the area was safe and secure during the event. I saw the entire setup of the event along with what was broadcasted on TV. It was a great experience to see yet another aspect of the sport management world and understand that there are many pieces that need to be handled correctly to make a sporting event run smoothly.

How will these experiences help strengthen your resume?

These real-life opportunities will help show that I have a diverse background in working within the sport management field. From being a part of the Certified Basketball and 2021 NFL Draft, I learned many business aspects like administration, operations and security. Having both events on my resume will show my willingness and drive to be involved in the sports industry. Ultimately, I want to offer my event knowledge to future employers and show them how I’d be a great fit for their team.

What are your plans following graduation?

After earning my degree, I plan on launching a professional career in handling event operations for a professional or college sports team. I want to interact with others involved in the sport industry to realize the hands-on planning I was a part of turn out successfully.

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