Editor’s Note: Each week we publish an interview with the SMBA ’14 Student of the Week. The winner of the Student of the Week (awarded by the previous winner) sits in the front row of class and proudly displays a flag of his or her choice on the famous Tez statue. Brian Heying is our next recipient in part because of his work as “Brian Claus” in the Dominican Republic when he brought gifts and cheer to the children that we visited.
Dwayne Jones: You’ve been selected Student of the Week for the way you stepped up during the class’ recent trip to the Dominican Republic. What is your opinion of the trip and what was your most significant takeaway?
Brian Heying: I had a blast on the trip. I am actually preparing for the mock negotiation with the Dominican government (I am protecting the interests of the MLB) in our Human Resource Management class. To me, there are a multitude of takeaways, but it was really very impactful to see kids all over the country not in school in the middle of the day. I’ve never been to a developing country before, so it took some time to get acclimated to the cultural differences.
DJ: If you could choose a different destination for the annual San Diego State Sports MBA trip, where would it be, and why?
BH: I suppose I would like for the class to keep with the theme of baseball and travel to Puerto Rico. I see a lot of similarities between there and the Dominican. Players were signed as free agents until 1990, when the CBA included the island in its amateur draft. Since that time there has been a pretty substantial decline in Puerto Rican MLB players. It will be interesting to see what happens in the Dominican when the international draft is implemented. I think the fallout will be very important for future SDSU Sports MBA cohorts to follow.
DJ: Having been born and raised in Missouri, compare and contrast the sports atmosphere and opportunities in San Diego versus where you’re from?
BH: Everything in Missouri is so seasonal. I can play golf year round in San Diego. People just can’t do that back home. I think that provides substantially more opportunity to someone looking to get into the sports industry. Carlsbad is home to almost all of the major golf equipment manufacturers. Just north of there are a half dozen hockey equipment companies. There are amateur sports, action sports, significantly more water-based sports, like sailing, fishing, surfing, etc., and leisure activities all around that provide opportunities as well. Missouri has its professional teams and there is the University of Missouri and St. Louis University for collegiate athletics, but the amateur sports scene is limited. I don’t think the opportunities are better or worse, there is just a far better variety in San Diego.
DJ: Halfway through our Sports MBA program, what would you tell prospective students are the most challenging and most rewarding landmarks throughout this journey?
BH: Most challenging landmark: 1st semester
Most rewarding landmark: 1st semester
DJ: If you had the chance to spend one day with any one sports person, shadow them and pick their brain, who would it be and why?
BH: I have to be a bit of a homer on this one and pick Stan Kroenke (he’s from Columbia, Miss.). I think he has been instrumental in turning around the St. Louis Rams. On top of that, owning the Nuggets (NBA), Avalanche (NHL), Rapids (MLS), Mammoth (NLL), and Arsenal F.C. (EPL) has to make for a hectic, but fascinating day-to-day schedule. I consider myself to be a bit of an entrepreneur, so I really look up to everything he has accomplished so far in his professional career.
DJ: Upon completion of this Sports MBA program, what would be your ideal career opportunity?
BH: I am hoping to get into Corporate Partnership Sales. There have been some very impactful alumni come in and speak with the class about this specific field. Hearing them talk really opened my eyes to the possibilities and how much potential for success I can have in it. I’ve worked in sales in the past and I consider myself to be very innovative. Not only do I think it is something I’d be good at, I am confident it is a career I would enjoy.