Orientation week kicked off on Jan. 21. We were promptly overwhelmed with 29 new friends, campus tours, paperwork and program expectations. We met a few of our professors before the start of classes, and even helped out one member of the SMBA ’14 class with a project: the Farmers Insurance Open PGA Tournament. SMBA ‘15 began its active year of learning the ins and outs of the sports world by volunteering as both Tweet Caddies (event promotion through social media) and crowd control over the four-day golf tournament at beautiful Torrey Pines.
At the beginning of the first week of classes, the students named Danelle Hauther (Colorado, US Coast Guard) Student Of The Week for her early leadership and organization initiatives. Dr. Lackritz (Statistics), Dr. Deboskey (Financial Analysis and Reporting), Dr. Randel (Organizational Behavior) and Professor Ryan (Finance I) all jumped right in to the rigorous curriculum, quickly adjusting the class to life as an MBA student. The Guest Lecture Series started off with visits from Matt Hill (SMBA ’06, Surviving the Program), Michael Rolnick (Sponsorship Activation, Networking) and Kate Bartkiewicz (SMBA ’12, Getting the Most From the Program).
After a weekend of recovery in which we took in our first SDSU men’s basketball game, week two of classes was just as busy. Dr. Aaron Bruce (SDSU Director of Diversity) made an appearance, and Steve Gera (SDSU ’06, former San Diego Chargers and Cleveland Browns coach) gave two seminars on leadership and management. As a special treat, the class attended the 2014 SDSU International Sports Business Case Competition held at the beautiful Challenged Athletes Foundation building here in San Diego.
During the second week, many members of the class made valuable contributions toward the formation of the class. Landon Hemsley (Utah) was awarded the Student of the Week designation for his demonstration of commitment to the program, being present, attentive, and actively participating in classes and lectures, even through the joyful-yet-taxing time of welcoming his first child into his family.
Week three started with Alex West (Indiana) being named as the Student of the Week for his efforts in producing a class introduction video (look for the link, coming soon!). Student volunteer events included helping out at the San Diego Padres Fan Fest and providing additional staff for the Running USA Industry Conference. Steve Gera wrapped up his final day of his lecture series, and we had our first round of exams for Finance I and Financial Analysis and Reporting. The week wrapped up with Michael Rolnick, back to discuss the sponsorship side of the Olympics.
Presuming the next 11 months will be as fast-paced, diverse, challenging and rewarding as the first month has been, this year will be a wild ride. Stay tuned for many more updates to the happenings of the SMBA ’15 class.