Jason Ju – an Occidental College alum from Orange County – was recognized for working behind-the-scenes to create a digital strategy for the program’s social media channels. His contributions and efforts outside of the classroom earned him the title of Student of the Week.
What have you learned so far in your Sports MBA experience that has helped prepare you for working as a manager in the sports industry?
The Sports MBA experience has allowed me to improve my presentation and communication skills. Most of our classes have been structured to include group presentations in which we were asked to apply and verbally discuss the key concepts learned throughout the course. The presentations have helped me to improve not only my PowerPoint skills, but also showed me the importance of practice and professionalism. The ability and opportunity to work with different classmates on such projects has also been valuable. Given each of our unique backgrounds, I have learned a great deal from my peers, and the group dynamic has taught me how to work with others more effectively.
What has been your favorite ___ and why?
Class: Marketing with Dr. Dalakas. Given my interest and experience in marketing, it was a great experience to apply the marketing concepts to the world of sports business. Dr. Dalakas provided specific sports examples throughout the course, and his enthusiasm for the subject allowed for great class discussions.
Faculty Member: Dr. Jim Lackritz. Dr. Lackritz was one of our first professors in the program, teaching the infamous Statistics course. We both share a love for numbers and the application of statistics in the sports industry. I was also privileged with the opportunity to interview him for our blog earlier this year.
Guest Lecturer: Tom Fletcher. We were privileged to have Tom Fletcher, Regional VP of the West for IMG College, come and speak to us back in May. In addition to sharing about his career path and experiences, he also left us with valuable advice, such as the value of having a continually evolving 5-year plan. His enthusiasm and passion for sports and sports business was inspiring.
Outside of Class Experience: The Dominican Republic trip. The trip was an once-in-a-lifetime experience for me, and it was amazing to be able to see a culture and society so enriched by baseball. The opportunity to see the stark contrast between the MLB’s state-of-the-art baseball academies and the poorer, makeshift buscone or sugar plantation facilities was an eye-opening experience.
Consulting Project: Anaheim Ducks Sponsorship Pitch. As a part of our marketing class, groups were tasked with proposing a marketing strategy for the corporate partnership between the Anaheim Ducks and YP.com. We had the opportunity to present our activation ideas to managers of the Anaheim Ducks. It was a great “practical” real-life experience, and I valued the feedback that was given to our group.
Who is your most admired organization/leader/brand in sports and why?
The late owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, Dr. Jerry Buss. Buss, who had graduated with a doctorate in chemistry, was a hard-working leader who valued the meaning of building relationships. His business-savvy approach was apparent at a young age, as Buss and a few friends invested in a 14-unit apartment complex that was grew to be worth $350 million. Jerry Buss transformed a $20 million Los Angeles Laker franchise in the late 1970’s to a globally recognized, $1 billion organization. Dr. Buss was responsible for the “Showtime” era, as his model of owning the Los Angeles Lakers allowed sports organizations throughout the world to capitalize on the idea that sports was entertainment.
What advice would you give a prospective student looking to apply to the SDSU SMBA?
Because our program is an accelerated MBA program, you have to be ready and willing to learn. If you are eager to learn about sports business and are willing to work hard in a fast-paced cohort environment, the program will be a great experience. The program provides valuable opportunities to speak and network with managers in the sports industry, so it is also of critical importance to be presentable and professional. More importantly, do not be afraid to ask questions!