Lorne Housley: SMBA ’14 Student of the Week

Lorne HousleyDan Penner: You spent some time working between your undergrad and entry into this program. What were you doing and what made you decide to make this move?

Lorne Housley: Prior to coming to the program I was working in marketing for a supply chain management company in Minneapolis. There, I was a marketing program manager running a number of programs for their retail customers. It was a great experience, but I knew I wanted to go back to school to get my MBA. In my search for a program I came across the SDSU program that combined my goal to get an MBA and passion for sports.

DP: I think you are one of the hardest workers in class, but how do you maintain your focus? Is this natural for you, or have you worked on this ability?

LH: It can be hard at times, especially with the nice San Diego weather. I just try to stay focused on one project or test at a time and know that all the work that is being put into school this year will pay off when we all graduate next June. I have always been pretty focused on schoolwork, but it is definitely a skill I have gotten better at over the years. Part of it is that business is something I have always had a passion for so it made it easier to put in a lot of effort in my position at work and at school since I am learning what I love. Since this program is integrated into the sports world I am hoping that my next position will be something I have a passion for, which will make it easier to continue to dedicate time and effort into my career.

DP: Was it hard to get back into school and academic mode after working for a number of years?

LH: The first few months were challenging and it did take a while to get back into the rhythm of school. I think the most difficult part was being efficient in completing schoolwork. In the beginning, it took a long time to complete assignments since it had been so long since I had been in school.

DP: Originally from Wisconsin, you are a big Badgers fan. Do you plan to use your experience here at SDSU to help the University of Wisconsin athletic department gain some ground on my Ohio State Buckeyes’ first-rate athletic program?

LH: It would be great to one day work for the Wisconsin athletic department. Wisconsin has remained competitive in the Big Ten given the other programs in the conference that have a lot more money to spend. I think there are a number of ways that Wisconsin can generate additional revenue to help them remain competitive in the future. One of the suggestions is based on the accounting project we worked on together earlier in the year, where we suggested that Wisconsin reseat the stadium to generate additional donor funds. In this project we projected that this would create additional funds for the athletic department long-term. Wisconsin has done great the past few years in basketball and football. Wisconsin took down your No. 1-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes in both basketball and football a few years ago. Remember that?

DP: What are your real goals once you move on from the SDSU MBA program?

LH: Since my undergraduate work and experience is in marketing I would like to find a position in marketing that also integrates my passion for sports. Right now I am focused on finding a position with a corporation that sponsors sports teams. Eventually, I would like to manage the sponsorships and relationships that these corporations have with the sports teams that they sponsor.

DP: What class has been most interesting to you, and which class have you seen most applicable to those future goals?

LH: Operations Management and Supply Chain was really interesting to me. The concepts that we learned in class were tools that could have been applied in my previous position, so it helped to build a framework for how these concepts can be applied in a real project or situation.

DP: You are a Midwest girl, growing up and living in both Wisconsin and Minnesota. Have you become a California girl at all?

LH: Well, I think I am quickly becoming accustomed to the nice weather. I was able to miss most of the Midwest winter since the program starts in January. I am sure it will be a difficult transition back to the Midwest next year.

DP: Back to your Badgers, what was your reaction to Bret Bielema leaving for the Arkansas head coaching position and how much do you miss Barry Alvarez as head coach?

LH: I was surprised that Bielema was leaving due to the Badgers’ success over the past three years. However, I was not disappointed to hear that he was leaving. I think I am more concerned over some of the assistant coaches that Bielema took with him and the effect that it will have on the program. It is hard to compare any coach that Wisconsin has to Barry Alvarez. I have been going to Badger games all my life and watched Alvarez build and turn around the Badger football program. I am excited about the new coach Gary Andersen. Based on the comments that Alvarez has made and what I have read, he seems like a great coach and will continue the traditions of Badger football. I am excited to see what happens this fall.