Reflections on Departing Jennifer Bulcao

Former Program Coordinator Jennifer Bulcao recently departed for Washington D.C. after spending more than a year with the Sports MBA program. As the search for her replacement continues, Program Director Scott Minto reflected on how he initially hired JB for the position, her influence on the program and efforts to find a replacement.

What were you seeking when you hired JB for the position?

First and foremost, I was in the market to hire someone who is also from Rhode Island.  When two or more of us work together on something, it usually results in the opening of a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise, so you’re welcome, San Diego.  We actually didn’t have anything to do with that store directly, but it’s hard to imagine it’s just a coincidence.  Could Newport Creamery’s West Coast expansion be next?

To actually answer your question, we were thrilled to hire JB because she had the perfect combination of solid business experience and knowledge of the sports industry from her days with the International Tennis Hall of Fame.  We’re a business program first and foremost, so we looked for someone with Jennifer’s high level of professionalism.  We also deal with hundreds of sports entities from around the globe, so it was critical that our Sports MBA coordinator possess a thorough understanding of business side of sports, not just the scores and highlights. Working in management for the Hall of Fame in Newport and for its ATP event, Jennifer had that unique combination.

How did JBs role evolved during the course of the time in the program over the past year and a half?

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that JB wanted to jump at the countless sports industry volunteer opportunities that are presented to the Sports MBA students nearly every weekend.  Whether it was a networking event, a major conference, an action sports event, or a behind-the-scenes tour, JB was willing to give up her nights and weekends to learn more about the industry and meet people.  That’s the right attitude to have in the sports industry, so I’m glad she got as much out of the program’s affiliations as she could during her time here.

In what ways has JB influenced the program during her time as coordinator?

It would take too long to list the ways in which she’s substantially improved the program’s day-to-day operations, but one lasting impact can be clearly heard when you listen to the Sports MBA Podcast.  I asked JB to research some better equipment so our podcast hosts would sound more professional and about a week later she’d visited guitar stores and gotten the A/V folks on campus involved, and now we have the most professional sounding podcast this side of Los Angeles.

What are the most important traits you will look for in the next Program Coordinator?

Probably the same type of can-do attitude where he or she can solve problems that arise without much oversight or guidance.  The SDSU Sports MBA program is constantly evolving and there are so many areas that will require the coordinator’s attention, from faculty to prospective students to our hundreds of alumni working in the sports industry.  We work on exciting projects with so many varied constituents, it’s important that the coordinator be a self-starter. 

Any other thoughts on JBs time with the program and her departure? 

To use a sports business analogy, I feel like Jennifer is that rare phenom player that will inevitably find her way to the biggest club and play on the biggest stage.  At the risk of taking this analogy too far, someone like JB needs to be on a team that plays in the Champions League final nearly every year.  She’s destined for some amazing things in her career and I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with JB at SDSU during her sojourn in San Diego.  I know she’ll thrive in the exciting, global business environment of the nation’s capital and like everyone else associated with the SDSU Sports MBA program, I wish her all the best.

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