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. Rich Davis is our next honoree for taking full advantage of the SMBA experience, from being a great contributor in group projects to taking on any internship he can find.
Danny Roach: How did you first hear about the SMBA program and what made you interested?
Rich Davis: I was working my job in Tampa and started to throw around the idea of going back to school. I double majored in undergrad in finance and sports management and I couldn’t decide if I wanted to go back for my MBA or to go into a master’s program for Sports Management. My roommate at the time told me about this program in June or July and it was perfect. I took the GMAT in September and moved to San Diego in January.
DR: What’s been your favorite course so far and why?
RD: Despite my numbers background, I’ve actually enjoyed Dr. Randel’s Organizational Behavior class. I am fascinated by the subject matter because it is so pertinent in any workplace. I think having knowledge of the subject will have such an immense impact on my ability to lead in the workplace. With any luck, the leadership skills that we learned in the class will be applicable in my job.
DR: What are your ultimate career aspirations?
RD: They change every day. I have recently been interested in marketing and possibly sponsorship more specifically, but I don’t have a specific job title in mind yet. I just want to be able to say that I have fun with my job. My main aspiration is having an occupation that allows me to get excited to go in early and stay late.
DR: Coming from Tampa, your classmates know you’re a big Rays fan, and that you actually worked in the clubhouse for the team during the 2010 season. How was that?
RD: It was the most surreal experience I’ve ever had. After the first day, I knew I wanted to work in sports. Being around the athletes and feeling like you are a part of a team is such a great feeling. I like to think that the clean uniforms were a key factor in winning the AL East that year.
DR: If you could change one thing about the Rays franchise (personnel, stadium, anything) what would it be?
RD: I actually don’t mind the stadium, as air conditioning is necessary to deal with the Tampa summer. This may be cheating, but I wish Tampa Bay was more of a sports-loving area. The Rays are such a likeable organization. They have a great front office that makes all the right moves (lately), an unorthodox manager, and young talent. It’s very disappointing to see the stadium virtually empty most nights. I can only imagine what the team would be capable of with an average budget.
That being said, there was a Dirty Dining ordeal that could also use a little work.
DR: Finally, how does your hair look exactly the same day in and day out?
RD: This is a question I have been asked frequently and it comes down to one thing: Follicle Discipline. I have spent hours on end teasing and training each lock in order to get the right placement. It has come to the point where it styles itself on command.