Sean Desmond – a California State University San Marcos alum – was chosen as the Student of the Week for his positive attitude and valuable contributions to class discussions. Despite it being his first international experience in another country, Sean applied his Spanish-speaking skills and made the effort to be involved in conversations during the Dominican Republic trip. Sean was also recognized for his diligence in gathering students for out-of-class events, like the Padres Summer Food Drive.
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?
Throughout the program I have learned different techniques to work with people. We have had many opportunities to work in groups with the members of our cohort, and it has been important to know that everyone works differently and understands concepts in different ways. Our Organizational Behavior class emphasized the fact that people’s expectations are not always aligned, and as a manager or a team member it helps to realize these expectations while clearly expressing your own. This allows the group to have cohesion and collaboration for an efficient and effective team.
What has been your favorite ___ and why?
Class: Operations and Supply Chain Management. This class essentially combined two subjects that I like very much – business and computer science. In undergrad, I was a Business major with a Computer Science minor, so Operations and Supply Chain was familiar and enjoyable territory. I thought Dr. Reinig was very funny and engaging, and he explained the concepts very well. Taking skills I learned in undergrad, like queueing theory and critical path analysis, and applying them to business operations made this class one of my favorites.
Faculty Member: Dr. Deboskey. For the duration of his class, it was very evident that he genuinely cared about all of the students in our cohort and really loved his subject. He would take additional personal time to teach students who needed it and was very passionate and helpful.
Guest Lecturer: Jack Tipton (SMBA ’06). Jack brought his expertise in sponsorship and sales to our cohort. He had us do an exercise with a group where we chose a sports entity and developed ideas for a potential sponsorship opportunity with some meaningful activations. He was very informative and engaging, and was a great guest to have speak with us.
Outside of Class Experience: Our trip to the Dominican Republic. Prior to this program, I had never been outside of the United States. This trip was a very eye opening experience for me in many ways, but my favorite part was learning about the many different aspects that affect the baseball industry. Visiting the MLB office, the Padres and Mets academies, some buscones facilities, and speaking with many people in the industry were amazing experiences I will take with me for the rest of my life. It was awesome getting to learn everything about a completely new side to the industry I want to work in.
Consulting Project: I had the chance to do a project for the soon-to-launch United States Football League (USFL). My group had the opportunity to learn about the organization and recommend some potential licensing areas for them to pursue. Being able to present our research and our recommendations for licensing categories and potential licensing partners was a privilege.
Who is your most admired organization/leader/brand in sports and why?
Billy Beane. We spent a lot of time talking about Billy Beane and his statistical impact on the market for baseball players. Finding a market inefficiency and exploiting it through all of the adversity he faced is a very admirable trait. The consistent success he has had certainly helps as well.
Why SDSU SMBA over other Sport/MBA programs?
We are getting so much more than an MBA. Our director Scott Minto does an amazing job bringing in guest speakers for our class, and that is where the real value is. An MBA will be amazing to get, but the knowledge I have acquired from our speakers with real world experience and alumni with their different perspectives is invaluable. Being able to meet and ask questions to professionals in the fields I am interested in pursuing really separates this program.
What advice would you give a prospective student looking to apply to the SDSU SMBA?
Be Proactive. If you are debating applying, there is a lot of information that is easy to find. Don’t be afraid to reach out to our director Scott or attend an information session. If you decide this program is exactly what you want, stay proactive and work to be as best prepared for the application process as you can be. Relaying the message of who you are, why this program is right for you, and why you are right for this program is the most important part.