Each week, a Student of the Week is selected and he/she takes a seat in the front of the classroom for that week. Our first Student of the Week for 2018 is Pete Abels (SMBA ’19) of Aurora, Ontario, Canada. Pete was selected for his efforts to assist classmates with their Accounting homework while on-site at the MLS Media Day in Los Angeles during the first week of class.
It was honour for me to be nominated by my peers and named the first Student of the Week for the 2019 SMBA cohort. The first week was a bit of a whirlwind for all of us, with many in our group barely settling into our new homes in San Diego and getting to know 27 new faces who have chosen to embark on this educational journey in a passionate topic we all share: sports.
Once all the administrative responsibilities were taken care of at orientation, the class had the opportunity to meet with alumni Roberto Castro (SMBA ’11), Veronica Nogueira (SMBA ’09) and Pat Coghlan (SMBA ’14), who gave our group a behind the scenes look at Petco Park.
The field trips continued the second day with our group heading up to La Jolla and learning about the following week’s volunteering duties at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. We walked around and watched as course workers were building the framework for the activation and experiential venues on site. The morning also provided the class with the opportunity to have more formal introductions to each other and learn more about the exciting year ahead.
Thursday was our first taste of class with introductions to Finance with Professor Ryan and Sports Marketing with Dr. Dalakas. Judging by the fact the class elected to skip a five-minute break in each class, I think it’s easy to say we are all eager to learn more about putting our fan interests aside and begin to consume sports from a business perspective.
The roller coaster first week ended with 14 members of the class heading to Los Angeles to act as player handlers for the 2018 MLS Media and Marketing Tour. We each had the responsibility of guiding a star player through a number of interviews and photo shoots, and more importantly watch as months of preparing (from the perspective of the league’s media team) unfolded in a tightly run schedule. It was amazing to see the set-up and careful coordination that went into organizing players, media and volunteers for an efficient operation.
I am extremely excited for the year ahead and can’t wait to see what lies ahead for everyone in this group!
Hometown: Aurora, Ontario (Canada)
Favourite Sports Teams: Ottawa Senators, Toronto Blue Jays
Favourite Sport(s) to Play: Golf, soccer, hockey
Favourite Sporting Event Attended: Game 5 2015 ALDS, otherwise known as the “bat-flip” game. Think I’ve watched the 7th inning on Youtube a couple dozen times and still get chills watching Bautista hit the home run.
Favourite Sports Movie: Caddyshack
Favourite Sports Quote: I’m not sure who first said it, but my high school football coach (Marcello Lio) would constantly remind us: “If you’re early, you’re on time; if you’re on time, you’re late; if you’re late, you’re forgotten.” I think it’s a pretty good reminder for the business world to be punctual, prepared and not to become just another employee.
What made you choose SDSU’s SMBA Program? I have played and watched sports passionately all my life. Having watched my father work for the two major sports television networks in Canada, now running his own event marketing and sponsorship company and going to work every day loving what he was doing, I knew that I wanted to find my way into the industry. When I was in the middle of writing my CPA exams, I started to explore next steps to find my way into sports, which led me down the path to more school. I subscribed to several school email lists and requested further information on sports specific MBAs. Within two days, Scott reached out to me and happened to be coming to Toronto the following to week meet with other prospective students. We had lunch and from that moment I was sold that the SDSU SMBA was my next step.
What do you hope to achieve while you’re a student in this program? I’m excited for all the opportunities within the industry that we as a group will get to explore. I really want to use this opportunity as a student to experience the different fields in the industry and focus my career path in an area where I know I will enjoy what I do.