This Week in SMBA: 10/20 – 10/24

The calendar shows that we’re almost finished with October. With less than a month left of classes, one could arguably say that the San Diego State Sports MBA class of 2015 has reached its busiest point of the year. This week we wrapped up Dr. Andy Baker’s Sports Market Research class by presenting a semesters worth of work for our client: Pro Kids of San Diego (for more information about the presentations and Pro Kids of San Diego, please check out Student of the Week Cody Thomas’ blog about the group presentations from earlier this week). In addition to our presentation, we are also completing our take home, final exam: a market research proposal for a fictional running company which combines all of the market research skills we have learned this semester. Dr. Baker made a point of reminding us that while we might be wrapping up our Market Research class, the skills we learned in the class will continue to be used in virtually any career path we follow after our time in the SMBA classroom.

CEO of Pro Kids, Keith Padgett (left) and Dr. Andy Baker (right) address the class following the final presentations.
CEO of Pro Kids, Keith Padgett (left) and Dr. Andy Baker (right) address the class following the Sports Market Research presentations.

Dr. Bruce Reining’s Business Analytics class is more than halfway through, but the class still features several engaging group projects. The class is currently working on a cluster analysis case which looks at clustering MLB pitchers into similar groups based on their 2014, regular season performance numbers. In addition, at the conclusion of the class, we will be presenting a business analytics project where students will utilize either a logistic regression model or the k-nearest neighbors model which has been a focal point of the class. The project is focused on identifying and addressing a challenge within a business, something that each of us will be likely be charged with once we enter the working world.

Dr. Joe Belch’s Advanced Marketing Strategy course was the only course that did not meet this week, but that doesn’t mean students were without coursework. In the final 4 weeks of the semester, we will be exploring four sports business marketing cases. The cases take a closer look at marketing strategies at Nike, Threshold Sports, the Chicago Blackhawks, and the Qatar 2022 World Cup. In addition, students will complete a strategic marketing analysis paper which will provide an analysis of a specific company, brand, team, league or organization competing in the sports industry or a specific market.

Professor Frank Ryan’s Financial Management II course just kicked off the Business Challenge simulation where students take control of a fictional company and practice managing the simulated company in order to maximize the valuation of the firm.  The simulation is set to run for the next few weeks and will keep us on our toes as we try to make our company outperform the competition (our classmates). In addition to the Business Challenge, Prof. Ryan does an outstanding job of encouraging class discussion of the sports business world and how it relates to the curriculum.

Matt Thomas (SMBA '15) teaches his hip-pocket class on leadership.
Matt Thomas (SMBA ’15) teaches his hip-pocket class on leadership.

Throughout the second half of the class, each student has been asked to present a “hip-pocket” class. Hip-pocket classes are brief, informal class sessions that take place addition to the normal academic schedule. Students speak on topics that vary from their own personal experiences beyond the SMBA program. This past week, Matt Thomas (SMBA ’15)  taught the class a course on leadership.  This course mirrored some of the leadership topics that Officer Candidates at Marine Corps Officer Candidate School receive.  Topics covered included: leadership traits, leadership principles, troop leading steps, and traits of a professional.  In addition to this course the cohort had the pleasure of speaking with 1stLt Lara Soto about her experience of leading in a male dominate world.

In addition to the work we have been conducting in the classroom, we are balancing our out of class jobs and internships. Some students have been working some incredible internships at companies around San Diego, while others are looking to land fulltime employment for the 795 consultancy portion of the SMBA program.

As you can see, there’s plenty going on in the final month of the SMBA ’15 academic calendar. While the work days are long and the expectations are high, we are all excited about the work we are doing inside and outside of the classroom.

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