Who’s That Girl?

I recently interviewed a fellow classmate for a class assignment. For this assignment we were supposed to create a video with interesting information from an interview. I had the pleasure of interviewing Angie Isernio, a graduate student in the Washington State University Sport Management Program and a Graduate Assistant with WSU’s University Recreation. As a Graduate Assistant, Angie has a schedule that is packed full! She teaches multiple classes and trains new employees with UREC, takes undergraduate sport management classes, graduate sport management classes, AND I saw her going for a run during her free time on a Saturday morning! She is extremely motivated and you can tell she loves what she does with University Recreation.

Angie was very easy to work with during the interview process. Even though her schedule is very busy, she made time for me to come to her work to interview her and see what she does. The answers to my questions flowed from her so easily and you could really tell that she has a passion for what she does. The questions and answers did not take very long, we did about two shots for each of the questions asked and we talked briefly before the interview to help direct the conversation in a more free flowing style. Editing the clips together with smooth transitions was somewhat difficult but I was able to get it done with a few half hour to one hour sessions.

I truly enjoyed interviewing Angie and she sparked my interest in going to fitness classes and teaching classes again. I used to teach dance classed three to four nights a week at Port Angeles Dance Center while attending Peninsula College in Port Angeles, WA. The video of Angie teaching and the answers to her classes reminded me what I loved about teaching. I think that watching Angie’s video will make others want to attend some of the many classes that are offered through University Recreation. It will also let you know what Angie’s favorite class to teach is and what her favorite music to work out to is!

The Lucky Ones

On March 31, 2017 professionals in the business of sport came from all over the Pacific Northwest to share their experiences with Washington State University students. The WSU Sport Management program hosted the Career Exploration Fair to help inform students of different career paths that their education could prepare them for. There were speakers who hold management positions in community, recreation, high school, collegiate, and professional sport organizations.

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One of the speakers who got the most attention from WSU Sport Management students was Otto Klein, the Senior Vice President of the Spokane Indians. The Spokane Indians are a short season minor league baseball team that draws about a hundred thousand fans each season. The Career Exploration Fair had different benefits for students of various experience levels. I think that for underclassmen, the day provided information that could help them determine what kind of sport career they want to focus on and work toward. Some upperclassmen were looking for internship opportunities and others who have internships secured were looking to learn more about the work environments they will be in following graduation.

While I was listening to Otto Klein speak about what he does as the Vice President of the Spokane Indians one thing was abundantly clear, he loves his job. Klein mentioned that he has often heard friends say that they are dreading going into work on Monday morning. This doesn’t happen for the VP of the Spokane Indians; he is excited to go into work every single day. While talking to students, he reminded them that working in sport is fun and if you get to go to work every day at the baseball field or the gym or the stadium or arena you are one of the lucky ones. As young people entering into the world of sport management we need to remember to work hard but still have fun.

As a senior who is graduating in May, I will be entering the workforce as a sport professional in the very near future. I have accepted an internship with Washington State University Athletics and will be working full time plus working sport events on weekends. The transition from student to professional is both intimidating and exciting. I appreciated the talk that Otto Klein gave because it helped remind me why I decided to come to Washington State University and earn a Sport Management degree. All of the hard work is going to lead into a career in the sport world where I will be excited to go into the workplace each day. My fellow upcoming graduates and I are thrilled to be taking the next steps in our career paths as sport managers. We are the lucky ones.

How I March

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2017 Women’s March in Moscow, ID – Courtesy of Kai Eiselein Moscow-Pullman Daily News

On January 21, 2017 over 2,600 community members participated in the Women’s March on the Palouse in Moscow, ID. This event happened concurrently with other women’s marches that occurred around the United States and around the world. The organizer of the Moscow march said that these marches were meant to send a message to the incoming (presidential) administration that “we [women] are not about to back down.” Women in the United State have rights and opportunities that women in some other countries can only dream about. We can go to school, go to work, vote, marry a man or woman of our choosing, express ourselves creatively, and more. Women need to stay strong in order to keep these rights and opportunities.

There are many women with careers in various sectors that I look up to as role models. I am pursuing a career in the field of sport, more specifically collegiate athletics, a field that is most often controlled by men. During the College Football Playoffs, I found out that the athletic directors for both the University of Washington and Penn State University, two of the top five teams in 2016, are women. Sandy Barbour is the athletic director for Penn State University and Jen Cohen is the athletic director for the University of Washington. While I do not know if Sandy Barbour or Jen Cohen participated in one of the many women’s marches, I do know that they have encouraged me to stay strong in my career pursuit. There are women in every single field of work that are excelling and acting as role models to young girls everywhere.

Seeing women in administrative roles of athletic departments is still rare but Barbour and Cohen are making career moves that will help women for years to come. These women are running some of the most elite collegiate programs in the country. While all college athletic departments are in competition with each other Barbour and Cohen support the other women working in college athletics administration. When Barbour was asked about supporting other women in similar roles she said, “We have to pull for each other, we have to back each other, and we have to hold each other up.” I think that this mentality is important for young women who are entering into the workforce. If women help each other achieve their individual goals instead of looking at others as competition, we can achieve more as a whole. Seeing what Sandy Barbour has done at Penn State and what Jen Cohen has done at the University of Washington, gives me hope for my future career and for other young women who have goals similar to mine.

I did not participate in one of the women’s marches. My personal beliefs did not align with every message that I think the marches sent. I do believe in strong women and that we have the power to do anything we put our minds to. I personally try to represent this belief by working toward my goals every day in a way that is honest and respectable. I hope to lead by example and someday influence other young women in a way similar to how Sandy Barbour and Jen Cohen have influenced me. Whether a woman decides to attend a women’s march or to march into work and prove themselves, they can make a difference for the next generation of young girls.

Why Washington State?

One of America’s most interesting college football coaches, Mike Leach, head coach for Washington State University, was asked “Why Washington State?” at a press conference. He said that when he was asked this, his initial thought was, “Well that’s a stupid question…

When people ask me, “Why Washington State?” I always respond with, “The Sport Management program,” and that is usually the end of the conversation. I recently realized that my response seems too simple when I think of everything that the sport management program at WSU has helped me accomplish.

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My time as a student at Washington State University has been the greatest experience of my life so far and it has prepared me for my next endeavor; being a college graduate and finding a career in the sport world. The Sport Management program at WSU has led me to connect with many professionals working in collegiate, minor league, and professional athletic organizations. I continually learn useful marketing, management, communication, and public speaking skills from my professors and feel comfortable going to their offices for advice concerning projects and career opportunities. I have had the chance to interview sport professionals through class assignments and with my role as an executive member of the Sport Management Club. While doing practicum hours, I have worked with three departments of WSU Athletics: Marketing & Promotions, Ticketing, and the Cougar Athletic Fund. I currently work in the Athletic Ticket Office and with the Cougar Athletic Fund and have the chance to connect with cougar fans and donors from all over the country. Working in WSU Athletics while taking sport management classes has given me a chance to convert what I learn in class into actual career skills.

After I walk at graduation in May of 2017, I will be completing an internship to finish my Bachelor’s degree. I know that the education that I have gained from the WSU Sport Management program and the experiences I have had with WSU Athletics has given me a strong foundation to build a career upon.