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.

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