I’m currently a second-year student with a double major in Sport and Recreation Management and Journalism and Mass Communication. Like many people, I grew up loving sports. I was a manager for my high school’s football and basketball teams, and I’ve always enjoyed the behind-the-scenes work in sports. To me, pursuing a career in the business side of sports was a no-brainer when applying to colleges.
Now that I’m in college, I’m on the video staff for the Iowa football team, I’m a sports videographer for DITV Sports, I’m a social media marketing intern for a start-up sports company, and I write blog posts for the Office of Admissions.
In this post, I’ll address frequently asked questions about the Sport and Recreation Management major (more on Journalism & Mass Comm. in a future post) to serve both those who want to learn my reason for studying it and those who are looking to study it themselves.
What is Sport and Recreation Management?
It’s considered one of the fastest growing and most interesting fields offered.
In short, it’s the business side of sports. With a degree in Sport and Recreation Management, you can work in sales, marketing and promotions, communications, event management, operations, administration, public relations, journalism, social media, and the list goes on. The difference is that you’re doing that work in sports.
But you need more than just a degree in the major itself to land a job in the sport industry. You also need experience, whether through an internship or something else. It’s a combination of what you know (through classes and experiences) and who you know (the people you network with over the years).
Thankfully, the faculty within the Sport and Recreation Management major do everything they can to help get you the experience you need to land the job of your dreams.
Why Did I Choose Sport and Recreation Management?
As I previously said, I grew up loving sports. The summer before my junior year of high school, I shadowed the Manager of Business Analytics for the Chicago White Sox. From that point on, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to work in the sport industry. It was just a matter of figuring out exactly what I wanted to do in the industry and how to get there.
Along with sports, I’ve also always had a passion for writing. I learned about the Sport and Recreation Management and Journalism and Mass Communication majors during my Junior Day visit to the University of Iowa. And then I heard about The Daily Iowan. And then I was offered a position working with the Iowa football team.
I realized the University of Iowa was the perfect fit for me, and now I’m here.
What Do I Do in College?
First we learn how the sports business world works through classes involving sales, promotions, communications, finance, operations, and so on. And then we apply that knowledge to practicums and internships, which give us real world experience.
To give you a quick breakdown, the major requires you to complete 27 semester hours of foundation courses (Sales in Sport, Sport and Recreation Promotion, etc.), 12 semester hours of concentration courses (concentration areas include Business Studies, Event Management, etc.), and nine semester hours of guided or independent field experience.
Guided field experience can involve working with Iowa Athletics, the Iowa Wolves, the Iowa Wild, the Iowa Speedway, the Cedar Rapids Kernels, the Chicago Blackhawks, the San Diego Padres, and more. These opportunities are through the program and involve submitting an application to be accepted to a practicum.
However, you can also complete the field experience requirement independent from the program. This means it’s your responsibility to identify an opportunity and make arrangements with an organization. For example, you could intern with the Chicago Cubs over the summer and use that as field experience. But it’s important to remember you also have to meet with the Director of the Office of Field Experience to ensure your independent job or internship meets the field experience requirement before it starts.
You can learn even more about the curriculum here.
Another cool opportunity the Sport and Recreation Management major offers is the ability to network with industry professionals on field trips. Last spring, I went on a field trip to Minneapolis and had the chance to tour U.S. Bank Stadium, Mayo Clinic Square, and the National Sports Center, as well as ask questions during Q&A panels with executives from the Vikings’ and Timberwolves’ organizations.
This spring we’ll be heading to Nashville and Memphis to tour more facilities and meet with executives from the Tennessee Titans, Memphis Grizzlies, and Nashville Sounds. Keep an eye out for a post about this trip in March!
What Will I Do After College?
There are so many different directions you can take your career with a degree in Sport and Recreation Management. Personally, I’ve found a passion for digital communications, which can involve storytelling, content creation, and social media.
I still have a year and a half left of college, but I already have my eye on a few post-grad jobs and internships with intercollegiate athletic departments, major and minor league sport teams, the NCAA, and the NFL.
For now, I’ll continue to grow my network and gain valuable experience in the industry.
Thank you for reading! Be sure to keep an eye out for my next post. If you want to see more of my daily life as a Hawkeye, feel free to follow me on social media. Go Hawks!
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