Emmy, a sophomore at the University of Michigan, weighs in on her experience at Wharton Sports Business Academy. Not only did she attend WSBA in 2014, she also worked as a Residential Teaching Assistant for both WSBA and Wharton Moneyball Academy in 2016. Currently a Sport Management major, she is paving the way for herself in the sport industry.
Emmy is pictured on the far right
JKCP: When did you first realize this was something you’re interested in?
EL: I grew up as an avid sports fan, like many of my peers at WSBA. I discovered the program by chance one day when googling for academic summer programs that somehow incorporated sport. WSBA was the perfect fit. At WSBA, I was given the opportunity to prove myself, to hold my own in a room filled with boys, and to work hard on an original business plan and presentation. My time at WSBA was the key to my decision to pursue Sport Management. I deeply enjoyed the relationships I built, topics we studied, and visits we made to leading companies in the sport industry. I remember thinking about how amazing it would be to keep studying the topics introduced during our program, and to replicate the experiences I had at WSBA by learning to hold my own in an area of business traditionally dominated by men. I credit WSBA as the seminal moment in my life that led me to pursue a career in sports. My decision has since been reaffirmed over and over again as I immerse myself in opportunities available at Michigan. First sparked at WSBA, my desire to work in sports has led me to join the Michigan Sport Business Association and Michigan Women Empowerment in Sports and Entertainment. I have held an internship with the Michigan Athletic Department since October of 2015, and was recently named Writer and Content Producer for the 2017 Michigan Sport Business Conference. This involvement all stems from my experience at WSBA, where guest lectures and company visits providing insight into the industry inspired me to take full advantage of opportunities for experience in and outside of the classroom.
JKCP: What type of profession do you want to pursue after college?
EL: I would love to work for a National Hockey League team in Hockey Operations, Community Relations, or a related field. I grew up playing hockey and learned to love the business of the league and the ability the sport has to bind generations.
JKCP: In your college classes, do you feel as though there is an equal number of males and females?
EL: My Sport Management classes at Michigan typically have more males than females. I am not sure that I could pinpoint why this is the case—if I had to guess, I would say that many young women are not even aware that working in the sport industry is an increasingly diverse opportunity. The number of females entering the industry continues to grow, but the field is still largely male-dominated. Men and women consume sport in different ways—less-avid female fans may not realize that there are opportunities for women to work in all areas of sports, rather than the jobs that are historically known for being held by females. Many women may not have been exposed to experiences which could pique their interest in working in the industry, like I did with WSBA. The balance between male and female students in my classes continues to work towards level each year, but the female student population is not there quite yet. We need to work to improve communication of opportunities for females to work in sports in order to equalize the balance between genders in classes.
JKCP: Do you feel as though there are enough women role models in the industry?
EL: I feel that there are a great number of female role models in the sport industry. The number of women in sports is continually growing, and I am lucky to be entering the field at a time when female mentors and leaders are abundant. This has not always been the case—I remember connecting with some incredible female speakers as a student at WSBA and hearing their perspective on the difficulties of working in sports as a female, but how they believe that it is a great time for women to enter the industry. There are promotions and recognitions of achievement by females across the sports industry on a daily basis, providing examples of excellent role models for young women heading towards a career in sports. My experience has been that women working in sports are often incredibly open and interested in mentoring young women. I can confidently say that there are an abundant number of female role models in the industry who are willing to help young women launch their career.
JKCP: If you could improve the industry in one way – what would it be?
EL: If I could improve the industry in one way, it would be to address misconceptions of working in the industry by outsiders. Often, having working in sports is assumed to be a leisure job, when in reality, it is often the opposite, with long hours and difficult schedules. Working in sports is not necessarily easy or leisure-filled, but it is certainly rewarding, and a career I am excited to pursue.