Niagara’s M.S. Sport Management Program: A Unique Opportunity
Upon completion of my undergraduate degree, I accepted a position with the Iowa Wild, the AHL affiliate of the Minnesota Wild and moved halfway across the country to Des Moines, Iowa (a true diamond in the rough city for any travel buffs) beginning my career in the sport industry. If you would have told me that I would be back in school pursuing a master’s degree a year and half later, I would have called you crazy. Yet, after a global pandemic and a seemingly never-ending furlough, I made the decision to move home to Buffalo and pursue a master’s degree in sport management. I did my due diligence on different programs in the area; however, Niagara University was the clear choice for me and with just a few months left in the program, I can genuinely say it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
All of the professors within the program have a diverse array of experiences working in sport at all levels and are able to use that experience to make the courses more practical and tie all course content and assignments into the current landscape of the sport industry, preparing all students for real-life challenges that they are going to face after leaving Niagara. On top of the course work, one of the things I’ve noticed from my time in the program is the entire staff’s commitment to give you the connections and tools to help you have success after completion of the program. From numerous different networking events to guest speaker panels, there are endless opportunities for students to build their network and set up their future in the industry.
However, the most valuable part of my time here at Niagara is my external relations graduate assistantship with the Niagara Power. The Niagara University Sport Management program offers a unique experiential opportunity to have a very prominent role with the collegiate wooden bat baseball team that they own that plays in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL). It may sound crazy when I say you get to “run” a baseball organization, but you literally get to “run” a baseball organization as a Graduate Assistant. Some of my tasks as external relations Graduate Assistant of the Niagara Power include coordinating corporate partnerships, creating, and activating in-game promotions, coordinating team transportation for all away games, coordinating some marketing components such as merchandise, hiring and scheduling game-day interns, and managing the group of students who are enrolled in the undergraduate Niagara Power Baseball Course that the university offers.
Being able to have an experience with such substance while enrolled in graduate school is such a unique opportunity and one that I have certainly not taken for granted. I am extremely grateful for my time in the Sport Management Graduate Program here at Niagara and cannot wait to see what my future holds because of it!