“How Majoring in History at LU Has Prepared Me for a Career in Sports”

It’s no secret nowadays. A lot of undergrad students set out with the goal of making it in the sports business world one day. That is great! It’s just important to understand what that goal entails. Taking a larger view, sports represent just one portion of the entire entertainment industry in our country. And it just so happens that specific portion remains one of the most competitive career fields today. Thus, it doesn’t really take too long to understand the predicament that so many college graduates run into once they earn their degree in “sports management” and get into the thick of the job hunt. It can be broken down using simple supply and demand. A finite amount of jobs exist for an abundant supply of talented candidates to fill those few positions.

That’s why what we have at Lawrence is so special. Lawrence coursework has refined me. It has grown my oral and written communication skills and developed my ability to think through and solve problems, which will serve me for the rest of my life. I’ve been able to major in something that has always intrigued me and dive deeper into that lifelong interest of history in my time at LU. More than anything, my ability to think critically and write with clarity has blossomed as I have put into action the mission of the LU History Department: actively do history. The whole time, I’ve learned how to learn! I will walk away from LU with the most important, versatile skill-set, now it’s just the technical side of things that I need to grasp… the actual application of my skills in the world of sports. But that’s the easy part! No matter what fields we Vikings head into, we carry that liberal arts pursuit of knowledge with us. The spirit of my education is not defined by whether or not I can locate a job in sports upon graduation. Rather, the spirit of my education is defined by continuing to learn as I grow in all aspects of my life.

To conclude with a career thought, I’d like to share one great piece of advice that I received from one of my mentors, Scott Myers ’77, as I began my search for internships in the sports business world. A lot of people our age choose to pursue opportunities in the world of sports business and rationalize their decision by thinking about the fact they love playing sports, so why not continue that love through a career. The allure of interaction with the athletes is equally enticing, and many of the same individuals just desire to be affiliated with their favorite teams. What they don’t realize that sports business is exactly that…. a business! Therefore, in summer internships or other experiential opportunities, focus on discovering and pursuing the function of business that interests you. Accept the fact that out of school, you may not get right into the sports world. Who cares?! Pursue your function of business outside of sports business. The experiences in business that you gain outside of sports will carry immense value down the line if the world of sports later opens up and interests you.