Notching up a number of international work placements, Deakin MBA student Tom Humphries says he’s very grateful for the opportunities that are shaping his sports management career.
Most recently, Tom was selected to travel with a team of four Deakin Business School (DBS) students to participate in the National Sports Forum’s (NSF) Case Cup where some of the USA’s most reputable universities pit their skills against each other in an elite sport management competition.
As the first international university team to compete in the invitation-only event, the DBS students managed an outstanding second place on their debut presentation.
It’s an even more remarkable achievement considering the team only met in person 24 hours before the competition.
‘Because we all study in different locations, we could only connect online in the lead up to the competition. I was fortunate to have some exceptionally talented teammates with unique perspectives on the case, and the sports industry more broadly, that enabled us to challenge and refine our ideas and concepts into a crisp 20-minute pre-selection presentation,’ says Tom.
The DBS team’s final presentation was made in front of industry professionals with their ideas and plans earning them a second place in the competition behind the University of Oregon.
Following the competition, the student attended the NSF where they heard about industry insights, trend predications and real-world examples from sport executives who represent some of the biggest sporting teams and associations in the USA.
Tom says the competition was a terrific opportunity to network with his DBS peers while applying the skills – in a time-pressured environment – that he’s learning through the MBA program.
‘It also provided a wonderful networking opportunity to connect with a broad range of people in the US sports sector – a fantastic experience which I am very grateful for.’
With undergraduate degrees in business and applied science, Tom’s global experience began as a volunteer with Special Olympics Victoria followed by a stint as a (formerly-known) Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development volunteer in Papua New Guinea.
‘After twelve months of living in PNG, I moved back into the disability sport sector before receiving the offer of a position with the International Cricket Council role in Canada,’ he says.
Tom’s Toronto-based appointment focused on increasing participation in the Americas region and it was during this time that he decided to study a Deakin MBA.
‘I wanted to explore further education, and Deakin’s online MBA was a perfect option as it provided the flexibility of study that could be moulded around my work and travel commitments.’
Recently re-locating to Melbourne, Tom is now Participation Manager with Netball Australia.
‘This role provides the opportunity to manage the development and implementation of our social sport product, Fast5 Netball, while contributing to participation growth broadly across the sport,’ he explains.
Tom has recently received an award for the best case study in the program’s Sports Marketing unit and says the flexibility of Deakin’s Cloud Campus is a huge advantage when it comes to juggling his work and study responsibilities.
‘I could never manage study around my full-time work commitments under traditional on-campus structures, but the online modules allow me to schedule my study around work and still allow me to connect and network with other students.’
The combination of flexible learning and global networking has now also allowed Tom to add the landmark NSF Case Cup competition award to his résumé.
‘I’d particularly like to extend my thanks to lecturer Dr Henry Wear and Deakin University for this opportunity and highly recommend the experience to other students.’