This year, six Deakin Sport Management students had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend two weeks working with the San Diego Padres, among other major sport properties and clients in California, as part of the San Diego Sports Consulting Project (SDSCP).
Designed to give students an opportunity to leverage their existing business skills, the SDSCP also aims to develop new skills in an exciting and challenging sports business environment.
Malcolm White, who is currently in his final year of the Master of Business (Sport Management) at Deakin, says he chose to study in this field in order to prepare for a career-move out of banking and into the sport management industry.
He explains that his time in San Diego was a definite highlight so far.
‘The San Diego Sports Consulting Project was a great opportunity to broaden my practical experience in the sports industry.
‘I hoped to learn more about sport management from a US perspective and exposure to project management experiences and can now say that it truly was a great practical experience that I can draw on during my future career in sport,’ Malcolm says.
This year participating institutions included Ohio University, University of Iowa, DuPaul University, and Deakin University, with 43 students and five academic staff all housed at the University of San Diego.
After a preliminary one week intensive in their home country, and once on the ground in San Diego, students participated in workshops, challenges and client meetings with partner organisations.
Organisers state that the program’s goal is to provide students with an experience they will remember as one of the most meaningful and important ones in their development personally and professionally.
Participating student Jennifer Phefley says that after reading about the project it sounded like something she could use to put her newly developed skills into practice.
‘The chance to talk to and learn from the American students, faculty and professionals was the most important thing for me.
‘The trip really renewed my motivation to succeed in the Australian sport industry in the future and in my final classes at Deakin.
‘While it was hard work it was also something different. We weren’t just sitting in a classroom listening and taking notes, we were actively engaging in the development of a high-quality deliverable.’
With a combination of site visits, classroom activities, professional development sessions and more, Deakin sport management students were exposed to a range of opportunities and cultural exchange.
The main aim during the project was also to complete a designated consulting project for sport properties and organisations and present it on the last day of the program.
Adam Cheyne says that he believes the experiences learnt in the program and the networks and friendships developed, will result in a great professional and international sports network for years to come.
‘Experiencing a behind-the-scenes tour of Petco Park was an amazing sight and I now look forward to cement my learnings from the trip and apply these where relevant within my role in the Australian sporting industry.’
Sport management student Meghan Albert, who is now GM of VicSport, also reiterates that the level of project she completed, and the fact that it was for an MLB team, is great to have on her resume.
‘I still can’t believe that the work I did in the States was for the San Diego Padres!
‘The opportunity to meet VIPs and senior managers and the chance to pitch ideas to them they may even use was one of my favourite aspects.
‘It was an incredible experience – maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with an MLB team – I have learnt so much about myself and the US sporting industry and it was an amazing way to end an enormous amount of work to complete my Masters,’ she says.
Dr. Sheila Nguyen, Director of Deakin’s Master of Business (Sport Management) program, describes the SDCP as an ‘outstanding opportunity.’
‘It’s a rare, leading-edge program that widens student’s view of sports industry delivery, promotion and experience. It genuinely complements and enhances the Deakin Sport Management student experience,’ she says.
For more information about Deakin University study tours, visit the study tours web page.