It is Sunday June 3rd, my dad and I are wrapping up a fifteen hour road trip from Milwaukee to New York to ultimately move me into my new home. After witnessing and almost being a part of a car accident earlier in the day, my dad and I arrived at the intersection of 20th Street and 8th Avenue, the New School dormitories. He waits outside as I eagerly register and get my room key. I grab a small load of my things from the car and go up the elevator to check out where I’d be staying. This is where I come to meet the first person in the sports business program, Joshua Lagan, his dad, as well as his sister. With the excitement both of us shared about the coming eight weeks, it was easy to tell that I was ready for New York City, and it was ready for me.
After meeting the rest of my suitemates that would be arriving today, we have the pleasure of the founder of the program, Ben Sturner and associate Brandon Wai walking in and hanging out with us for the next hour. We all collectively decide that we need one thing or another from Bed Bath and Beyond, and with time to spare before the evening programming, we take a walk and explore the city. We found ourselves hustling back to the dorms because we took our time at the store and were running a little late for the program’s orientation. We get into the basement to find five open chairs available in the room for the five of us. I take a seat in the front row in between two gentlemen I had never met before and introduced myself.
That’s when I met Kenny Mitchell. Little did I know the guy I introduced myself to was the opening night speaker and the Director of Sports Marketing for the powerful brand of Gatorade. Ben and Brandon stood at the front introducing us to the inaugural year of the Manhattan Sports Business Academy, and after short introductions by all of the participants, Ben introduced keynote speaker Kenny Mitchell. His story is impeccable coming out of the Ivy League, starting at point guard for Dartmouth for four years and nabbing the most assists his senior year. He played professional basketball for three years which included a stint in Portugal and on several US-based semi-professional teams. He got his graduate degree from Dartmouth in business and after a couple of jobs, aligned himself with Gatorade, where he resides today. Three key takeaways from our discussion with Kenny were, kick ass at the job you have, know your consumer, and keep things relevant.
To conclude the first night in the dorms, we hosted all of the participants in our suite for Game 4 between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics. I was in the minority cheering for the Heat who ended up losing in overtime 93-91. I don’t start my internship until Tuesday, so after our morning workout, I will be free to roam the city.