Finally! After months of anticipation the day had arrived to start my summer at the Manhattan Sports Business Academy. It took me two long days of flying from Seattle, but I was excited when I arrived in New York despite the hot and humid weather.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with the Educational Housing Services where almost all of us are living, but I was pleasantly surprised. The dorms are very nice (certainly nicer than any dorms I lived in while I was an undergrad) and are in a great location; they’re only a block or so away from a subway stop.
It took me awhile to unpack everything and get settled in, including navigating the New York subway for the first time. After getting my bearings, though, I was ready to meet my fellow MSBA classmates for the first time at our opening night orientation event. It was very cool to meet all of my peers for the first time and finally put faces to all the names I had seen on the class Facebook group (although, with me being terrible with names, it was also a little overwhelming at first).
MSBA Founder, Ben Sturner, opened the orientation by congratulating all of us on making it into the program. He then told us the story of how he broke into the business as well as how he came up with the idea for launching the MSBA. It was very interesting and inspiring to hear him talk about how his passion for sports and some strong mentorship helped to him get to where he is today. We also met the rest of the MSBA team, with many of them sharing their stories about breaking into the business. It was amazing how many different backgrounds everyone had come from. In addition, it made me realize even more that there are many paths to success in the world of sports business.
After orientation we took a quick subway trip to meet Jonathan Blue, the Chairman and Managing Director of Blue Equity. He was gracious enough to host us at his incredible apartment (by incredible I mean it overlooked Central Park and had an Alexander Calder mobile in its living room). Jonathan told us his story of how he came to be chairman of Blue Equity and shared some of his valuable experience and business advice with the group. He urged us to find a way to differentiate ourselves from our competition and to be forward thinking in the type of jobs we take and companies we choose to work for.
It was excellent advice considering the way the sports business world is changing with the growth of digital media and content. He encouraged us to not let ourselves be stuck in a position where there is no room for personal growth and development. After leaving Jonathan’s apartment, we went back to the dorms for some much needed rest before our internships started the next day. It was a hectic and busy first day but it was a lot of fun; I hope the summer just keeps getting better from there.