Thank you MSBA … the National Basketball Association was all I imagined and more. On Friday, June 22, 2018, I had the wonderful opportunity to step foot into the office of a global sports organization known to all as the NBA. As soon as I received our MSBA schedule for the summer, I immediately grew an immense amount of excitement for the day we would visit the NBA office – just two blocks from the heart of NYC – and have the privilege to speak with current employees. After Summer 2017, I made the decision to switch up my career goals (to be the CFO of a Fortune 500 company) and made it my mission to work for the NBA or the San Antonio Spurs, something I have much more passion for. Basketball was the first sport I played competitively at the local Boys & Girls Club in my hometown; I played for the Orlando Magic and wore my #8 t-shirt proudly. Little did I know that it was the spark of a passion that I would not realize until college came around.
First-generation college student. Double minority (a female of color). Low-income. Pursuing male-dominated academic fields of study (Corporate Finance, Sports Management and Management Information Systems) at a white majority university in the heart of Texas. The odds have been and always will be against me as a girl from Weslaco, TX, a town minutes away from the Mexican-American border, but nothing has stopped me yet, nor will it ever. Being surrounding by loving family and friends has truly made me who I am today and led me to this point in my life. Did I ever imagine that I would be blessed with the opportunity to work within sports in New York? If you asked me in high school, I would have said no (after all, I wanted to be a CFO), but somehow I made it here. Through the hard work and sacrifices, made not only by me but also by my parents/family, all my fellow Weslaco High School graduates, The University of Texas at Austin Longhorns, and minority professionals in the sports industry, my purpose was made a reality.
“The main idea here is that, as you learn, grow, and accumulate new opportunities and new experiences while meeting people from all walks of life, your goals and dreams may change.”
For the summer, MSBA helped me land an internship working as an E-Commerce Intern for Modell’s Sporting Goods, a company centered on treating employees and customers as family since 1889. Prior to this summer, I held experience in event planning/management, financial services, education and outreach, and research/project development through the extracurricular activities and internships I have had the opportunity to take part in. After my freshman year, while doing some research on the programs UT offered, I decided to pursue a double major in Sports Management and Accounting. After my sophomore summer, I realized I needed to drop accounting and change my major to finance because the life of an accountant was not the life for me. Finally, after my junior year, I can confidently say that I want to make a path for myself in the sports industry. What path? Well, as a rising senior, I still have one more year to think about that. The main idea here is that, as you learn, grow, and accumulate new opportunities and new experiences while meeting people from all walks of life, your goals and dreams may change. I never would have thought to work in the retail industry within E-Commerce, but it is literally the best move ever because I personally love new challenges and learning something new on a daily basis.
Now, the Manhattan Sports Business Academy is really what they profess it to be: a family. A family that includes sports enthusiasts, company partners, college students from around the world, hardworking professionals including directors, managers, and executives, and individuals who created it all from an idea to help students get exposure to the industry altogether. Possibly the most integral part to the program is the Mentorship Collective. Luckily for me, I have three Mentors who all have careers in fields of my interest: a Manager of Business Operations at the NBA (Samson Feldman), an Event Coordinator for the NY Mets (Chelsea Greenway) and an Account Manager for IMG Live (Kelly Krautheim). The hardest part is coordinating our schedules for all of us to meet up at least once this summer, given that all three are busy either working on a special project for the G-League, coordinating a concert at Citi Field, or traveling the world for work. Not only have I made an investment and commitment to MSBA, but also in return my Mentors have outdone themselves in their commitment to me. Lorne, Bailey, Grace and JRegs have done a tremendous job in keeping 25 current and/or post-graduate college students prepped and polished, looking fresh for the camera and videos as well as coordinating Career Workshops, Speaker Series and Office Field Trips that any rising sports professional would love to participate in.
As a small-town Millennial from South Texas (four more hours south of San Antonio), my dreams are gradually becoming a reality. My ambition is as great as my love for food (which is GIANT). With every defeat and victory that I have encountered, I learned a great deal of life-changing lessons that will continue to motivate me to achieve my goals. We all have a purpose in life. Mine is to live a happy life, doing what I love surrounded by people I love … a life well lived. There is a lot more in store for me and my path can always change, but I will never lose sight of what is important: family. My family at home, my family at school, and most of all, my family here at MSBA.