Matt Clark ‘11 (San Antonio, Texas) knew he was taking a risk when he left Pennsylvania -- where he had spent his entire life -- to move to Texas to pursue his career. In January 2011, he was offered a position as a new business consultant for Spurs Sports & Entertainment.
“I felt it presented an awesome platform for me to elevate my career to the next level,” Matt said. “I learned that in the sport industry, you might have to move away from your comfort zone when better opportunities present themselves.”
His primary responsibilities at Spurs Sports & Entertainment consist of selling a full menu of Spurs, Rampage, Silver Stars and other AT&T Center family shows through phone and face-to-face sales.
“My numerous internships throughout my collegiate career helped me transition easily into this new sales position,” he said.
Most notably Matt interned with the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees and the Longhorn Foundation at the University of Texas at Austin. He spent three seasons working with the AAA affiliate of the New York Yankees, gaining experience and learning the ins-and-outs of the sports industry. He then spent the spring semester of his senior year living in Austin, Texas, and working for the U.T.’s Athletic Department in the Development Office.
“The internships were great, but sport management professor Dr. Timothy Newman had the biggest impact on me becoming a confident professional,” he said. “Dr. Newman challenges all of his students to cope with the struggles and difficulties they would face in the real-world by forcing us to persevere through obstacles and overcome adversity.”
As a sport management major and a public relations minor, Newman’s courses, specifically sport marketing and public relations, allowed Matt to gain valuable hands-on experience that directly correlated into the sports industry.
“Professionalism and work ethic are two traits that were embedded into me during my time at YCP,” he said. “I have seen it transition directly into the way I carry myself in the sports industry.”
Matt recommends that students also interested in sport management should not be afraid to take risks, gain as much experience as possible and network.
“If you want to stand out, not only in the Sport Management program, but during your first interview upon graduation, you need to build your own network,” he added. “Take advantage of internship opportunities in the sport industry starting during the summer of your freshman year. Make it a goal to secure at least two internships before your work experience during your senior year. Also take advantage of the networking opportunities within the Sport Management Student Association. You never know when the connection you made could have an impact on your future.”
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