Sport Management Series P2: Optimizing Your Time During a Pandemic
As the Coronavirus continues to surge throughout the U.S., sport management students like Fanny Ostberg, Gabriela Klein, and Ariel Pasion have found opportunities that provide a meaningful experience that complement their studies at the University of San Francisco Sport Management graduate program. As the famous UCLA Basketball Coach Wooden would say, “All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.” All three of these women have worked hard to keep improving at a steady pace during trivial times. Allowing room to not stoop too low and shoot too high. Here is what they have to say.
How has the USFSM experience been for you so far?
Ariel: “I love the USF sport management program because we have multiple networks to connect with any industry that applies to your career goals. I forever resonate as a USF Don and I know that I will continue to represent the sport program.”
Fanny: “Moving from Norway to San Francisco was a very big move for me, I was emotional and unsure if I had done the right thing. It only took my first class at the USF Sport Management program to understand that I was exactly where I needed to be.”
Gabriela: “The professors are always willing to help us and guide us, which is something that I was not expecting. The lessons we’ve learned are so valuable, and I congratulate all my colleagues on a great job so far, adjusting and adapting to the new reality!”
How has your professional experience changed since the pandemic?
Ariel: My skills as a professional have flourished, and USFSM has aided in my growth. I came in, wanting to be an entrepreneur in the sport and fitness industry. This aspiration of mine is still on-going through my social medias. I am currently looking to create a coaching program to inspire others to implement movement in their lifestyle while achieving self-love and self-confidence. (Ariel is also the Social Media Manager for The Mobility Method & The Optimal Body.)
Fanny: “Thanks to one of my informational interviews I was able to reconnect with the CEO of Soccer Mindset Academy, and he gave me an internship opportunity that I could complete remotely from Oslo, Norway.” (Currently Fanny earned the role with Soccer Mindset Academy as the Head of Research.)
Gabriela: “Many of us lost internships and jobs, including me, which was devastating because we had just started the program and were eager to apply what we were learning. It gave us more time to do informational interviews, to talk and learn from people all over the world. I believe we are all more prepared now than ever before, so when the opportunities come — and they will — we are ready to get the job done!” (Currently Gabriela earned a role with SponsorUnitedas a Business Solutions Intern).
For women in the sport industry, what trends do you see happening that will benefit women in sports?
Ariel: “Women in the sports industry are flourishing. I can see that women’s presence is growing, and although the progress is slow, women are continuing to strive in high positions.”
Fanny: “Women are now being acknowledged for their achievements and get to be role models who inspire other women on their own journey. There is a growing trend of women supporting women, we realize that a win for one woman is a win for all of us — so we cheer each other on and that is teamwork and sportsmanship right there.”
What advice would you give to high school and undergraduate students aspiring to go into Sport Management as a profession?
Ariel: “The advice I would give the upcoming generation interested in the field is to reach out early and find volunteer opportunities. Due to COVID-19, if finding events is not possible, start researching and learning skills that transfer over to what you would like to do in the future.”
Gabriela: “That is a great question because I decided to work with sports just one year ago and so I was asking myself this same question! My advice is to be proactive, not to stay quiet and wait for the opportunities to come to you. Talk to people, volunteer whenever you have the chance, study, prepare. And know that chasing after your dreams and goals is not something easy, it is a journey with ups and downs.”
What is the next step in your career path?
Fanny: “One goal I have that is likely to be reached within the next one or two years, is to work with one of the biggest youth soccer tournaments in the world, Norway Cup. My ultimate goal is to work with national teams and the FIFA World Cup. The FIFA World Cup is the reason I fell in love with sports to begin with.”
Gabriela: “I have just started a new internship, so my focus is on giving my best and learning all I can with the people I’m working with. I’m also excited about my master’s and thinking about pursuing a Ph.D. after I graduate next year.”
These three women are working hard with the opportunities they have in front of them and are continuing to strive past their comfort zone. Reaching a high-level position in sports and earning a master’s degree in sport management is not easy. Fanny, Gabriela, and Ariel all agree that it takes dedication, sacrifice, and attainable goals to succeed in the sport industry. As Coach Wooden would say, “Most worthwhile things in the competitive world come wrapped in adversity.” We can all learn from our own adversities to be better professionals, like Fanny, Gabriela, and Ariel!