MSA Blog Post by: Tristan Musser
I still don’t think it’s sunk in that I’ve officially graduated with my Master’s in Sport Administration from Canisius College. Two short years ago I remember pondering what my experience in Buffalo would be like. Now two years later with my Master’s degree behind me, both Canisius College and Buffalo have exceeded all of my expectations. It’s funny to think back about how nervous I was not knowing where my decision would lead me. But in the end my decision was rooted in passion, a passion for sports and more specifically, hockey. With my love for the game guiding the way, the environment at Canisius and the MSA program gave me the opportunity to succeed. This is where the MSA program at Canisius is ahead of curve; each student is allowed the flexibility to study at night and on the weekends while gaining valuable working experience during the day. I was able to apply concepts I learned in classes like Leadership in Sport, NCAA Compliance, and Facility Management, while working full time with the Canisius College Men’s Hockey team, and part time at the newly built HARBORCENTER. To paint a clear picture of my experience at Canisius, I’ll refer to the below equation:
relative discussions/assignments + real life experience = unmatched education
This type of learning process helped me to secure a job with the Academy of Hockey at HARBORCENTER prior to graduation on May 18th. My time working as Director of Hockey Operations with the Griffs gave me the two years of hockey experience and contacts I needed in order to be positioned where I am now. Partnered with a fundamental and informative curriculum that challenged me think about real world issues in sport, my experience at Canisius truly was unmatched. I cannot be anything but grateful for the opportunity the MSA program at Canisius provided me with, and for helping to advance my career in sport.
Each year 16 of the nation’s top Collegiate Hockey Programs square off, all with the same goal to reach the NCAA Frozen Four. This years tournament’s First and Second rounds of the East Region were held at the Times Union Center, in Albany New York. Quinnipiac, the top overall seed in the tournament, was first tested by Rochester Institute of Technology and Yale saw UMass-Lowell as well in the first round. Both Quinnipiac and UMass-Lowell came out victorious on Saturday, which set up a one seed vs. a two seed with the winner heading Tampa for the Frozen Four. Quinnipiac was too fast and too strong and out-performed UMass-Lowell by a score of 4-0, which clinched their ticket to the 2016 NCAA Frozen Four.
I was honored to be given the opportunity to volunteer for this year’s tournament. To represent a organization like the NCAA is always good, as you gain experience and the possibility of meeting the “right” person or contact. Although Canisius was not a member of this year’s tournament, I still represented the College with integrity and professionalism. Whenever someone asked where I was from, I proudly stated that I was happy to be a Golden Griffin, My initial duties for the tournament were to distribute credentials for the Media, as well as be a mic-runner during the post-game press conferences. Because of the national attention this tournament receives, organizations like ESPN, Fox Sports, and NBC Sports all were there to cover the tournament. Professional Scouts from the NHL all wanted to catch a glimpse of the talent these four teams produced on the ice, as one day maybe a student-athlete would represent their team. I did not want to limit my responsibilities to just the stated above, I wanted to gain as much experience as I could. I started to ask Edward Krajewski, Assistant Commissioner of the ECAC Hockey League, and Eric McDowell, Union College’s Sports Information Director, if there was any other assignments that I could assist with. They directed me to the Media Room, where I assisted individuals as they typed up game notes, box scores, and interview quotes.
This experience was amazing in many ways. Not many people get to help the “Behind the Scenes” functions of what it takes to make everything that is part of the game run so smoothly. Everyone sees the action on the ice, but they do see what it took to get the game set up. This all would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the Canisius’ Sports Administration program. I was asked to volunteer for this tournament because Canisius selected me to represent them at the MAAC Championships earlier this month. I was asked to come back and work this tournament and did not hesitate to say yes. The NCAA is an organization that I hope, one day, I will be able to represent every day.
Article written by Tim Seil, Professor, Sports Management Professional Development Seminar
For the majority of Canisius College students the expectation is that they will start their professional career immediately upon graduation. In that professional career, students will put to use the various skills and experiences they have gained during their time at Canisius. Often times the hardest part for recent college graduates is obtaining that job where they can put those skills to use. One of the goals of the Sports Management program at Canisius is to provide students with the support and knowledge needed to navigate the job search process.
This semester I have the privilege of teaching Sports Management Professional Development Seminar (SPMT 475). The course is designed for the juniors and seniors within the sports management program. In this course we will educate students on effective networking, resume building, writing cover letters, interviewing skills and other professional development topics within the world of sports. The objective of SPMT 475 is to help students obtain skills that they can use to gain jobs and opportunities in the field of their choice.
Engaging students and providing them with real life examples is always key for any professor. This semester we have been fortunate to have presenters speak on a number of different professional developments related topics. These presenters brought with them a wide range of experiences to share with our group of students:
- Pete Harvey, Director of Sports Development for the Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission, spoke with our class about the intricacies of the bid process for sporting events in the Buffalo region. He also educated our students on what he looks for when hiring for full-time employment and internship opportunities
- Eric Bond and Nick Grange, college recruiting coordinators from Mass Mutual, spoke with our class on the importance of networking. Both Eric and Nick have background in college athletics, and were able to share with our students what types of qualities they look for when hiring candidates for their open positions at Mass Mutual.
- Matt Lozar, Social Media Marketing Advisor at the Haley Marketing Group, shared his experiences on his transition from athletics to the corporate world. He was able to articulate his first hand experiences on the similarities and differences between the two fields. Matt also previously taught SPMT 475, and is an alum of the Sport Administration program at Canisius.
I am very excited about what the rest of the semester has to offer for our students. Our focus will now shift to the development of students’ resumes and cover letters, while continuing to stress the importance of growing their network inside and out of the sports world.
Post by Nick Cuomo, Junior, Sports Management major:
Sure, the class name may be a mouthful to say, but Sport Management Professional Development Seminar is a course that has already had an impact on my career path just weeks into the semester. Meeting professionals in the field and researching opportunities are both aspects of the class that have helped me continue the process of earning my degree while determining what I want to do after I graduate.
We have had the opportunity to hear from guest speakers, both involved in sport, and in business in general. One thing I can say for sure is that I’ve taken something positive away from each speaker no matter what their background is. Whether it is a tip for your future cover letters, resume or interview process, there is always something helpful you can take away from the speakers. Some even expressed current opportunities they have that we might be interested in. That sort of information may not apply to everyone, but to someone looking for a chance to gain experience and prove his or her worth, it is huge.
Building off the opportunities that speakers shared with us, we also have researched possible internship and entry-level job opportunities that interest us. This helps us narrow down what it is exactly that we want to do and informs us of what opportunities there are out there and how we can find them. This course has shown me the importance of websites like Handshake and LinkedIn, both of which I was relatively unfamiliar with before this semester. These sites are really important when it comes to networking and building connections and I’m glad I have more knowledge of them now.
Looking forward, there is a lot to be optimistic about in the course. Just this past week we began on the topic of resumes. They are such an integral part of the application process for internships and jobs, along with your cover letter. That is another topic that we will address later in the semester. I am excited to further work on my resume and to learn the do’s and don’ts of a cover letter. Having more knowledge on both resumes and cover letters will make applying for positions much easier in the future and I look forward to learning more about them this semester.