Author: Maggie McEvilly

Kyle Caron and Maddy Hooper team up as interns at The First Tee in Connecticut

Kyle Caron at his internship this summer during golf lessons.Written by: Kyle Caron

My name is Kyle Caron and I am a recent graduate of the University of Connecticut, having received my Bachelor’s degree in Sport Management. This past summer, I interned with The First Tee of Connecticut in Cromwell, Conn., this region’s chapter of the international First Tee organization. The First Tee is an organization that focuses on teaching the game of golf and instilling important life skills in young players. During my time there, I was able to gain experience in many aspects of running a non-profit organization such as marketing, financial development and community outreach.

For the first half of my internship, I worked in several community outreach efforts. This included going to different golf courses to teach clinics to children who may have not had access to the game otherwise as well as attending networking and marketing fairs to organize demo stations for kids to play in while I explained to their parents what The First Tee is all about. I also spent time volunteering at various tournaments throughout the state, as a representative of the organization, to help foster relationships with local golf clubs to attempt to spread the word about our programs and attract new students. I spent the second half of my internship working as a counselor for our Summer Camp program where I supervised campers and taught them ways and techniques to improve their game.

My time spent with The First Tee of Connecticut allowed me to learn more about what it takes to run a golf and youth development organization, specifically a non-profit one. As a non-profit organization targeted at kids who want to learn the game, I saw how creating relationships with other organizations in the community could be just as beneficial to an organization’s reputation as a large marketing campaign. I also saw the impact that sports can have on the development of a child’s life by teaching them ethics and values to live by such as respect, perseverance and integrity. Many of the kids who came up through The First Tee program are now successful college students with plenty of accolades and scholarships that reflect the character that our programs assisted in building. Because of the effects I saw due to children’s involvement with The First Tee, I would like to further pursue a career in sport-based youth development and try to make that same difference in the lives of future generations. Working with The First Tee of Connecticut was a valuable and enriching experience, and I am very grateful for the opportunity.

Written by: Maddy Hooper

My name is Maddy Hooper and I am from West Hartford, Conn. I did my summer internship at The First Tee of Connecticut, which is located in Cromwell on the grounds of TPC River Highlands. I first saw the position of Community Outreach Intern for this summer in one of the Sport Management weekly newsletters. I noticed it one day over Christmas break and immediately emailed Mark, my boss from this summer, and sent in my application. I interviewed for the position at the end of March and found out a week later that I gotten the position.

A photo that Maddy Hooper included in her internship experience of students during summer golf lessons.I did a lot of different things this summer. In my first few weeks before the kids came for the summer, we worked with children after school and completed tasks around the office. A few of the big projects that I completed during this time were reorganizing all of the closets and storage spaces in our building. The week before school got out was the week of the Travelers Championship. This was truly the busiest week of my life. We ran a ton of events that week and worked all over the course during the pro-am and tournament. This week was really cool for me because I met tons of important people in the golf world including the president of the PGA Paul Levy, and many professional golfers, such as Rory Mclroy and Paul Casey. Once school got out, I really began the work that I did this summer. For the remainder of the summer, I spent most of my time at different summer camps all over the state giving golf lessons. I went to places like Camp Courant, Channel 3 Kids Camp and Boys and Girls Club of New Haven.

My main takeaway from this summer is that it’s important to be helpful in every way possible. I became really close with everyone that I worked with and the full-time employees called me “the best intern ever.” I think they called me this because I was willing to do anything they asked me to do and did everything to the best of my ability, even if some days this was just sorting golf balls and moving cases of water. You can really leave your mark in a place by doing more then what is asked of you and making positive and friendly impressions. I hope to use the skills that I learned this summer and bring them with me as I pursue a career in non-profit youth development. The First Tee or any organization similar is where I would love to end up after graduation.

Kelly Andujar Interns at Stonehill Sports Camps

Written by: Kelly Andujar

Spending my summer working for the 2017 Stonehill Sports Camps has been one of the most important learning experiences of my life. I had the opportunity to work with a group of staff that I now consider family. My time working for the sports camps consisted of long hours and sleepless nights. My goal for the internship was to learn about the administrative side of the sports industry and in doing so, I gained valuable experience in marketing, customer service, event organization and coach communication.

I learned quickly that people often notice when tasks are done with half-effort. I worked for the camps with the mentality that I would give it my best and soak up as much knowledge as possible. Without the support of my fellow interns and work-study students, I would not be where I am today. We relied on each other during difficult times and trusted each other’s judgment. No one can be successful alone, and I’ve learned more from my peers than I could have ever imagined. I was pushed outside of my comfort zone and thought critically about my role in the sports camps. I recognized my strengths and weaknesses and held myself to the highest standards of professionalism.   

Although I constantly received praise during my internship, I always wanted to find ways in which I could improve. I became heavily invested in the sports camps and felt personally responsible for its successes and failures. There were instances in which I felt like I needed to do everything to make sure the day ran smoothly. This wasn’t due to a lack of trust between my fellow colleagues but rather my “do it all” mindset. I could have reached out to my coworkers for a lending hand and to share some of the responsibilities. I am constantly learning and growing and will use this experience as a tool to improve.

The internship was also very time-consuming and I rarely had time off. Courtney Osier, my supervisor and sports camps coordinator, noticed how much I was working and knew when I need time to myself. I learned that taking time off is important for peace of mind and personal development. As I prepare for life after college, this experience has shaped my understanding of the work force. The sports industry is growing competitively every day and I want to stick out as a “must-have” candidate. I want to show future employers my diverse skill sets and abilities. This experience was more of a “resume-builder,” but will allow me to jump start and be prepared for a future career in athletics. Lastly, I would like to thank Courtney Osier for believing in me and allowing me the opportunity to grow as a young man. I am forever grateful.

Football and Concussions: Scrambling for Solutions to Safety Concerns

Sport Management graduate alum and former University of Connecticut quarterback Casey Cochran speaks out about his personal experience with concussions, explaining that his injuries were what ultimately led to his decision to retire, at age 20, from football.

“On the outside, you would have no idea there was anything going on. I look like a normal 22-year-old college grad,” the former quarterback wrote in a piece for The Players’ Tribune last year. “But like a duck peacefully cruising along in a stream, I appear calm even though there are two feet paddling at full speed just under the surface” (CT Post).

Read more in the CTPost article here.

Posted in SPM

Maggie McEvilly Interns in the WHDH TV Sports Department in Boston

Written by: Maggie McEvilly

My name is Maggie McMaggie McEvilly on the field at Gillette Stadium during the New England Patriots pre-season opener. Evilly and I am senior at the University of Connecticut studying Sport Management and Journalism. I hope to pursue a career in the sports broadcasting industry upon graduation and spent this past summer interning with the sports department at WHDH TV Channel 7 in Boston. During the few months that I spent with the station, I learned about the inner-workings of the broadcast industry and how to one day become a successful sports reporter.

Both of the sports producers that I worked with every day were very helpful in teaching me how to write television packages for sports in a conversational and casual tone, something that I struggled with initially due to my prior experience with written journalism. My favorite aspect of interning with WHDH Sports this summer was getting the opportunity to go out into the field and experience what it’s like as a reporter on a normal day, from start to finish. Whether it was at a Red Sox game or Patriots training camp, I was able to be fully immersed in the action, whether it was during pre and post game interviews and press conferences in the locker rooms and clubhouses, on the field during games and practices or in media workrooms at the end of each day to watch the writing and editing processes.

7 News Station in Boston, Mass.

Although I worked primarily with Chelsi McDonald during my time at my internship, one of the three sports reporters at the station, all of the anchors were extremely helpful and accommodating with all that I did this summer.  They thoroughly explained everything that they did while they were doing it so that I was able to both observe and understand, encouraging me to ask any and all questions that I had. One instance of this was when I filmed my first stand-up at the Patriots first preseason game. Although I was extremely nervous and anxious to be on camera for the first time, especially as I was surrounded by professional sports reporters on the field, both Chelsi and our sports photographer encouraged me that I could do it, making me feel confident enough in my own abilities to be successful in doing so. Although they probably do not know how much that specific moment meant to me, it was one of the best from the entire summer because I felt as though I could experience for the first time what it would be like to have a career in this field, and knew that I had the full support of professional reporters to help me get there.  I truly think that this internship has prepared me for a career in the sports broadcasting industry in the near future, as I know now what will be expected of me in an entry-level position and all that I have to do now to be successful in earning one.

Cristina Vincente Interns as UConn Sport Management’s Event Planner

Written by: Cristina Vincente

Having grown up in Mansfield, Conn., my entire life has lead me to create a special bond with the University of Connecticut. After being accepted into the UConn Sport Management program and becoming a Digital Media Creative Team intern during my second semester in the program, that bond with this school and this program has only grown stronger. This summer, I was fortunate enough to build upon this bond while interning with the programs’ department head, Dr. Jennifer McGarry, to plan events for the Sport Management program. I was able to obtain this internship with the help of both Dr. McGarry and Digital Media Manager Nellie Schafer. They were aware of my passion for working with social media and event planning, and therefore lead me into this current position as event manager for Sport Management. I have been working right on campus, in Storrs, to plan alumni events and expand our program’s social and digital media efforts.

Sport Managemnt Event in Hartford
Sport Management alumni and friends gathered for an evening of networking on Aug. 24, 2017.

So far this summer, I have coordinated the Sport Management Alumni event that was held in New York City toward the end of June. In addition to planning it, I also was able to attend the actual event which was an amazing experience that connected me with a lot of alumni from the program. I also planned an alumni networking event that was held in Hartford, Conn. at the end of August as well as the 2017 Master’s Orientation that took place during the first week of the semester. I am currently in the process of planning this fall’s Career Night in Sport, which will be held in October. While establishing all of these events, I have been collaborating with several different individuals to figure out logistics for everything from food and catering, to photos at the event, to sending out invites. The event planning aspect of my internship has certainly been rewarding and a great experience.

Along with planning the events, part of my internship has included conducting several job interviews. I met with a variety of women working in different fields of the industry who were all at different stages in their respective careers. Speaking to such successful professionals exposed me to many career paths and opportunities. Each professional provided me with great advice and encouraged me to find my own path.

In addition to the events, job interviews and valuable connections, I have been continuing working with the Sport Management Digital Media Creative Team. As an intern for the team last spring semester and this coming fall, I have been helping to keep the program’s Twitter and Instagram actively engaged throughout the summer months. I have been able to highlight the events that I planned, use connections with alumni to feature them on our platforms and have been researching interesting topics and events in the sport world to feed our Twitter campaign, #EngageInTheDialogue.

The Digital Media Creative Team during last spring’s Sport Management Send-Off event.

There have been so many valuable takeaways from this internship for me. I have learned that the connections you make and the relationships you build in the sport industry are what will take you a long way in your future career. I have also learned a lot about appropriate etiquette for professional communication. Having to constantly communicate with the faculty, alumni, vendors and others in the field has taught me how to communicate effectively, whether it is via email, phone or an in person conversation.

Finally, I would say that one of the biggest learning experiences from all of the job interviews that I conducted is to stay true to who I am. Everyone has varying likes and interests and therefore everyone will have a different career path and different goals that cater to them. This has been an important lesson for me to learn as I enter my senior year and think of my future beyond undergrad and the path that I want to create for myself. I have enjoyed this experience in event planning and hope to continue along that same path as I more forward in my career. I hope to stay on the athletic side of events, because I love the atmosphere of working game days and just being around the excitement of sports. I love the unique connections that sport creates between people of different genders, ages, races, ethnicities, religions and much more. I am beyond thankful for this opportunity and I am very excited for how it will affect my post-graduate future plans.

Summer Networking Series: Sport Management Alumni Reunite in Hartford

Sport Managemnt Event in Hartford
Sport Management alumni and friends gathered for an evening of networking on Aug. 24, 2017.

The UConn Sport Management program held its third annual summer networking event at the Salute Restaurant in downtown Hartford, Conn. on August 24.

The night was filled with many laughs and stories shared between alumni, faculty and sport professionals, paired with great food and drinks. The event served as an opportunity for the programs’ alumni to reconnect in a positive, outdoor atmosphere.

Many of the incoming Sport Management graduate students were also in attendance at this years event and were able to meet with some of the established and successful alumni who are still in the area.

Attendees included Sport Management faculty members Dr. Laura Burton, Dr. Joseph Cooper and Dr. Jennifer McGarry. Several alumni who are currently working with UConn Athletics were also present at the event, including Kristina Tedford, Danielle Upham and Jason Lublin.

Sport Managemnt Event in Hartford
Sport Management alumni and friends gathered for an evening of networking on Aug. 24, 2017.

Members of the Sport Management faculty, staff and internship programs who planned this networking event enjoyed providing an opportunity for alumni to stay connected with the program, as well as the new and past individuals who will always be a part of it.

The event marked a perfect end to the summer and an exciting start to the upcoming school year. As the fall semester commences, the program is looking forward to the annual Career Night in Sport, which will be held on October 17. Information and registration for this event can be found on the Sport Management website, under ‘Upcoming Events,’ or by visiting the event page.  clicking this link.

Former Huskies Reunite in NYC at Alumni Event

Sport Management alumni gather together for a Happy Hour event in front of Cask Restaurant in NYC.Members of the UConn Sport Management program, all gathered together on June 27 at the Cask Restaurant and Bar in New York City as part of a summer alumni networking event and celebration.

The happy hour lasted into the night, as the alumni, faculty and fellow huskies working in sport shared appetizers, laughs and old memories from their days at UConn. Attendees included alumni from the recent graduating class of 2016, as well as those who were members of the undergraduate class of 2004.

Drs. Laura Burton, Joseph Cooper and Jennifer McGarry (Bruening), Sport Management’s faculty, were also in attendance, along with current undergraduate student and Sport Management intern Cristy Vincente.

Sport Management alumni pictured together at the Happy Hour event at Cask Restaurant in NYC.The second annual happy hour event provided the opportunity for alumni in the greater NYC area to reunite, connect and continue to build relationships with those in similar career paths and academic backgrounds.

The Sport Management program is always looking for ways to connect its alumni with one another after graduating.

The UConn Sport Management program is excited for its next alumni event, where alumni and graduate students will meet in the Hartford, CT area at Salute restaurant on August 24.  For more information or to register, please visit our Summer Networking Event.

For photos from the event, visit Neag’s Facebook page.

26.2 Miles Run, $3,500 Raised: The length one Sport Management grad went to support student athletes

Dover holding up her number after running the Boston Marathon.Kydani Dover, a 2007 Sport Management Master’s graduate, ran the Boston Marathon for the first time this April to fundraise for a nonprofit, youth development organization that supports students’ academic achievement through athletics.

Boston Scholar Athletes works to assist student athletes at the high school level in three areas: academic coaching and mentoring, health and wellness and post-secondary planning, said Dover, who has worked for the organization since August of 2016. It aims to bridge the achievement gap in urban public high schools, 19 of which are in Boston and three in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Dover, along with five others from the organization, ran the 121st annual Marathon with a goal of raising $50,000 altogether. Through their efforts garnering support from friends, family, co-workers and local businesses, they have raised approximately $40,000 in total so far.Kydani Dover's Boston Marathon apparel - shirt, jacket, number, marathon patch.

In the months leading up to the marathon, Dover said she was stressed due to the pressure to constantly train and raise money. Even after completing the 26.2 mile race, she agreed that the preparation was the most difficult aspect of it all.

“Running the marathon was one of the best experiences that I’ve had, everyone was running for different charities and it was kind of like a community event,” Dover said. “It was something that was good not only for everyone in Boston but people all around the country. There’s people from all over the world, crowds cheering you on, it’s really just a one-of-a-kind experience.”

Dover added that despite her doubt regarding whether she would be able to finish, all of her training and hard work paid off as she maintained her endurance to make it through the end.

Kydani Dover running the Boston Marathon to raise money for Boston Scholars.A competitive swimmer in high school and at UConn, Dover picked up running to stay in shape after her athletic career ended. She said that she thought the marathon would be a great opportunity to do something that she enjoyed while also being able to give back at the same time.

The money raised by Dover and the rest of her Boston Scholar Athletes team will support the organization’s efforts to increase both academic performance and high school and college graduation rates. According to her fundraising page, a $100 contribution will provide one student with the materials needed to complete a year-long SAT prep while $1,000 will provide 100 members with a college campus visit.

Dover’s hard work paid off greatly, and the Sport Management program at her alma mater is very proud of all that she did, and continues to do, to benefit the Boston Scholar Athletes organization.

From Connecticut to Kenya: Sport Management Graduate Student inspires positivity across the world

Khalil Griffith is a first year master’s student in the Sport Management program who was given the opportunity to travel to Kenya, for the second time, from Feb. 23 to Mar. 8 of this year. During this most recent trip, Griffith conducted workshops held to promote healthy masculinity in villages throughout Kibera and implemented positive youth curriculums into communities, with the organization ‘A Call to Men.’ Here he shares his experiences from both trips, and how his ventures changed not only the lives of others, but his own as well.

I set out on this trip for two main reasons: to enhance my life experiences through sport and to promote healthy masculinity, while also helping to end violence against women.

Khalil Griffith plays with children during his first trip to Kenya, while implementing youth curriculum to promote healthy masculinity in the community.When I traveled to Kenya last June, I laid the groundwork for a student exchange program that uses sport as a tool to provide cultural exchanges between students in Kenya and students in the U.S. During this most recent trip, I not only continued to build that foundation, but I also hosted various basketball camps and clinics in numerous villages and schools throughout the country.

During my time in Kenya, I also conducted workshops focused on promoting healthy masculinity in multiple villages in Kibera, one of the world’s largest slums. Last year, the organization, A Call to Men, developed a curriculum for children ages six to 12 to teach this guiding principle. While in Kibera, I worked with other colleagues to train members of the community about how they can implement this important curriculum in their communities.

One of the most memorable moments of my trip was my visit to a women’s maximum-security prison. I was amazed by how different the structure was from a typical penitentiary in the U.S. This prison had a very restorative focus compared to the more punitive atmosphere that we often see in prisons in the United States. I had never seen women so empowered by the justice system before. Many of them admire and respect the guards as they would their own mothers. There were also various programs in place at the prison, such as yoga, and we were even able to bring jump ropes inside to the women during our visit. It was truly inspiring to hear about the growth that these women have made during their time in jail, and furthermore to see the joy in their faces when they participated in such programs in a positive environment.

As I mentioned previously, during the summer of 2016, I was granted the opportunity to travel to Kenya to lay the groundwork for sports programming, basketball specifically. While I was an undergraduate student at Ithaca College, I conducted research that delved into accessibility in youth sport with relation to socioeconomic status. This research, in conjunction with my experience in coaching basketball and youth sports programming, is what truly inspired me to make this trip across the world.

Though I had originally decided to travel to Kenya to further my research and conduct clinics, I left having participated in an experience that would change not only my life, but also the lives of many others around the world.

Khalil Griffith pictured with members of one of the villages in Kibera, where he visited to implement the curriculum from 'A Call to Men.'While in Kenya, I traveled around the country and visited schools, interacting and playing with kids ranging from ages three to 19. One of the most memorable experiences that I had was when I spoke to students at Paul Boit Boys High School, an all boys’ school in Eldoret. There I discussed with 500 young men the impact that sports has had and continues to have on my life, as well as the opportunities that basketball has given me. After the talk I was then able to interact with some of the young men and engage in activities with them. While that was a truly humbling experience, it was what happened next that had the lasting impact on me.

After meeting with the school principal and other members of the community, they informed me that they had graciously decided to name their basketball court after me. The court was in much need of a renovation, consisting of uneven gravel, crooked basketball hoops and damaged soccer balls that substituted as basketballs. But over the last few months, we have come together to develop a project that will not only completely renovate the court, but will also establish programming for the local youth. In doing so, we will foster a sports exchange program with children in Kenya and in the United States that will allow for a cross-cultural exchange for students all over the world, offering programming to students who otherwise may not have been granted that opportunity.