The UConn Sport Management program held it’s fourth annual Career Night in Sport, a night where alumni came together with current undergraduate students to network, share their personal experiences working in the industry and provide advice on how to be successful in the sports field post graduation. Cristy Vincente, a senior in the program, coordinated this year’s Career Night with help from the department and Maggie McEvilly, also a senior this year, covered the event during the night of to receive feedback from both students and alumni.
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.
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.
Brent Colborne, ESPN’s Director of Programming and Acquisitions, graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2005 with a B.S. in Business Administration and a minor in Sport Management.
On Feb. 13, Colborne and his programming team visited UConn and attended a networking event hosted by the Sport Management program to discuss their experiences working in the sport industry with juniors and seniors in the program.
Colborne shared that one of the most challenging aspects of his professional career was ultimately getting his foot in the door with ESPN, and mentioned that he might not have been able to do so without the help of the faculty at UConn.
While taking a Sport Management class taught by Dr. Jennifer (Bruening) McGarry, Colborne was introduced to three executives from ESPN, all of who still work with him in the programming department. Having met one of them a few weeks prior at an ESPN career fair and connecting with her a couple of times after, the rest was history. He provided her with his resume, she passed it on, and he interviewed and was offered an internship with the organization during the spring semester of his senior year.
Colborne acknowledged that one of his favorite parts about returning to campus that day was having the ability to do for current students what previous professors and executives did for him during his time at UConn.
“Being able to pay it forward to the Dr. McGarry’s of the world – I wouldn’t be where I am now if it weren’t for her and other people who were there when I was there,” he said. “I was looking at it as an opportunity to give what I wish I had when I was a junior or senior back to students at UConn, and that was the most rewarding experience.”
Though he enjoyed showing his colleagues the place where he had spent four years of his life, Colborne was excited to network with current students and provide them with valuable advice regarding their future careers and aspirations in the sport industry.
“Take advantage of what UConn has to offer,” he said. “We’ve got unbelievable facilities, best-in-class teams at all levels, so for someone who wants to work in the sport field and not take advantage of those opportunities with successful teams and great venues would be a disservice to that major.”