By: Beth Joseph, online sport management student
I came to EKU’s online sport management program as a non-traditional student having already earned degrees in computer science and business management years ago. I have always loved sports, from being involved in many aspects of my children’s sports to running a very successful AAU basketball program. I decided to capitalize on my passion and go back to school to pursue a sport management degree.
As a part of the sport management online program, I was able to complete an internship in order to gain real-world experience in the field before graduation. I did my internship at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Kentucky working with their school basketball team. It was eye-opening to see how a public school ran things differently than a private school and an AAU program, which I have been involved with for years. This internship was the perfect fit for me and aligned perfectly with what I do with my AAU team. It was so beneficial in providing me with a new perspective on how others operate in the basketball world.
Just as COVID-19 has impacted everyone and everything, my internship responsibilities adapted to accommodate this new ‘normal’. Things changed at the drop of a dime in the COVID era. In this new world of basketball, dates and opponents could and would change instantly; teams would be quarantined and new games needed to be scheduled; normal pre-game meals and events had to be adjusted or even cancelled. I always had to be ready for a change at a moment’s notice. Experiencing sports during COVID made me understand the importance of adaptability and that even sports can survive without the typical fanfare we are all used to.
The knowledge I gained from the sport management program aided me in my internship because I was able to build on the skills I had acquired from past experiences in new and innovative ways. This internship even solidified the kind of career I want to pursue after graduation. I love all sports and working strictly with basketball reinforced how much I enjoy the atmosphere, athletes, and people involved.
My experience in the sport management program and the internship was very rewarding. The online program allowed me to work at my pace and I was able to learn and study better without any classroom distractions. The internship gave me new insights on how others run a program similar to what I do with AAU basketball and helped me learn flexibility in a changing world and a changing field.