Students gain insight into future paths at SPMA Alumni Day

Gillian Golosky didn’t need a crystal ball to get a glimpse into her future.

Instead, all it took for the first-year Sport Management (SPMA) student was a day spent alongside impressive Brock alumni who’ve gone on to make a difference in the sport industry.

Golosky was among many current students who soaked up advice offered by more than 30 graduates who returned to campus Monday, March 11 for the annual SPMA Alumni Day celebration.

The returning Badgers now work for organizations such as Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the Seattle Mariners, the Canadian Olympic Committee, Rogers Communications, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group.

“They’ve been through this program already and each of them took a different path throughout their years here,” Golosky said of the grads. “They shared their stories with us and got me thinking of my different options going forward.

SPMA students Rob Cheevers, Gillian Golosky and Ethan Churchill won the inaugural Sport Management Alumni Day Case Competition.

“They highlighted that whether they’re one, five or 10 years out of the program, they still use what they learned at Brock on a day-to-day basis, making it so important to capitalize on every learning opportunity you are given.”

Golosky did not waste her chance to make an impression, emerging victorious alongside teammates and fellow SPMA students Ethan Churchill (third-year) and Rob Cheevers (fourth-year) in the inaugural Sport Management Alumni Day Case Competition.

SPMA faculty partnered with the Niagara IceDogs to give students 72 hours to develop a marketing plan that would ultimately draw Brock students’ interest in attending IceDog games.

Golosky’s team took home the trophy for the group’s emphasis on the need for data collection.

“All of the teams had really good suggestions, such as the Niagara IceDogs participating in Brock’s Orientation Week Vendor Fair,” says IceDogs Hockey Club Social Media and Sales Co-ordinator Jordyn Moussa, who was an adjudicator on the judging panel. “From the IceDogs’ perspective, I was looking for suggestions that would be mutually beneficial to both Brock University and the IceDogs. There were a lot of good ideas, but in the end, the winning team was selected for their focus on data collection.”

The strategy the winning team used was to intentionally avoid the suggestion that the hockey team host any additional events at the Meridian Centre geared specifically to Brock students.

“Instead, we really took into consideration how the IceDogs could engage students here on campus,” says Cheevers. “We didn’t know what the IceDogs have tried in the past or what promotions are currently run at the rink; however, we did know for certain they had almost no presence on campus. So, we put our focus there and framed it around gathering data to allow them to make more informed decisions for next year.”

Moussa confirmed that she too had been thinking about similar strategies for a few months but didn’t yet know how they could work. “Getting information from the students and ideas on how they saw them being implemented to benefit the Brock community was really helpful,” she says.

From left, SPMA Student Council President David Stark, who helped to organize Alumni Day, SPMA students Rob Cheevers, Ethan Churchill and Gillian Golosky, Niagara IceDogs Hockey Club Social Media and Sales Co-ordinator and Applied Health Sciences master student Jordyn Moussa and Department of Sport Management Department Chair Kirsty Spence at the award presentation for the wining team of the inaugural SPMA Alumni Day Case Competition.

Following their presentations, four finalist teams joined the invitation-only Alumni Day luncheon where the winner was announced.

“We are all really proud of the work we put in and honoured to be recognized not only by professors in our department, but also by the IceDogs organization for our efforts,” Churchill said while accepting the award.

Kirsty Spence, Chair of the Department of Sport Management, was impressed with the calibre of all competing teams in the inaugural case competition.

“I was excited to see the skill sets of a variety of students from this particular experiential learning activity,” she says. “SPMA Alumni Day is the perfect context to host the case competition given we focus on professionalism, networking and connecting with alumni who are industry professionals. This case competition is synergistic with all of these components. I am proud of all who competed and particularly acknowledge the winning group for their excellent case submission and presentation.”

The seventh Annual Sport Management Alumni Day was the biggest one yet, with 30 alumni presenting across six panels throughout the day, a networking luncheon and an evening social to recognize alumni and provide student volunteers with a chance to meet with them.

“We recognize the significant contribution that our alumni continuously make to our program,” Spence continued, “The growth in the seventh Annual SPMA Alumni Day is representative of the strength of our alumni in the industry. We are excited for future events, given the massive positive impact this day has on students, alumni and faculty and staff alike.”

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