Catherine Beech is a fourth year Sport Management student at Brock University with a Minor in Tourism. Having worked with the Centre previously, this summer, she worked with us as a Research Assistant – Data Analyst. Funding support for her position was provided by the Match of Minds Program.
This summer I had the opportunity to work with the Centre for Sport Capacity (CSC) here at Brock University. Having the chance to work within my industry, expanding my knowledge on pertinent topics within sport was unlike anything I could have imagined.
Through my work with the CSC I was able to work with local industry partners on projects that simultaneously allowed me to learn new skills and network with industry professionals in event, research, and sponsorship fields.
In my role as a Research Assistant I worked on event impact research to address what types of impact from sport events are of the highest importance to industry stakeholders and what metrics stakeholders currently use to track event impact.
This opportunity allowed me to see everything that goes into conducting research and experience the process first-hand. I am happy to report that my contribution to this project will help Sport Travel enhance their client experience and exist as a credible resource for their company’s use.
While working I was introduced to Brent Barootes, the CEO and founder of Partnership Group. Working with Partnership Group, I was able to gain valuable experience in the sponsorship sector – you never know where saying “yes” can take you!
My projects with Partnership Group included a competitive analysis scan and an inventory asset valuation for the company. This project challenged me to conduct a lot of self-directed research in an area that I was not familiar with. Although the task appeared intimidating in the beginning, I am happy to have completed the project and learned a lot along the way.
I also worked as a data analyst for the Niagara Sport Database alongside an amazing group of co-workers during the initial phases of the company’s launch. My role was primarily to communicate with club volunteers to acquire data and then input it correctly before analyzing the results and sending it off to my co-worker for the development of a report. This experience was educating/insightful from beginning to end as I was able to connect with co-workers from all different areas of expertise and learn from them every day. I am proud to say that the process of transforming raw data into meaningful visualizations required the knowledge of programs including: PowerBi, ArcGIS, Python, and Excel which I self-learned with the help of my co-workers. Not only was I able to build on my existing quantitative analysis skills, but I also developed a basic understanding of these programs as a new skill which I can add to my resume and transfer to any job opportunity that I have in the future.
Above any individual project that I worked on this summer, the biggest takeaway for myself was having self-directed work. Working with the CSC this summer I intended to be in office however, due to unprecedented times I worked from home making communication more challenging than normal. I had to balance many projects at the same time and although I had project check-ins with my supervisor Cole McClean, day-to-day work was completely under my own discretion and what I felt I needed to do. Being in charge of my own work required the ability to assess project timelines and shuffle projects around as necessary. In addition, it forced me to be self-reliant as much as possible and problem solve when issues came my way.
I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to work with the CSC this summer and proud of all of the work I contributed to during my time. The insight that I gained through my work with Sport Travel, The Niagara Sport Database, and Partnership Group was a great stepping-stone to bigger things for my future. The connections that I made with professionals in the industry would not have happened without the CSC and I am humbled to have worked alongside them for even a short time. I encourage everyone to look into the CSC at Brock University and explore what opportunities they may have for you. As for myself, I plan to continue my work with NSD this fall, building on the great progress that we have made this summer!