BY: WESLEY ROBINSON
This weekend a group of Eastern students will have an opportunity to build their resumes while enjoying the largest sporting event in the U.S.
Ten sport management students and two professors are volunteering at Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans this weekend, which gives them an opportunity to apply their knowledge in the classroom in a real setting, said Wardell Johnson, an associate professor of sport management.
Johnson, who organized and will attend the trip, said the students will be working two events during the weekend and may have an opportunity to go to the game at halftime.
Candace Mosby, 22, a senior sport management major from Louisville, said she is looking forward to volunteering and learning about NFL operations, community relations and networking with people in the industry. Also, she is excited to be exposed to a different side of the Super Bowl.
“If we go to the game, and don’t have seats, I’ll be happy,” Mosby said. “If we don’t [get to go to the game] I’ll still be happy having volunteered and had the whole experience.”
The students will spend Friday volunteering at the NFL Experience and Saturday working the DirecTV Celebrity Beach Bowl. Friday’s events include football clinics for kids, free autograph sessions and a large football memorabilia show. Saturday’s
DirecTV Celebrity Beach Bowl is a flag football game featuring stars such as Snoop Dogg, Katharine McPhee and Josh Hutcherson. Other stars including the Kardashians, Channing Tatum and Beyonce will be in attendance.
“It’s the Super Bowl,” said Shalyne Walters, 21, sport management junior from McKee. “I want to work with football, and it will be good to see how the Super Bowl works. It’s the biggest sporting event in the U.S.”
Walters worked as a manager with the football team this past season and would like to pursue football operations after graduation. She said she is excited about the trip, but she anticipates focusing on the business and management aspects of the game for the majority of the trip.
“That’s really what it’s all about,” Walters said. “A lot of people can get a degree, but not have the chance to apply it while they’re learning.”
Derek O’Neal, 26, sport management junior from Hartford, said he looks forward to working with celebrities, learning more about marketing management and seeing the scope of such a large event.
“[I] Will gain so much experience and intel [information] than anything else,” O’Neal said. “I don’t think it has really set in how many people will be there.”
The trip was first-come, first-serve to the sport management majors and both Walters and O’Neal said they responded within a minute to the email Johnson sent asking for volunteers.
O’Neal said he is looking forward to spending time with his classmates and professors in their comfort zone while learning more about sport management.
“We are gonna have fun, but we are going with a purpose,” O’Neal said. “It’s gonna be a good overall time.”
Johnson said the trip cost the students $85 with students paying for their own food and entertainment. The group will stay in Biloxi, Miss., about an hour and a half from New Orleans.
He hopes students maximize the experience and is proud of the fact four out of the 10 students going were recently selected for the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. Mosby: O’Neal and Walters received this award.
“These are strong academic students who compare with some of the best students in the country,” Johnson said.
Mosby said she is excited to go to New Orleans for the first time and wants to take in the sights, food and culture in addition to the big game.
“I just want to take in as much as I can while I’m there,” Mosby said. “Something like this you’re not going to get from a text book. Teachers can share their experiences but you can get your own.”