Students learn sports industry

After working as a hiring manager in the sports industry, professor Marybeth Lennox-Levins has always seen the value of getting hands-on experience in the industry of sport.  

“It seemed like a no-brainer that students would have hands-on hours required as a part of even that first course,” she said of the introductory service learning course.  

She said that one of the main reasons for her keeping this requirement was because she wanted to ensure that kids could get jobs post-graduation, as well as make connections.  

“I think it’s really great that Marybeth has the program structured with so many internship hours because it gives you great preparation to enter the workforce,” said Zack Durr, a freshman sport management major who took the course this past fall semester.  

Durr spent his 20 hours working with his former high school’s athletic director, and especially enjoyed learning more about the everyday life of someone in the industry. The experience he gained throughout the 20 hours assisted him in obtaining more skills and knowledge to use in his future career.  

Lennox-Levins also shared the importance of experimenting in the field, having the ability to put real life skills on a resume, and building a network.  

“I’d have to say of those three, actually probably building the network is the most important part,” she said.  

Lennox-Levins stressed that building a network is really what gets a student job interviews and opportunities, making it the most important part of getting hands-on experience in many different ways.  

Students are provided with a list of contacts of various different sports-related locations that they have the option of working with for their hours. Students are also not limited to this list, however, and can choose somewhere else to complete hours.  

“Not everything is college sport, not everything is high school sport, not everything is professional or minor league sport, so students have a lot of options,” Lennox-Levins said.  

She said she wants to ensure that she is giving her students a list of diverse experiences.  

Freshman sport management major Abbas Abdulrahman completed 12 of his service learning hours with professor Andy Weinburg here at Castleton, as well eight hours at his former high school.  

“This was helpful for showing me what I am in for,” he said.  

Abdulrahman said how much the experience helped give him an idea of what event management in sport can look like, and what he may be doing in his future.  

He helped Weinburg with two different events in the community involving elders in sports including the Senior Games Bike Race and Senior Games 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament.  

“There was a 20-mile bike race and we had to take care of the traffic to make sure everyone was safe and that they could get the best possible time with no disruptions,” he said.  

For the basketball tournament, he said he had to do a few simple things like running the clock and keeping track of scores. He also mentioned how entertaining it was to watch these games.  

“Even though the players were old and well in their 60s, they could play really well, and it was impressive,” he said.  

Students often express how much they enjoy their experience and how it doesn’t feel like work. They say they meet great people, and have a lot of fun doing what they want to do in their future.  

“It proves how much she cares about her students becoming strong professionals within sport, and it gives us all a taste of what our future might hold,” Durr said of Lennox-Levins.  

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