Amy Czyz '15 Hired by The Athletic as People Business Partner

Amy Czyz '15 Hired by The Athletic as People Business Partner

For many, venturing into the work force after graduation might seem like a daunting experience. But for Sport Management majors, it offers an exciting time to capitalize on the career preparation and work experience they received as an integral part of their studies. Amy Czyz ‘15 is a perfect example of a Sport Management major who has embraced a career full of excitement, growth, and new opportunities.

Amy Czyz The Athletic

After working for three years at a tech startup and receiving her MBA, Czyz has been hired at The Athletic, a sports journalism website offering coverage of over 40 cities in the US and Canada. Launched in 2016, the Athletic has amassed more than 300 editorial employees and drawn national attention for its rapid growth in the past year.

Immediately following graduation, Czyz left Houston to work in San Francisco for Gametime, a mobile ticketing app which was rated as one of the fastest growing companies in the US by Deloitte in 2017. Czyz worked as an Executive Operations Manager and a People Operations manager while at Gametime. She also completed her MBA in Sport Business from Saint Leo University during her time with the company.

“Over the course of my time at Gametime and the different roles I held there, I was able to identify a couple things that I wanted in my next career move: hyper-growth, a start-up environment, international expansion plans and a defined people-facing role,” Czyz said.

According to Czyz, her position at The Athletic checked all the boxes that she wanted in a future job, so she decided to take the leap and make a move in her career.

“While one of the toughest decisions I've had to make early in my career, I've been enamored with amount I'm learning at The Athletic and the pace at which we are moving,” Czyz said.

Czyz was hired by The Athletic to work as People Business Partner, and her first day of work was on September 24. Czyz said her role with The Athletic is to implement “all things people.”

“One of the true beauties about my role is that it's hard to adequately describe the functionality of a People Business Partner on a day to day basis, especially at a start-up,” Czyz said. “This can range from anything from onboarding, benefits administration and recruiting, all the way up to connecting our senior/executive staff to our general workforce. What's particularly interesting in this role is that that 95% of our staff are sports writers and editors spread across the US and Canada, which adds a unique dynamic to my role to bridge the gap between our staff and our headquarters in San Francisco.”

Some recent projects Czyz has been involved with include converting The Athletic’s Canadian writers and editors to full-time employees, which will officially make The Athletic an international company, and working to build and implement a brand new end-to-end recruiting process in anticipation of even more growth in 2019.

“What's unique about our environment is that the vast majority of our staff are remote and constantly on the move covering games,” Czyz said. “Something I love about that remote dynamic, which lends itself to the environment at HQ fostered by our founders, is that even across states and countries you can feel how truly excited every member of our staff is about the product we are building, and that's pretty powerful.”

According to Czyz, the work environment at The Athletic is that of a “true startup.”

“We're nearly at capacity of our current office, sitting on top of each other and moving at hyper speeds,” Czyz said. “There is truly never a dull moment.”

Czyz said she owes much of her early career success to the real-world skills she gained through Sport Management’s internship programs and courses.

“The Rice SMGT program is unparalleled in its preparation for sending alumni into the workforce,” Czyz said. “Still to this day, I reach out to SMGT professors routinely to help me plan and prepare my career.”

Czyz said that in the long-term she wants to be able to look back on both her time at Gametime and The Athletic and have a firm understanding of what it takes to scale a start-up into a tech powerhouse and foster a phenomenal work environment in the process. In light of her recent career experiences, she also has some advice for current students who might be thinking about their future plans.

“The best advice I can give is to use your network,” Czyz said. “Rice alumni, professors, donors, whoever it may be, are always willing to help and are some of the brightest, most knowledgeable and helpful people you will ever come across. Outside of that, my other advice would be to stay open minded about the sports industry. There are thousands of opportunities to be involved in sports that align with both your personal and career interests.”

Elliot Stahr, a sophomore from Irvine, California, is majoring in Psychology and Philosophy.