Alex Francis ’13, Mary Mikell Lampton ’14, and Stephanie Wei ’13, graduates of the Department of Sport Management at Rice University, have all found roles working for sporting goods retailer Academy Sports + Outdoors at the company headquarters in Katy, TX.
Each of the graduates holds a different role with Academy Sports + Outdoors. Francis is an Assistant Buyer in the baseball department with day to day activities of working with vendors to create an assortment of products to present on store floors. Lampton works as a Merchant Strategy Analyst, part of a team supporting Academy merchants. Wei works with the Consumer Insights team as a Marketing Analyst, using data analytics to produce consumer trend reports.
When reflecting upon how the Sport Management program had helped to prepare them for their respective careers, the alumni all appreciated the education the department provided them.
“The Sport Management degree tests a broad range of skills sets,” explained Lampton. “While I was able to hone areas of strength, the degree also required me to develop new and valuable skills. Additionally, the internship component of the program helped me determine the kind of environment I wanted to work in when I graduated, and that knowledge was crucial to my decision to join the team at Academy.”
“My first internship really influenced my decision to pursue a career in marketing,” added Wei. “It also helped me gain relevant experience for future internships as well as the position I have now.”
Francis and Wei both touch specifically on the department’s marketing focus, describing how the knowledge they obtained from courses help in their current day to day duties.
“I know what to look for and what to pay attention to within the industry,” elaborated Francis. “Also I’m able to see situations from both the buyer side and the vendor side because of the Sport Management coursework I completed.”
Regarding the Department of Sport Management as critical to their career developments, all of the alumni spoke to a winning combination of course work and internship experience.
Bo Sripharphan, a senior from Richardson, TX, is double majoring in Statistics and Sport Management.