For Jeanne Schneider—currently a second-year MBA candidate with a specialization in sports business—the key to a successful and fulfilling career has always been the relationships. “Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to work on some incredible projects that I’m very proud of,” she said. “But I’m most proud of the extraordinary teams I was able to be a part of.”
A native Chicagoan and avid sports fan, Schneider spent the first 10 years of her career at agencies in Chicago building experiential marketing campaigns for brands like Verizon Wireless and Bud Light—including programs at six Super Bowls.
“I spent a lot of my time working with other agencies to pull together these big sponsorship campaigns,” she said. “And I was really successful because I learned how to work with so many different types of people.”
A frequent traveler, Schneider has never been afraid to take chances and let her work and her curiosity carry her to new places. It was that sense of adventure and challenge that allowed her to take a leap of faith two years ago, when she joined the Oregon MBA.
“I had been in Chicago for 10 years, had reached a pinnacle moment in my career after my sixth Super Bowl, and I was ready for a new challenge.”
For Schneider that meant leaving the workforce, diving back in to school full time, and dedicating herself to “being a better student than ever.”
Her passion for sports, big brands, and powerful storytelling (plus a chance encounter with a Sports Business Journal interview of the Lundquist College’s Whitney Wagoner) made the University of Oregon and its Warsaw Sports Marketing Center a natural choice.
“The Warsaw Center felt like home to me from the beginning,” she said. “I’ve built lifelong friendships here, and I’m looking forward to continuing to work with and learn from them in the future.”
Schneider has continued her push to build new relationships and try new things over the past two years. She served as a member of the Graduate Student Advisory Board and as tutor for undergraduate student-athletes, and is currently working with a marketing professor on research into professional athletes and branding. During summer term 2017 she interned at Wasserman, a sports marketing agency in Los Angeles.
Post-MBA, Schneider hopes to pursue new challenges as she seeks roles building sports sponsorship strategies for big brands, but she will always be anchored by her genuine passion for people and her belief in the power of sports.
“Human beings have a true need for emotional connection,” she said. “I want to keep meeting new people and learning about them to see how we can use sports to tell the stories that build those connections.”
—Laura Condella, MBA candidate