Katy Fitzgerald, MS '17 competed all four years in Division I lacrosse while receiving a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sport science. She also competed on the national team for three years. After almost four years of management experience with non-profits and earning her master’s in exercise and sport science, Fitzgerald joined the Sports Product Management inaugural class in fall 2015. She worked on a product creation team that developed a collapsible running shoe. She spent the summer of 2016 as an intern at Ching Luh, a tier-one Nike footwear manufacturer, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Why did you choose the University of Oregon Sports Product Management Program?
I chose SPM because it was the perfect next step for me. I was still involved in sports through the non-profit, but I was missing something. I wasn’t sure what that was until I stumbled upon the SPM program. It combined my love of sport with my love of products, and I knew it was the right thing for me.
What was your favorite part of the program?
If I had to narrow it down, I would say both the travel and the product project. Not only do you get to learn about the industry and the product process, but you also have the opportunity to travel all over the world to see it in real life. As for the product project, in most master’s programs you have to write a thesis. In this program, you develop a product, as well as a company and a brand. Everything is hands-on—you have the ability to work in the Innovation Lab and create product. The whole process was difficult but so gratifying.
What are you doing now?
I am a footwear developer for a manufacturing company, Ching Luh Nike Division, in Vietnam.
Do you have any advice for candidates?
Come into the program with an open mind and take advantage of the amazing connections that you are given. It is by far been the best decision I have made and jump-started my dream career.