As Lundquist College of Business M.B.A. student Kristin Harrer listened to a presentation by Jeff Price of Sports Illustrated, her vision became clearer; her thoughts solidified. Suddenly, everything started to come together. Her coursework through the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center, previous meetings with sports industry leaders, her studies at the University of Oregon School of Law in pursuit of a joint M.B.A./J.D. degree, her professional work experience--all these coalesced around a singular issue and pointed to an emerging and exciting career opportunity for her in the sports industry.
Price had been discussing digital rights with Warsaw students during the center's ninth annual study tour in New York City. Digital rights is a hot new topic as the NBA, NFL, and other sports leagues seek to protect broadcast copyrights as a result of YouTube and other technologies that allow Internet users to post recordings of professional sporting events online.
"Price advised that if you can get experience protecting or figuring out how to protect digital rights, you should absolutely do it. That advice is affecting my course choices for next year. It's affecting how I am approaching my M.B.A. and law degrees," said Harrer.
During the January trip, other Warsaw M.B.A. students had comparable experiences as a result of meetings with top executives at the Arena Football League, ESPN, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, NHL and National Thoroughbred Racing Association. And a month earlier, undergraduate students in the student-run University of Oregon Investment Group (UOIG) similarly had the opportunity to meet prominent financial industry executives and alumni, as well as to tour the New York Stock Exchange, during a trip to Wall Street.
David Walter, UOIG's director of external affairs and financials sector leader, said the trip was designed to give students an insider's perspective on the lives of traders, brokers, investment bankers, and other financial industry professionals. For Walter, the experience helped solidify his proclivities toward a career in investment banking, particularly after meeting Merrill Lynch Municipal Bond Market Strategist and alumnus Philip Fischer, M.B.A. '77, Ph.D. '79. "Meeting Fischer showed us that with hard work and determination it's possible to become a top financial executive in New York," noted Walter. He and other UOIG students did shudder, however, at the prospect of working more than eighty hours a week, something common among investment bankers in the Big Apple.
Nonetheless, Walter said he was undeterred from pursuing a career in New York City. He, like Harrer, has a clearer picture of his career path. And who knows, perhaps Walter and Harrer will some day be among the growing number of UOIG and Warsaw alumni hosting future Lundquist College students visiting the business metropolis.