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A Day of Shadowing: Sports Management Students Learn Through Experiential Teaching Methods

11/14/2013, 03:32 PM

Hackettstown, N.J.  – Professor David Perricone, Assistant Professor of Sports Management at Centenary College, places a heavy emphasis in experiential learning in his teaching methods.  His students run their own events as classroom exercises on a regular basis and his students are required to “shadow” a professional in the sports management industry for an entire day. 

“I feel that these students need to experience what a day in the life of a sports executive is like,” says Professor Perricone.  “How can they make a solid decision about their own career path without this type of exposure?”

Students in his Sports Leadership & Problem Solving class shadowed executives from the following organizations: National Hockey League (New York City); United States Tennis Association (Flushing, New York); New York Red Bulls (Harrison, N.J); New Jersey Devils (Newark, N.J.); Hackettstown High School (Hackettstown); and The Aspire Group (Atlanta, Georgia). All of these students are seniors this year.

The opportunities were extremely varied.  Some students participated in a book signing at Dick’s Sporting Goods for hockey icon Bobby Orr’s title “My Life.” Others learned the ins and outs of tournament operations at the United States Tennis Association.  The students who visited the Red Bulls and the Devils learned what is expected from the teams’ sales and marketing staffs and what goes into creating the best fan experience.  Those who shadowed the Athletic Director at Hackettstown High School attended the Northwest Athletic Conference, plus learned about the roles and responsibilities of a high school Athletic Director.  Both students who completed their assignment with Hackettstown High School were offered an internship with the Athletic Director. Students who worked with The Aspire Group helped run a Men and Women’s Basketball game at Seton Hall University.

“This was such a valuable opportunity,” says Timothy Brix, who was one of the students who was offered an internship at Hackettstown High School.  “It was so positive that I wish that I had this experience earlier in my college career.  As it is, I have gained some industry contacts and I am very thankful for that.”

Professor Perricone is exploring shadowing opportunities for sophomore students in the future, as opposed to offering this experience to seniors only.
“I believe the earlier we can get students involved in the sports management industry by participating in exercises like ‘shadowing’, the more equipped they will be to embark on their career once they graduate,” says Professor Perricone.

Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary
College is an independent, coeducational liberal arts and career studies college
distinguished by an accomplished faculty, small class size and diverse student body.  Centenary is the only baccalaureate and master’s degree granting institution in northwest
New Jersey.

Centenary College’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township (Morris County).  The Centenary College School of Professional Studies offers degree programs in two locations: Parsippany and Edison, and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.  The School of International Programs recruits international students for study at Centenary and Centenary students for study abroad.
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