Program of the Month Q&A: Sport Management Alum Emily Herr ’12
“When I realized that a sport management degree would enable me to make a living doing my two favorite things, it was an easy choice.”
Sport management alum Emily Herr ’12 works as the manager of event services for the Buffalo Bills, having previously served in other positions with the team. In her current role, she manages the annual Buffalo Bills Draft Party, as well as all fan experience elements on game days. She also handles all outside events at New Era Field, ranging from small corporate meetings to large scale stadium-wide events, like concerts.
Here, Herr explains how her sport management classes and internships played a critical role in leading her down her career path and preparing her for her current job.
What led to your decision to enroll in the sport management program at Medaille?
The two things I loved most growing up were playing sports and planning parties. When I realized that a sport management degree would enable me to make a living doing my two favorite things, it was an easy choice. As for Medaille, I was drawn to its small class sizes and intimate setting.
What was your favorite part of the sport management program?
My favorite part of the sport management program was the variety of classes. The program covers so many different aspects of the sports industry — facility management, sports law, sports in the community and everything in between. I received a well-rounded education that allowed me to confidently enter into the sports industry immediately following college.
What types of things did you learn about yourself and your career goals from your studies?
As I worked my way through the program, it solidified my career goals. It was easy for me to want to continue to do well in the program, because it was fun every step of the way. Because of my passion and interest in the field, the classes didn’t feel like work, and the internships were unforgettable.
What is the best advice or guidance you received from a sport management faculty member?
The best advice I received was about getting involved in internships early in your college career and continuing to do different internships. My first internship was with the Buffalo Bills in the summer of my freshmen year. So entering into my sophomore year, I felt like I already had some relatable experiences to what the professors were discussing. I could visualize everything better, because I already saw or experienced it in my internship. During my junior year, I totally switched gears within the sports management world and started working at an elite gym. It was something totally different than my work with the Bills, and I hated it! But in that way, it was just as valuable of an experience, because I realized that type of work was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
How do you use the knowledge and skills you learned in the sport management program in your current work?
The knowledge and skills I learned in the program provided me with expansive event insight that I use daily in my current role. As the events manager with the Buffalo Bills, I oversee a master events calendar, six-figure budgets, operational set up and event staffing on a daily basis. My sport management degree and classes built the foundation for those skills.
What advice would you give to current sport management students or those trying to decide on a major/degree?
I would say to find something that you’re passionate about, and find a way to make a career out of it. If you like sports, events and entertainment, a sport management degree could be perfect for you.
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