by Brad Hunter
When it comes to preparing students for careers in sports and recreation
management, Concordias Diploma in Sports Administration program
has an advantage no other school in the country can match, according to
Edith Katz, the DSAs marketing and communications co-ordinator.
The DSA is the only graduate sports management program in Canada
entirely in a business school, and its one of just a handful in
North America, she said.
Since were part of the John Molson School of Business, our
students have a tremendous edge because of the comprehensive business
training they receive.
This training is very similar to that of an MBA program, she explained.
There are six required core courses in fundamental management disciplines,
accounting, organizational behaviour, managerial economics, management
information systems and marketing, plus courses in specialized areas like
event management, public relations and fundraising.
The program also includes an internship of at least three months. Increasingly,
all areas of the sports sector are required to operate in a businesslike
way, with professionally trained managers, Katz said. Thats
one of the reasons our students are doing so well.
DSA graduates can be found in all areas of sports and recreation, including
education, community-based programs, fitness clubs, sporting goods businesses,
consulting, provincial and national sports associations, and event management.
Some former students are working in pro sports leagues like the National
Hockey League and Canadian Football League.
Alex Leporé, the travel and scouting co-ordinator for the Ottawa
Senators, said there was not a chance he would have landed
his dream job with the team without the skills and experience he acquired
as DSA student.
Without a doubt, the program was excellent training, he said
before a Senators playoff game against Philadelphia.
The internship I did with the Senators was not only a good learning
experience, but great way to get my foot in the door and show them I had
the ability to step right in and do the job.
Like Leporé, many students use their internships as springboards
to full-time jobs. In fact, many people enrol in the DSA program exclusively
for the internship, said Chen Feng Huang, the DSAs assistant director.
Huang said some students come to the program with a clear idea of where
they want to work during their internships.
In this case, well go to an organization and ask if there
is an opportunity for an internship, Huang explained. In other
cases, organizations approach us because theyre aware of the programs
reputation and know they can have a need filled by an internship position.
To a certain degree, my job is that of a matchmaker. I look at what
the employer is offering and see if it fits a students profile and
Huang stressed that before an internship is approved the host organization
has to submit a detailed proposal outlining the students role.
For the proposal to be approved, the organization must meet the programs
strict standards. For example, the internship must be at a management
level and involve the student in the decision-making process.
DSA grad Yohan Sauves works at Internationaux du Sport de Montréal,
where he helps prepare bids to lure major sporting events to the city.
He also provides organizational support to local groups hosting events
in Montreal. Sauves said he enrolled in the DSA program because he knew
it would provide an advantage he couldnt find elsewhere.
There were four or five sport-specific courses I took that gave
me the edge I was looking for, he said.
These were courses that you cant find in just any school
He agreed wholeheartedly with Leporé that the program is invaluable
training for those pursuing a career in sports and recreation management.
With people becoming more and more health conscious, Katz believes DSA
grads will continue to be in high demand.
As society becomes increasingly concerned about health and fitness,
people of all ages are looking for programs and facilities, and the organizations
offering these programs and facilities realize they need well-trained