The sports and entertainment industry accounts for more than 250 billion dollars every year. Lucky for CU Denver students, a study abroad course was designed years ago to teach and engage students with this industry in a global setting.
The Maymester London Calling course offers a group of business students high-level access to exciting global organizations in the sports and entertainment industry.
Business students were exposed to the latest in new media, real-estate development, marketing, ethics, and finance. Through visiting and talking with the industry elite outside of the US, students gained a broader business and cultural perspective of sports and entertainment management.
We reached out to three students to give their perspectives from the trip.
- Miranda Stokes is a Professional MBA student working on a specialization in Sports and Entertainment.
- Elizabeth Shue is a BSBA student pursuing two majors in marketing and sports business.
- Ashley Klein is a BSBA student with an emphasis in accounting.
Meaningful encounters in London
Stokes chose CU Denver because of its proximity to the Denver Center for Performing Arts and her dream of entering into the entertainment industry. It should come as no surprise that her favorite part of London was watching a play at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. She saw it as a unique opportunity to immerse herself in the culture and history of such a famous theatre.
On the other hand, Stokes’ favorite speaker was a bit of a surprise to herself. While her interest lies in theatre, the most impactful speaker she heard from was from the sports industry.
At the Richmond Golf Club, she heard from John McGuire, general manager of the private club. He spoke about the business aspects of running a private club, but what really hit home with Stokes was the genuine nature of his talk. He emphasized the importance of “respecting the people you work with as you try to reach your goals.”
She expanded on his talk, stating, “He reminded us of the importance of authentic and excellent communication across all areas of a company and treating people on your way up the same way you would treat them on your way down.”
Thinking back on her most meaningful encounter, Shue recalled the meeting with the Marketing Director of Cake London, a marketing and advertising agency specialized in sports and entertainment. She said that the meeting “opened my eyes to career opportunities ahead of me and spurred an interest in the advertising agencies that I could gain experience at locally.”
“He reminded us of the importance of authentic and excellent communication across all areas of a company and treating people on your way up the same way you would treat them on your way down.” – Miranda Stokes
Bringing the experience back home
Stokes also shared her biggest takeaway from this adventure. She took note of the intricate ways in which British sport and entertainment industry kept its historical and global impact.
“Visiting a city with such rich history and culture, you can help but notice how British culture and its entertainment has seeped its way into the various corners of the world,” she said. “You can see how it’s affected literature from Sherlock Holmes to Harry Potter to Shakespeare. It’s also affected sports.” For example, she learned that Britain is credited with refining the game of soccer that we know today.
“One would think that in a city bursting with entertainment, it would be easy for a business to get lost in the mix, but they all seem to find their niche,” Stokes said.
“Visiting a city with such rich history and culture, you can help but notice how British culture and its entertainment has seeped its way into the various corners of the world.” – Miranda Stokes
Klein came away from the trip with a sense that the world is not as big or as scary as the media had her believe. “People are people. And I think that when you are open to learning and seeing how people do things differently around the world, without judgement, then those people are open and welcome to teaching you,” she expanded.
The trip taught Klein more than she bargained for. Not only did she learn about how businesses are conducted, marketed, and profitable in London, but she also learned valuable life skills.
She reflected, “You learn patience, compassion, and diplomacy. London taught me more about how to handle a business, but it taught me to be a better human too.”
“You learn patience, compassion, and diplomacy. London taught me more about how to handle a business, but it taught me to be a better human too.” – Ashley Klein
Advice for future London explorers
Stokes knew the value of a study abroad course before she left. “Courses abroad allow for a firsthand experience of new cultures and business models that just can’t be substituted through a classic classroom setting,” she said.
It only makes sense that these students recommend taking the leap and signing up for the experience. And if you do, it might not hurt to hear some advice from those who have gone before you.
Stokes recommends to “go into the experience with an open heart and mind. Know that you will see and experience a culture that is in many ways very different from what you may be used to, but it should be respected. Plus, you will likely find many more similarities than you think!”
Shue has a bit of advice of her own. She said, “Be ready to be on the go, all the time. You will be learning and absorbing new information every day and it will be exhausting. Be ready to take in the experience of a lifetime.”