Delaware Sports Blitz is excited to announce a new series we will be doing called Behind the Sports.
The Behind the Sports series is looking at men and women who prepare athletes for their best on and off the court ( SIDs, AD, educators, trainers and etc.). The series will also be looking at different careers in the sports field from media, operating an arena, tickets sales, public relations and etc.
This week we will be featuring several people from Wilmington University who work in different aspects in sports in the University.
First up in the series for Wilmington University is someone who deals with more of education side of sports that is Dr. Janice Wardle who is the Chair of the Sports Management program at the University. After 10 years of being in charge of the program, Dr.Wardle continues to transform the program into a successful tool for students to have the knowledge and tools to carry on to have successful careers after graduating.
Name the job and a brief summary of what it entails?
Dr. Wardle: Chair of Sport Management, Assistant Professor. I am responsible for the course content for the Sport Management curriculum at Wilmington University. I hire faculty, schedule classes, and advise sport management students. I am also the advisor for the newly formed University sport Management Club
How long have you been in this area of work?
Dr. Wardle: I have been teaching in the area of business since 1999. I have been the Chair of Sports Management for over 10 years.
What interested you to get in this area of work?
Dr. Wardle: I had always been involved in athletics: field hockey, diving, track and ice dance. When I first came to Wilmington University I was the internship coordinator. I was responsible for placing all college of business students in internships. Since all Sports Management students are required to have two internships I became very familiar with the students and sport organizations. I was already teaching business classes in addition to my internship role when the Chair position opened and I jumped at the opportunity. I love being able to talk sports for most of my day. Talking with professional, collegiate and non-profit sports professionals is very interesting and fun. Sports is a very dynamic industry, where news and trends change almost daily. The conversations I have with sport professionals and students are different every time which makes the job very interesting and never boring.
What is the most rewarding part of the job?
Dr. Wardle: The most rewarding part of my job is working with my students. When they get energized about their future careers after meeting an sport management professional, attending a sporting event behind the scenes or when they finally get that first job in sports.
What are some of the challenges of the job?
Dr. Wardle: Some of the challenges of my job is keeping course content current. For example, we have added several new courses to be required curriculum. Courses such as Sport Analytics, Sport Social Media and unfortunately since all of the mass shootings, the focus of Sport Facilities Management has been revamped to discuss more Facility Security and Safety planning. It is often difficult to find teaching materials or experts in these new areas to teach classes. Sport Management is always changing but always interesting.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to work in this job or field?
Dr. Wardle: If a person is interested in teaching sports management, first you must have the educational background. To teach at most colleges and Universities you must have a Doctorate or at a minimum a masters. I have a BS in Business from the University of Delaware, a MBA from Wilmington University and PHD in Sport Leadership from Northcentral University. Second you should have some practical experience in sport management, preferably in management, you have to know more than just loving sports. I have been a track and field coach for over 15 years and I am currently the President of the South Jersey Track & field Alliance. Having the experience of hosting major track meets, budgets, facilities management etc. gives me the opportunity to share my real world management expertise with my students. Finally the most important thing is to remember if you want to work in sports is that it is a 24/7 industry. If you are manger in the office you are required to attend the sporting events which may be at nights or on weekends. You may also have to move if you want advance your career. Sport management is a great industry to be in. Even with all the hours you put in the work is fun, I have never met a sport management professional that does not love what they do.
If you would like more information on the major of Sports Management which Dr. Wardle is the Chair of, Click the link below.
Sports Management is the last major on the page.