SNU Graduate Breaks into Sports Marketing with Master’s Degree
As early as middle school, Talynn Portillo knew she wanted to work in marketing. When she discovered the specialty of sports marketing as a teenager, that sealed the deal. She’s been pursuing that career path ever since.
But like many, Talynn found herself in a sea of similar candidates—all going after the same jobs in Texas.
“I had a thought that never went away about pursuing my master’s degree to put me ahead of other candidates. The market for sports marketing candidates was saturated in DFW, and I needed to boost my resume in order to get in front of employers for a first-round interview,” Talynn said.
As she searched for in-person and online master’s programs in sports management, she learned about Southern Nazarene University.
SNU’s Master of Arts in Sport Management and Administration opens up a world of opportunity—and not just coaching jobs. Students learn the management and organizational facets of the sport world, and how to approach leadership, human resources, and communication. The coursework is taught by leaders in the field and provides a firm understanding of sport finance, fundraising and revenue generation. From a marketing perspective, students also gain an integrated knowledge of everything from media relations to branding. Whether students want to work as an administrator, program director, or even in events and marketing, they are prepared for the niche they want to pursue.
“The director of the program reached out to me after my initial phone call with the recruiter and told me about the program, including the Professional Connections trip. I knew I was choosing SNU at that moment along with everything she had told me about the program,” Talynn said.
SNU recognizes that networking with other professionals working in athletics and learning more about the industry is crucial. That’s why students get to choose between a Professional Connections trip to meet with officials from sports organizations—or participate in an internship/mentorship to explore and develop skills in revenue generation. A recent Professional Connections trip took place in Seattle, Washington, as well as Portland and Eugene, Oregon. These trips have afforded students opportunities like connecting with executives from the Portland Trail Blazers, visiting the corporate campus of Nike World Headquarters, meeting Seattle Mariners executives at the new T-Mobile Field, and more.
“I would recommend this program to anyone. Yes, earning my degree set me up for success by giving me an advantage over other candidates. Further, it expanded my leadership skills incredibly. I am more attuned to leaders’ behavior, both in my organization and outside, as well as knowing what kind of leader I want to be,” Talynn said.
From that first phone call from SNU’s program director all the way through graduation, open communication was a key driver of Talynn’s success and enjoyment of the process.
“The professors are very approachable and responsive—the program staff was extremely helpful when I had questions. SNU’s financial aid counselors were very helpful and accessible via email or by scheduling in-person meetings. Dr. Goodman, her staff, and the university have built an incredible program that feels personal with small cohort sizes and expands on every category of the sport industry,” Talynn said.
Dr. Sylvia Goodman, Program Director, echoed Talynn’s experience: “Good communication is key to student success. All of our Master’s of Sport Management and Administration faculty engage with our students in a way that promotes success. As an online student, Talynn took advantage of every learning opportunity available to her.“