Jackson Wuertz, sport management senior, has been learning by doing through his internship with Gopher Sports Marketing (GSM). Wuertz is assigned to both the Men and Women’s Track & Field team, as well as Wrestling.
Throughout the year, interns are actively involved in gamedays, student fan sections and tabling events, and lead half-time shows. During the games, the GSM interns put their sport management knowledge to use by being proactive, collaborative and flexible. “Working so close to the action is a whole different experience than being a fan. It’s intense, but it’s worth it because I love what I do.”
Additionally, all staff members are required to hold office hours, where they brainstorm promotional activities for fans and innovative marketing initiatives. To some, office hours may seem less exciting than assisting the sporting events, however, Wuertz begs to differ. “Office hours allow me to let my creativity shine, whether it be designing new apparel items or campaign ideas.”
Once accepted to the U of M as an incoming undergraduate student, Wuertz immediately knew he wanted to pursue the sport management program. “In high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do, I just knew I was passionate about sports and had a drive for competition,” Wuertz laughs. In addition to his GSM role, Wuertz is also a student facilities manager at Coffman Memorial Union. Balancing coursework with two different jobs has taught him a lot about managing priorities and schedules. “The greatest challenge I have encountered so far is juggling my studies with work, however, the sport management faculty and curriculum has helped me get involved, while still allowing me to prioritize my academics.” Wuertz’s favorite sport management course was Sports Facility and Event Management (SMGT 3111), as the class toured the U.S. Bank Stadium, U of M athletic facilities, and other local sports arenas. “Seeing what goes on in the background of athletic events was incredible. It furthered my interest in exploring the unique areas of sports.”
Wuertz’s key to success is this, “seek out what aspects of the sports industry you love, and then work as hard as you can to reach your goals.” Understanding why you want to join the field is crucial to be successful, according to Wuertz. When asked how he has done this personally, he says, “the only way I figured out what I wanted to do was by trying everything.”
If you are interested in a student internship with Gopher Sports Marketing, visit gophersports.com.