• MARK LEFFINGWELL

    Sara Tanbe listens to Derek Thomas, director of cooperate sponsorship for Broncos, lecture during the business of sports certificate program at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado June 12, 2012. DAILY CAMERA/ MARK LEFFINGWELL

  • MARK LEFFINGWELL

    Derek Thomas, director of cooperate sponsorship for Broncos, lectures during the business of sports certificate program at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado June 12, 2012. DAILY CAMERA/ MARK LEFFINGWELL

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University of Colorado graduate Chelsea Bruder got her marketing and management degrees in May and just one month later, her career path has already changed direction. 

Bruder graduated with an internship lined up for the summer, but after taking Introduction to the Business of Sports in May, Bruder turned down her internship and enrolled in a two-month certificate program. 

“After four years of college, I’m surprised to find myself back in school,” Bruder said. “The Maymester class really opened my eyes to the different avenues available to me going into the sports industry.”

Bruder is one of 40 students enrolled in the Business of Sports certificate this summer. The program, in its third year, costs students $5,500 to get six credit hours through CU’s Leeds School of Business. The seven-hour day intensive workshop teaches students how to apply business skills to a career in sports. 

Robin Miglarese, director of the certificate program, said students are “guaranteed an internship in the industry” at the end of the course.  

Although the certificate offers a unique perspective on the industry, it can be disheartening for those who create unrealistic expectations. 

“I think a lot of students come in thinking they’re going to go work for the Broncos right out of college, but that’s just not the case,” Miglarese said. “This industry comes off as very sexy and glamorous but we slap that down quickly.”

This type of reality check gave Burder the push that she needed to look outside of her desire to work for a professional team. Burder’s new goal is to aim for work with the Olympic committee, she said is a more realistic goal for a new graduate. She said she has met with someone who holds the position she is hoping for, putting her “on the right track.”  

Craig Schmitt, the certificate project coordinator, said he starts the sessions by being brutally honest with the students about the industry he loves. 

“You almost try to turn them off because this is not an easy industry,” Schmitt said. “It’s still very much about who you know, rather than what you know.”

Networking and career preparation are key, Schmitt said, which is why one of the reasons the students are so successful. 

CU senior Martina Kleinova said the career prep is just one of the reasons she joined the certificate course this summer. 

Kleinova has been involved in hockey since she was young — as both a player and a coach — but her previous experience isn’t going to guarantee her a job in the industry she loves. 

“The career prep is so specific to what we’re doing, which is going to make it a lot easier when I start looking for a job,” Kleinova said. “The staff is really getting to know us and they’re all so helpful.”

“It’s amazing how many people we’ve already met,” she said. “I feel a lot more confident about graduating now that I have this extra experience.”

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