Gwinnett Tech Students Score Big with Leading Athletic Organizations
Not everyone thinks shooting t-shirts into the crowds at a hockey game is the ideal sports job. Some are happier fulfilling their dreams of working with a major league baseball team. Others find training athletes to become world-renown professionals, organizing sports events for children or planning athletic tournaments for elite clubs to be the perfect job.
Whatever their goal, students in Gwinnett Technical College’s sports and recreation management program are getting the training that makes them attractive to some of the most notable organizations in athletics.
Just recently, the Atlanta Braves hired three Gwinnett Tech students to work in various customer relations roles with the major league baseball branch.
“We get [the students] in front of professionals that give them real-life insights and experiences,” said Perry Hidalgo, sport and recreation management program director, Gwinnett Tech. And that gets them noticed by hiring managers, as well. Representatives from the Braves, for instance, came to the classroom for a presentation on customer service. In turn, they interviewed 12 of the students and hired three.
Some other recognizable recreation organizations that have recently hired students from Gwinnett Tech include the United States Tennis Association (USTA), the Georgia Force arena football team, the Gwinnett Sports Council, PGA’s Tournament Players Club (TPC) at Sugarloaf Country Club, Velocity Sports Performance, Suwanee Sports Academy, Collins Hill Athletic Club and Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation.
“Students from Gwinnett Tech have a really good work ethic,” said Karen Howell, activities director, PGA Tour/The Tournament Players Club (TPC) at Sugarloaf Country Club. The PGA/TPC at Sugarloaf has hired several students to help run the programs at the premiere country club. The Club provides five-star customer service, so the students are learning what it takes to run a private facility of that caliber. The students work part-time at such tasks as marketing, research, facilitating and post-event evaluation of the Club’s programs to ensure they’re efficient and successful. “Gwinnett Tech offers practical classes instead of classes in theory – so students get an understanding of what works in real-life work settings,” Howell said. “They understand what they learn in the classroom and apply it to the outside world.”
Derek Rhine is one of the Gwinnett Tech students to whom a leading athletic facility took a shine. Rhine was offered an internship and a position getting kids involved in some of the programs offered at Suwanee Sports Academy, the largest privately owned facility for basketball and volleyball training in the nation. “The education [from Gwinnett Tech] has helped me get programs running and identify which ones would and wouldn’t be profitable for the Academy,” Rhine said. “I’ve learned all sides of sports management.”
The college’s sport and recreation management associate of applied technology degree program prepares students for roles in the sport and recreation field, with an emphasis in employee training, labor relations, employee evaluation and employee counseling and discipline. Program graduates are specialized in recreation management, grounds management, sports management or sports and recreation administration. For more information on registering for the sport and recreation management program at Gwinnett Tech, contact (770) 962 7580 ext 6616, or to learn more visit www.GwinnettTech.edu.