Professional and Career Development Services

Built for Careers in Sport

Professional and career development services for students in the online M.S. of Sport Management (OSM) program support our mission of preparing students to succeed in the sport industry. We recognize that obtaining employment in sport requires a distinctive game plan that draws heavily on face-to-face networking with industry professionals. This is why we developed a professional and career development sequence that leverages not only the Gator Nation’s vast alumni network, but also UF faculty members who have developed and maintain close industry connections.

Personalized for Online Learners

The sequence also takes into account the diverse professional backgrounds, career goals, and life circumstances of our online learners. We employ a personalized, consultative approach to career services within a framework built specifically for work in sport.

One-on-One Interaction with a Dedicated Professional

Each semester, students have a virtual one-on-one meeting with Craig Schmitt, Ph.D., Director of Engaged Learning and Outreach. In his role with the Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management (TRSM), Schmitt is responsible for enhancing the educational experience of students, by focusing on industry relations, student professional development, and alumni engagement.

All students are required to meet with Schmitt during their first semester, but thereafter participation in the professional and career development sequence is optional. Schmitt proactively reaches out to all students, and TRSM encourages distance learners to take advantage of this opportunity.

Structured and Sequential

Schmitt designed and leads the five-semester sequence that encourages students to hone in early on how they’re going to optimize their graduate education to achieve their career goals. He engages students in structured discussions, assignments and other activities that build on one another, bringing distance learners closer to achieving their goals as they progress through the OSM program.

The sequence consists of these units:

  • Purpose
  • Networking
  • Job Search
  • Capstone Project
  • Transition

It’s part of a non-credit course, called The Training Room, that also includes an academic advising module.

Components and Benefits

Students in the sequence undertake the following and more:

  • Discuss their motivations for entering the program and what they want to accomplish.
  • Connect directly with UF alumni and other sport professionals who hold positions that are relevant to their career aspirations.
  • Develop a personal and professional narrative and learn how to effectively communicate their unique story.
  • Learn how to compose, package, and put the finishing touches on their Capstone Project and use it to help them prepare for and succeed in the job that they want.
  • Reflect on their experience in the program, plan their transition from graduate school to the next phase of their career, and establish new goals.

On-Campus Options

Online M.S. in Sport Management students are also welcome to participate in career services activities offered locally, including on-campus discussions with sport industry professionals and field and networking trips. Schmitt apprises distance learners of events that are particularly relevant to their career aspirations, and some online students are able to take advantage of these opportunities if they live nearby or can travel. Funds may be available to online students to cover registration and other costs associated with participating in networking and professional development activities.

University of Florida Career Resource Center

Online students also have access to the university’s Career Resource Center, which provides a broad range of resources and services, many of which can be accessed electronically.

Craig Schmitt Bio

Craig Schmitt, Ph.D., is the Director of Engaged Learning and Outreach for the University of Florida Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management, and a UF alumnus. Prior to assuming this newly created position in 2016, Schmitt was an Assistant Professor for the Department of Sport and Event Management at Elon University, where he taught Sport Marketing, Sport Finance, Contemporary Sport Management, and Research Methods in Sport. Schmitt engaged intensively with students outside the classroom at Elon, mentoring a new student and transition program, developing professional development opportunities for students, and serving as an academic advisor, faculty internship supervisor, and honors thesis mentor.

Prior to joining Elon, Schmitt worked as the Project Coordinator for the Business of Sport Certificate Program at the University of Colorado Boulder, Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Northern Colorado, and Senior Program Director at the Cannon Street YMCA, Charleston, S.C.

He holds a Ph.D. in Sport Administration from the University of Northern Colorado, an M.B.A. and Master of Sport Business Management from the University of Central Florida, and a B.S. in Business Economics from the University of Florida.