DURHAM — In the competitive world of sports management, gaining hands-on experience can make all the difference in landing a job with a top organization. That’s why 31 students from the University of Mount Olive recently jumped at the chance to visit the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, where they received an educational, networking and hands-on experience.
The Durham Bulls, a four-time AAA national champion and affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, played host to the UMO group. Led by Will Bender, an alum of UMO’s Sports Management program and current Durham Bulls Athletic Park Stadium operations manager, the students were given a detailed presentation about the organization’s history, operations, programs, innovations and career and internship opportunities.
Bender is no small fish in the Durham Bulls organization. He oversees a workforce of 120 and is currently assisting with a $13 million renovation to their facility, which is already considered one of the top professional baseball venues in the world. In addition to hosting baseball games, the award-winning Durham Bulls Athletic Park also plays host to special community events, rentals and other special use events.
Aside from the knowledge gained from Bender’s presentations, the UMO students were also treated to a visit to the prestigious club seating area. However, the benefits did not end there. Students also gained valuable insight into the industry by networking with sports management professionals.
Overall, the experience at the Durham Bulls was a valuable one for the UMO Sports Management students. They left with a better understanding of what it takes to run a top sports organization and a newfound appreciation for the dedication and arduous work it requires. It’s clear that with experiences like this, these students will be well on their way to successful careers in the world of sports management.
— From University of Mount Olive Public Relations, by student intern Grayson Morgan