The semester had barely started when Misun Won began wondering whether she had made the right choice. Georgetown’s graduate program in Sports Industry Management was difficult in a way she hadn’t anticipated.
Now, as a doctoral student looking back on all she has accomplished, she sees that—while the program did indeed ask a lot of her and her classmates—it was the challenge she had been looking for all along.
A champion sprinter in her native South Korea and an accomplished student, she had expected the sports management program to rely heavily on exams. And she was good at studying for and acing exams. But while there were indeed midterms and finals in Georgetown’s program, her instructors seemed more focused on in-class presentations—lots of them.
Although Won memorized her first presentation and practiced it 10 times, she still felt she came across as stiff and nervous. But she was able to get help and encouragement from her instructors and fellow students throughout her time in the program. And by the time she graduated, she realized that what her professors were asking of her and her classmates—while taking them all out of their comfort zones—was exactly what she needed.
“I am really introverted, but because of the program at Georgetown, I was able to change and become a little more extroverted,” Won said.
And that’s especially important in a field like sports management, where people—athletes, fans, coaches, etc.—are at the center of everything. At Georgetown, Won learned that the Sports Industry Management program’s instructors put a high priority on people skills as well as academic and technical expertise.
For her Georgetown capstone, Won explored consumer behavior and ticket-pricing strategy. She graduated in 2017 and the next year was volunteering at the Winter Olympics and the Paralympics in Seoul. Now, she is an avid recreational volleyball player and a doctoral student in Sports and Entertainment at the University of South Carolina.
Eventually, Won would like to teach at the college level—another people-oriented pursuit for which Georgetown’s program, with its class discussions, collaborative projects, and, yes, oral presentations—helped her prepare.
“Because of Georgetown,” she said, “my attitude changed.”