At least the commute was easy. To get to his classes at Georgetown’s School of Continuing Studies, Kevin Thompson simply had to walk three blocks from his job as an event manager at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
But that’s where the cakewalk ended. After working all day at a demanding job where he had already distinguished himself by organizing large events usually reserved for more senior people, he would prepare for his “second shift”—five more hours of work that was, in many ways, similar to what he’d been doing for the last eight.
He loved it.
“It was amazing to be in one place where everybody was interested in the same thing. Everyone was passionate about that same thing, and that was sports,” said Thompson, a 2019 graduate of the Master’s in Sports Industry Management program. “It was exciting to go to school after work.”
A high school scholar-athlete, Thompson earned a full football scholarship to North Carolina Central University. After graduation, he enrolled in Georgetown’s program with the thought of becoming a general manager for a pro team one day. But he gravitated toward event management, realizing that many of the subjects he was studying—contract negotiations, financial planning, business ethics—were relevant to event planning as well.
In February 2020, Thompson became a Senior Event Manager at Chicago’s historic Navy Pier. Fittingly, his first big project was helping host the NBA Crossover at Navy Pier, a huge family-friendly festival that was part of the NBA All-Star Game weekend.
He credits Georgetown, and the people there, for helping him achieve success.
“Just having professors who really care and want us to be successful in the industry was big for me,” Thompson said. “It makes you want to do your best.”