Featured Alum: Cari Gold

Cari Gold (Sport Management ’12) just graduated this May has been accepted to Louisiana State University and received a Graduate Assistantship with the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student Athletes. She has accepted the offer which includes a full tuition waiver and a competitive monthly stipend. She will begin her masters in Sport Management at LSU in August.

Christina Brown: Why did you choose CBU?

CG: I decided I wanted to major in Sport Management, and I had two options for schools here in Memphis. I could go to the University of Memphis, where Sport Management is under the school of education, or I could go to CBU, where a new Sport Management was beginning under the school of business. After discussing the options with my dad and Kyle Rote Jr., I decided that a business background would be more
beneficial. I also loved the idea of smaller classes and getting to know my professors personally.

CB: Sport management is growing by leaps and bounds, and although it is still a male dominated career field, many more women are entering the field every day. What drew you to the field of sport management and what has your experience been?

CG: I grew up around sports. I was involved in soccer from the time I was five. I played for 13 years, coached for five years, and was a referee for four years. During high school, I enjoyed watching football games with my dad, and towards the end of high school I began
loving basketball as well. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, but I knew I wanted to continue to be involved in sports. My dad helped me do some research and we decided a Sport Management major would combine my love of sports with my love of organization and administration. It just seemed to fit.

CB: You worked as the Lead Assistant to the Director of Sports Information, Eric Opperman, for all four years you attended CBU. What kind of experience did you gain working as the assistant to the director of sports information and how was it valuable to your future plans?

CG: I gained SO much experience working with Eric. Eric taught me how to keep statistics for the soccer teams, I photographed all teams (except the soccer teams), and I helped with the statistics for all the sports. Those are just a few of the things I had the opportunity
to learn. I loved being at a small school to learn those things. Eric trusted me to keep stats for the soccer teams while he was busy with volleyball matches. I probably would not have had that kind of experience at a bigger school. I want to continue working in athletics, and knowing how things “behind the scenes” work will be invaluable as I prepare to enter the workforce.

CB: I understand you’ve done quite a bit of missionary work and work with Service Over Self. What can you tell me about your experiences?

CG: I absolutely loved working with SOS. I was a Team Leader while on summer staff in 2010 and 2011. Each summer, I worked at the same house each week for the eight weeks of camp. Every week, I was put in charge of a group of 6-10 high schoolers and/or middle
schoolers and at least one adult leader. My job was to lead my team in home repairs (mostly re-roofing) and bonding with my homeowners. However, my primary job was to lead and encourage them spiritually. I shared my testimony and how God has worked in my life, and I was able to learn about their lives. I cannot express how much I loved working at SOS. Words do not do justice to the work God did in my life during my two summers on staff. God even granted me the opportunity to travel to Kenya with SOS over this past Christmas break. This was an incredible way to see how God is not only moving here in Memphis, but how he is moving in other parts of the world as well.

CB: You recently received a Graduate Assistantship with the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student Athletes. What can you tell us about it?

CG: I will be working alongside two full time staff members to assist several of the athletic teams. I will be working with 4 or 5 student-athletes each semester, and I will be responsible for approximately 10 hours of tutoring each week. The other half of my weekly hours will be spent in the office doing things like creating and inputting syllabus information and class checks. I will be given the opportunity to learn as much as I want to learn about academic services and LSU athletics. I am so thankful for this position, and I cannot wait to begin!

CB: What personal achievement are you most proud of and why?

CG: I was a business major with a math minor. My favorite personal achievement is that I was able to take seven math classes (that I didn’t need) and earn a minor in math. I received A’s in all of my math classes except one, where I received a B.

CB: What did you enjoy the most about your CBU experience?

CG: Working in athletics. I got paid to do what I love: watch sports and work with athletes. What could be better than that?

CB: What are your plans and goals for life after college?

CG: My immediate plans are to work some over the summer and save money for grad school. After graduate school, I plan on finding a job in athletics, hopefully at the college level.

CB: Looking back at all that you’ve learned and experienced, what advice would you give to a first-time freshman?

CG: College has to be a balance of having fun and working hard. Ignoring school work may seem like a good idea at the time, but it could hurt your future. You have a wonderful opportunity to work with teachers who want to see you succeed. Don’t waste your time and theirs by refusing to study. At the same time, you cannot focus solely on your
studies. Take time to have fun, hang out with friends, and do what you love to do. Prioritize your time correctly and you will have time to maintain your grades while having fun.