Nichols Sport Management Degree Leads to Boston Red Sox Job
By RONALD SCHACHTER
Over four years ago, Callie Andrews was accepted by eight colleges. It didn’t take long, however, for the Southbridge, Mass., resident to choose the one closest to home.
“Nichols College gave me the best package,” she said, noting that the attraction included more than financial aid.
The clincher was being able to play college basketball and softball, a combination that some other colleges discouraged.
“I’ve had great coaches and teammates,” said the point guard/outfielder. “And the professors understand an athlete’s schedule. Everyone’s so supportive here and has your back.”
Andrews’ achievement as a two-letter woman represents just one part of a life, college career, and future dedicated to sports.
“I grew up playing a ton of sports,” said Andrews, who graduated May 11, 2019, from Nichols College with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in sport management. “I’ve been so invested my entire life. They’ve kept me on the right path; sports are a huge life lesson.”
That path led her through the sport management major and two internships, and most recently, to a full-time job with the Boston Red Sox after she graduated this month.
Developed in 1997—and one of the first sport management college degree concentrations in central Massachusetts—Nichols College’s program provides the academic and practical experiences needed to gain successful employment in the field. Sport management students at Nichols learn the skills necessary for success in a variety of areas, including sport marketing, event management, high school and collegiate athletics, game day operations, sales and sponsorship, and management of amateur and professional sports organizations.
Nichols’ nationally ranked and recognized sport management program, which is accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA), builds on the strength of the College’s undergraduate business curriculum while offering specialized courses designed to recognize the unique demands of the sport industry. Most Nichols sport management students take an array of other courses in marketing, finance, and human resource management, among other disciplines. They also participate in vigorous national sport management case study competitions.
During the 2018-2019 academic year, approximately 240 Nichols undergraduates studied for degrees in sport management, making it the College’s most populated major. That number included 88 first-year students and 21 transfer students, as of the fall 2018 semester.
The sport industry has experienced dynamic growth and is now recognized as a diverse multi-billion-dollar, global enterprise. It’s an elite and lucrative field—not only for the best athletes, but also for owners, coaches, and managers. Sport managers must understand the complexities of the business world and develop strategies for success in this competitive industry. Any major sports team—no matter the sport, no matter the region—is a massive organization, and it takes a lot of dedicated, smart, and motivated managers to keep it going.
Andrews revealed that she did not intend to major in sport management at Nichols.
“But the Nichols sport management program is so recognized, and I fell in love with it,” she said. “Coming into college, I thought I knew a lot about sports and coaching, but there is so much more I learned in my four years here. It’s mind blowing.”
Andrews completed a required practicum at Shepherd Hill Regional High School—down the street from Nichols in Dudley—where she helped coach the boys’ varsity soccer team several times a week, a position reinforced by playing soccer during her own high school years and running a weeklong soccer camp for girls during several summers. She spent her internship last summer with the Worcester Bravehearts’ collegiate summer league, working in the hospitality department with children attending games, including hosting kids’ birthday parties. That experience came in handy when she applied for her job in fan and youth engagement for the Boston Red Sox.
“I’m super excited,” she said, referring to her new job working with the Red Sox.
Not just a step up: Callie Andrews has made it to The Show.