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Archive for May, 2011

 

May 25 2011

Graduation 2011

by at 10:09 am


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By: John Walls

I imagine the dust has settled on graduation and the big question for many of us is: Now what? Now what do I do with the cap, gown and hood on which I dropped $90. Now what do I do with the program cover with the typo? And much more importantly, what do I do with the rest of my life? Well, before we all move on, I hope you take a few moments to look back at the road you’ve traveled over the past year or two, at how it came to an end with the graduation ceremony this past Friday, and at how new avenues are branching off in different directions for all of us.

As for the ceremony, if Professor Goldwater has said it once, he’s said it a thousand times… always have a back-up plan! And the SCS did. Rain forecasts turned a little dire, so we all had to move to Plan B as the ceremony was moved inside McDonough Gym. No worries. It went off without a hitch, and was marked by the extremely enthusiastic reception provided by the SIM Class of 2011 when it was our turn to take the stage. With four kids, I’ve been through a fair share of high school and college graduation ceremonies, and while I’ve always felt tremendous pride in what they accomplished, I’d forgotten how different it is when you’re the one who invested so much of your time and effort. It’s a big deal to get to that point, and I sincerely hope everyone walking that day felt tremendous satisfaction in a job very well done.

It’s not easy being part of a growing process. Quite often you’re involved in trial and error, and there’s no question the evolution of the SIM program has been characterized by hits and the occasional miss. But that’s the beauty of the program in its nascent stage. The powers-that-be…. actually, make that the power-that-is (Assoc. Dean Winkler), is bold enough to try, smart enough to change what’s not working, and wise enough to stick with what is. Starting a program from scratch is an enormous challenge, and growing it into the preeminent sports management curriculum takes a combination of vision, patience, hard work, and commitment. I think Matt and the entire SIM staff (that would be Stephanie and Laura!) deserve a large measure of thanks and appreciation for taking on so much, and doing their jobs so well. .

The same should be said about the faculty. I am sure there is not a better line-up of seasoned and accomplished professionals at any other program in the country. It’s sometimes easy to forget they have full-time obligations outside of their Georgetown duties, and combined with the demands of family life, find themselves being spread extraordinarily thin. Time is a precious commodity, and that they are so willing to share theirs, as well as their years of experience in the field we all crave to join, is a great testament to the kind of people they are and the program Georgetown is assembling.

So, on we go to the next phase, whatever that is. Some of us already have jobs lined up in the sports industry, others are in an intensive search process, and yet others continue to hold down positions in other lines of work with ambition one day of working in the field for which we have prepared. All of that was running through my mind last Friday, as I sat in line with my fellow SIM graduates and waited for my thirty seconds of fame. That’s about the time it took to have your name called out, shake a couple hands, get the ‘attaboy hug from Matt, and run through the receiving line gauntlet of Profs.  Goldwater, George Perry and Jimmy Lynn. Thirty seconds! That’s not much of a pay-off for all of that work, but it’s really not supposed to be. The pay-off is what you do with that work, and I know there are some great success stories in the Class of ’11 just waiting to be written.

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