On Jan. 24, 2017, a day before classes began at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, freshmen in the Business, Society and the Economy College Park Scholars program enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of the Verizon Center and the Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MS&E) organization in Washington, D.C.
Michele Montague, MS&E’s vice president of events and assistant general manager, led the 25 students onto the Wizards’ basketball court, their practice court, into the newly renovated Etihad Lounge, and through the loading docks as she detailed the complex and ever-changing demands of running the facility. A fun treat for the students was the opportunity to watch the Celtics team bus arrive and several of the players make their way to the opposing team locker room to prepare for the night’s NBA game.
Montague spoke about the challenges of her position, which includes constant consideration of finances, contract negotiation, ticket sales, event and venue marketing, scheduling of professional and collegiate teams, special events such as Disney on Ice and the circus, music concerts, and facility management including working with union employees. She emphasized the challenge of always trying to satisfy the competing interests of stakeholders.
The students were also introduced to Tim Goldwater, account executive of corporate partnerships, who spoke about the challenges of working with financial partners for sponsorship and advertising. Between the two professionals, the students received a broad overview of the world of business which will serve them well as they begin this semester’s course, BMGT110S, Introduction to the Business Value Chain, with Jeff Miller, senior lecturer.
The two-year living-learning College Park Scholars’ program is dedicated to providing a close-knit community and a challenging academic experience that extends beyond the campus, as students capitalize on the resources of the greater Washington, D.C., area. Classroom concepts are brought to life through guest speakers and field trips to museums, government agencies, businesses, and nature preserves. Through community-based learning and service partnerships with local schools, parks, and nonprofit agencies, students deepen their understanding of community and examine the value of civic engagement.
Mark Wellman, clinical professor and director of the Business, Society and the Economy program (BSE), just returned from leading two 2017 winter term global programs to Dubai/Hong Kong and Australia/New Zealand. Since 2009, Wellman has led over 1,000 undergraduates on international excursions – many of whom are current or alums of BSE.
For more information on College Park Scholars, click here.
- Claudia Donnelly, Smith Undergraduate Program