News at Smith

Why This Smith Student Is an MSBC Big Initiative Winner

Oct 30, 2020


Rachel LevittRachel Levitt, a junior at Maryland Smith, was named 1 of 10 nationwide winners for the Michigan Sport Business Conference BIG Initiative and was recognized for her student leadership and passion for the sports industry. 

The contest saw a record number of applicants this year, but Levitt’s accomplishments and her application stood out.

In addition to mentioning the biggest thing coming to sports this year and naming Naomi Osaka as a leader in the sports industry, Levitt wrote about her experience in planning to launch Maryland’s first-ever Sport Business Conference; “I wanted to leave a legacy,” says Levitt, a marketing major and innovation entrepreneurship minor from Tenafly, N.J.

Levitt has a passion for sports. She decided to pursue a degree in business after attending a sports management summer program while in high school. 

But Maryland Smith doesn’t offer a major in sports management, so Levitt seized the opportunity to bring about change. As a freshman student, she emailed Victor Mullins, associate dean of undergraduate studies at Maryland Smith, expressing her ideas to bring a sports business conference to Maryland. After being asked to submit a business plan, she submitted a 3-page proposal and continued to research how to bring the conference to life.

She became active with the Sports Business Society at Maryland in her sophomore year and met another student who shared a similar vision of bringing a sports business conference to Maryland. They decided to work together to make it happen. 

In the midst of planning, their conference, which had been scheduled for May 1, 2020, was cancelled because of the pandemic. Undeterred, Levitt created a new e-board position to spearhead conference planning with hopes of launching in spring of 2021.

When not busy planning the conference, Levitt is a network intern at Blue Wire Podcasts and works on UMD Sports Business Society’s podcast, “The Locker Room,” featuring industry leaders.

As a perk of being an MSBC Big Initiative winner, Levitt’s profile was spotlighted for industry professionals to see during the Michigan Sport Business Conference.

Launched in 2013, the Michigan Sport Business Conference BIG Initiative annually recognizes 10 outstanding student leaders who have achieved an exceptional level of success. Nominees must be current undergraduate students with a passion for the sport industry and possess a remarkable resume. They also must have the knowledge and creativity to aim to diligently solve some of today’s biggest hurdles in the industry ( 

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty master's, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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