Alumni Spotlight

Shelby McKay ’13
Academic Support Assistant
Athletics Educational Support Services

The George Washington University

Shelby McKay ’13 landed a series of sport management positions and internships during her time at Elon, opportunities that provided her invaluable tools she’s used throughout her professional career.

McKay believes there were numerous benefits of working and holding internships in different segments of the sport industry during her time on campus. “I was able to experience sport management and reflect on my experiences at the same time” McKay says. She feels that the experience of working in sport, as well as taking courses in the major at the same time, really enhance your ability to learn the material and apply it in a professional context; preparing you for your career after college.

“By the time I left Elon, I had experience in every facet of athletics which made my decision easier as to which part of athletics I wanted to work for,” says McKay. But those experiences did not just show up on McKay’s doorstep.

Shelby began her first job in college on move-in day of her first year at Elon. She then continued to find and pursue other jobs of interest to her. McKay encourages students in the program to use the connections they make with professors and students to find opportunities to work in the industry, and to help guide their career paths during college.

Steven Briefel ’11
Senior Account Executive, Premium Seating
Washington Redskins

Steven Briefel ’11 is nearly five years removed from his time in Elon University classrooms, yet the lessons he learned in his sport management courses continue to stay with him.

“SPT provided the foundation for principles I still use on a daily basis,” says the senior account executive for premium seating with the Washington Redskins. “The courses and professors taught us how to think analytically, and it is still something I aim to use whenever I can.”

Briefel credits the department and his professors for pressing him to work on a variety of projects, charging students to think and evaluate possible complications and solutions. “That has been key to my success with the Redskins,” he says.

The Elon alumnus believes current students should consider learning about sales within the sports industry, explaining it’s often the easiest way to “break in” to the field. “I kind of got thrown into the fire when I first started,” Briefel says. “Having a basic idea of the role of sales in events/sports industry would have been very helpful for my first six months after graduating.”

Aly Yarwood ’15
Marketing and Promotions Associate
University of Colorado Intercollegiate Athletics

Aly Yarwood ’15 learned the importance of professional development and building relationships during her time as an Elon University sport management major.

Yarwood praises the program for preparing her in the classroom, and for its internship requirement. She says this combination prepared her for life after graduation.

“These experiences not only taught me what was expected of me on a professional level, but they also allowed me to gain experience first hand with the type of work that I would be doing after graduation,” says Yarwood. “The SPT faculty also were incredibly helpful in connecting me with the experiences and people that would help me find me secure jobs in the future. Their willingness to help whenever they could and connect students with members of the sport industry is unlike any other department and is one of the most valuable parts of being in Elon's SPT community.”

Students should actively connect with professors and other professionals in the area throughout their college career, Yarwood explains, because you never know where one of those relationships might lead.

Written by Sophie Kane '17

Other Alumni Spotlights