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Sport Lecture Series Wrap-Up

An ESPN analyst, global CEO, sports search firm partner, and author/professor came to USF this week to share their wisdom and insights on the sports industry with students and community members.

The speakers came to USF as part of the the inaugural USF Sport Lecture Series, presented by FOX Sports Florida and hosted by the Sport & Entertainment Management Program. The Sport & Entertainment Management Program is in its second year at USF, offering a path for students to gain their MBAs and gain experience through residencies with partner organizations -- including the Tampa Bay Lightning, which is the sponsor of the program.

Author and Professor Colby Jubenville closed out the series on Thursday evening, speaking in the College of Business about the importance of leadership and passion in discovering purpose.

Jubenville, a former college football coach and player who currently teaches sport management at Middle Tennessee State University, advised the audience to seek out mentors as well as mentor others. He pointed to USF's Sport & Entertainment Management Director Bill Sutton as a great mentor.

"Either you are a coach, you have a coach, or you don't want to be coached," Jubenville said, mentioning that he would have loved to have a mentor like Sutton as he was coming up in the industry. "And if you don't want to be coached, you get left behind."

Earlier this week, Bob Beaudine -- CEO of Eastman & Beaudine, which The Wall Street Journal named the "top recruiting firm in college sports" -- spoke at the Tampa Bay Times Forum about the power of relationships in building success. Stacey Allaster, CEO of the Women's Tennis Association, also spoke at the Marshall Student Center on the importance and challenges of building a global brand. And, ESPN Analyst and former Green Bay Packers Vice President Andrew Brandt spoke at the Marshall Student Center about his career, and about the risks he took to pursue varied opportunities.

Hairat Agbaje, a student in the Sport & Entertainment Management MBA program, said as a resident in the group sales department of the Tampa Bay Lightning, she found the speaker series had practical applications to her everyday life.

"Being in the industry already and hearing from people who are in the industry and excelling was very motivating. I felt they touched on different aspect of the business, but they all had the same running theme, which was being able to sell yourself," she said. "For someone like me, who already has a sales mindset and a sales background, that was great."