Sports MBA Class of 2020
Jamie Dickman was born and raised in Oak Hill, VA, a small suburb of Washington, D.C. She graduated from Auburn University in 2018 with a Bachelors of Science in Marine Biology and a minor in Business. While attending Auburn University she was very involved in the Athletics Department. Jamie was an Athletic Recruiter for the Auburn University Football team, as well as an Ambassador for the Baseball program. In addition to her work in the Athletics Department, Jamie spent four years serving the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, where she discovered her passion for helping others. Since graduation Jamie has worked as a digital media consultant, establishing social media campaigns for non-profit organizations. It was these experiences that led her to want to pursue a career within a Community Relations Department of a professional sports team upon completion of the SDSU SMBA program.
Tyler Drew was born in Pasadena, California, but spent most of his childhood in Phoenix, Arizona. He attended W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, graduating in December of 2014 with a Bachelors of Science in Finance, a Minor in Communications, and a Certificate of International Business. During his undergraduate career, Tyler secured internships with an NBC news station in the Charleston, South Carolina area, and with Addo Investor Relations, where he would later accept a full-time position. Tyler was also involved with intramurals and the Sports Business Association at ASU. During his junior year, he studied abroad in Barcelona, focusing on international business and studying Spanish culture. For the past 4 years, Tyler has worked in various roles at Addo Investor Relations, a premier investor relations agency in Los Angeles. Upon graduation from the Sports MBA program, Tyler intends to pursue a career in business development with an NBA franchise, or the league itself. He is, however, keeping his mind open in anticipation of discovering different jobs he is not currently aware of.
Aaron Dryden was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He fell in love with sports at a young age and was poised to do what he could to be in the industry. He played baseball as a kid and played golf competitively for his high school. Upon graduating from the Eller College of Business at The University of Arizona, Aaron received his B.S.B.A in Business Administration in 3 years. He worked various positions in supply chain and finance with Raytheon Missile Systems in his college town of Tucson, Arizona, before fulfilling a lifelong dream of attending Bible school in a small town called Columbus, TX. There, Aaron studied theology and worked as a Manager of Internal Operations. Among other things, he was able to serve as the drummer for multiple music teams and lead operations for Discovery Camp during the summer of 2017. Discovery Camp saw over 12,000 children and leaders come through over the course of two months and Aaron was very proud to be an integral part of the Operations team during this time. In the fall of 2017, he started as a travel counselor at Vacations To Go, which is the world's leading seller of ocean and river cruises. Upon graduation from the Sports MBA program, Aaron intends on pursuing a career with a sports and entertainment agency. He is, like so many of his classmates, keeping an open mind to other options for other sports or organizations.
Jennifer (Jenn) Gerdes was born and raised in Sutter Creek, California. After completing her undergraduate degree in Sociology at New York University (NYU), Jenn moved to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates to join NYU Abu Dhabi prior to the arrival of its inaugural class. Over the course of six years there, Jenn was responsible for a wide variety of projects including Marhaba (student orientation) and the creation of Ma’a Salama (graduation week). At the end of 2016, Jenn moved back to New York to serve as a Senior Advisor in NYU’s Office of Global Programs, where she worked closely with the NYU’s Department of Public Safety on global emergency response protocols for NYU’s 11 Global Academic Centers. During her career in higher education, Jenn developed a strong skill set in project management and enjoyed contributing to cross-functional teams. Jenn closely follows the Olympics and European soccer. Upon graduation from the Sports MBA program, Jenn hopes to pursue a career involving Sports Mega-Events.
Ewout Gouw was born in a town called Ede near the center of The Netherlands. Throughout his youth, he combined the two sports tennis and soccer and played both competitively. At the age of nine, he got drafted to the youth academy of the professional soccer club BV Vitesse. After playing thirteen years in the academy, including three years as a professional, he signed a one-year deal with the Belgium side AFC Tubize. During his professional sports career, he combined his athletic endeavors with a sports marketing degree at the Johan Cruyff Academy in Amsterdam. In the summer of 2018, he decided to shift his focus to his educational career and pursue a Sports MBA at San Diego State University (SDSU). Upon graduation from the SDSU Sports MBA program, Ewout intends to build a career in the world of sports focusing on Player Development and General Management.
Graham Lyman was born in San Diego but has spent most of his life around Philadelphia. He attended Temple University and graduated in 2014 with a degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Business. After graduating, he interned with Heineken USA in their Communications Department and then spent a year in the New York Yankees box office. He most recently worked in a University Office of Admissions, focusing on visit experience, customer service, and marketing. Upon graduation from the Sports MBA program, Graham would like to move back to the East Coast and work in marketing or community relations.
A California native, Harmony Ma was born and raised in the Bay Area. She received her B.S. in Business with a minor in Public Relations from Cal Poly Pomona. During her undergraduate studies, Harmony became an ambassador for her university, where she found a love for youth development. She continued to pursue this after graduation and has gathered experiences across socially and culturally diversified institutions. She worked for a charter school management organization for children in the underserved populations of the Inland Empire, at Santa Monica College Foundation, a leader in transfers to UCs, at a non-profit serving at-risk or homeless individuals in West Oakland and even at a boarding school on a coral atoll in the Marshall Islands. Harmony has always been passionate about sports and recreation. She grew up playing several sports herself and holds a special fondness for outdoor recreation and water sports, being a certified sailing instructor. With her Sports MBA, Harmony hopes to use sports and recreation as a way to help underserved youth grow and gain opportunities.
Guilherme Matarazzo was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil and grew up playing soccer competitively. He attended Pontifícia Universidade Católica and Faculdades Metropolitanas Unidas and graduated with a degree in Business Administration and Sports Science, respectively. During his undergraduate career, Guilherme started an events company and also worked as an events organizer for a marketing and management consulting firm. For the past four years, he was the quality control manager at Construtora Barroco, his family-owned company. Over the course of his career, Guilherme has also participated in work-abroad programs at the Walt Disney Company and the YMCA and has volunteered at NGOs that focus on the rehab of teenagers in prison and homeless drug addicts. Guilherme believes in the power of sports to unite and transform people. Upon graduation from the Sports MBA program, he intends to take part in a purposeful sports organization in order to make impactful changes in society.
Tak Matsumoto was born in Bergen County, New Jersey and has also lived in France, Sweden, and Japan. From an early age, he played soccer wherever he lived and as a result, sports has always been an important part of his life. He attended International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan where he graduated with a degree in Economics. After graduation, he moved to Los Angeles where he worked as a sales rep at a Japanese Food Import/ Export company. Most recently he was working for an American IT start-up company in their Tokyo office where he was able to experience helping a foreign company grow in Japan. Upon graduation from the Sports MBA program, Tak intends to pursue a career in operations for a professional sports team or a sports organization.
Scott Patterson was born and raised in San Diego, California. He attended the University of California at Santa Barbara, graduating in June 2017 with High Honors and a degree in Biopsychology. During his undergraduate career, Scott worked in a psychology research lab studying the effects of physical exercise on cognitive abilities. Scott also interned at the UCSB Physical Therapy department, assisting in the rehabilitation of injured student-athletes while exploring his interests in sports medicine. For the past year, Scott worked at a healthcare revenue consultancy, where he developed his administrative and analytical skills in a large-scale corporate setting. Combining his passion for sports with his increased understanding of business administration, Scott intends to pursue a career in basketball, esports, or athletic apparel business operations and development.
Morgan Pefanis grew up in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. She attended the University of Oklahoma, graduating in May 2018 with a Sports Management Degree from the Michael F. Price College of Business. Morgan was a member of the JCPenney Leadership Program within the business school as well as serving as Vice President of Finance for her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, in 2016. In the spring of 2017, she studied abroad in Sydney, Australia and interned for the Sydney University Football Club where she discovered her interest in corporate sponsorship. Upon returning from Australia for her senior year, she worked for the Oklahoma City Thunder as a Ticket Sales Associate and a Business Development Intern. Morgan also interned for Kroenke Sports and Entertainment in the summer of 2018 for their Partnership Marketing and Media Sales team. Upon graduation from the Sports MBA program, Morgan intends to pursue a career in corporate sponsorship with the goal of attaining agency side and brand side experience.
Hayley Prudente was born and raised on Long Island, New York and grew up playing soccer and running track competitively. She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a first-generation college student, where she majored in Exercise & Sport Science and minored in Neuroscience. Hayley was first introduced to sunny San Diego while interning at Todd Durkin's facility, Fitness Quest 10, where she trained NFL and collegiate athletes. After graduation, Hayley moved back to San Diego to pursue a career as a strength and conditioning trainer while originally preparing for Physical Therapy school. However, through her part-time work in experiential marketing at concerts, conventions, and sporting events, Hayley developed an interest in live event marketing and operations. Upon graduation from the Sports MBA program, Hayley is keenly interested in working on the client side of sponsorships, promotions, and public relations at professional sporting events or with a professional sport organization.
Born and raised in San Jose, California, Kyle Robb grew up immersed in the sports world. He spent most of his weekends playing or attending games all over the Bay Area. He attended San Diego State University, graduating with a Marketing degree in 2013. After graduation, Kyle moved back to San Jose where he began working in professional sports with the San Jose SaberCats of the Arena Football League. Over the next few years, he worked for multiple other sports teams in the Bay Area including the San Francisco 49ers, Golden State Warriors, San Jose Sharks, and San Jose Barracuda. With most of his time spent with the 49ers, he had the pleasure of working other major sporting events hosted at Levi's Stadium such as Super Bowl week festivities, international soccer tournaments, college football bowl games, and most recently the College Football Playoff National Championship. Having spent all of his previous time on the club side, Kyle is looking forward to the opportunities the Sports MBA program can present him to grow as an industry professional beyond the scope of a single team or organization.
Aaron Verderosa was born and raised in the Bay Area (Foster City, CA) and spent every weekend growing up playing a combination of hockey, soccer, and baseball. He attended the University of Wisconsin – Madison where he studied Journalism and Strategic Communications. His love for hockey and writing led to him becoming a beat writer for the Wisconsin Badgers’ D1 hockey team. Throughout his summers in college, Aaron interned for the New York Red Bulls MLS team and was exposed to the interworkings of a professional sports franchise. After graduating, Aaron moved to New York to work in a startup environment at a company called Conductor and gained experience in sales operations. Aaron is interested in what will be driving sports business in the future and how the industry continues to transform. After graduating from the Sports MBA program, he wishes to join a company or organization on the front lines of innovation in sports.