Sports MBA Class of 2021
Robert Adkins was born and raised in Pomona, California and received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California Riverside. Following graduation, Robert spent his next two years working for a nonprofit called Young Visionaries, in San Bernardino California. There Robert was teaching mathematics to high schoolers, more specifically ninth and ten grade students. In addition to teaching, Robert also interned with USC Football Athletics with their sales department, as well as their game-day operations team.
Michael Andrews hails from Lebanon, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Biology. Michael went on to earn his Juris Doctor degree from the UCLA School of Law. During his undergraduate studies, Michael worked as a tennis instructor for Citiparks of Pittsburgh and provided free tennis clinics to children throughout Pittsburgh. During law school, Michael served on the executive board of UCLA Law’s Sports Law Federation and performed services for UCLA Trademark Law Clinic clients.
Gian Bajwa hails from Toronto, Ontario, Canada and received a BA in Economics from
the University of Waterloo. Gian went on to work in a variety of industries over the
years while simultaneously volunteering as an instructor with a youth hockey program
for two years. After working as a Reinsurance Analyst for two years, Gian decided
to take the next step in his career and pursue a Sports MBA to connect his keen interest
in business with his passion for sports.
Pierre-Emmanuel Caille was born in Paris, France and graduated from ESSCA School of Management with a Master’s
degree in Banking and Risks Management. Since graduation Pierre-Emmanuel has worked
in the investment banking industry and spent 2 years as a consultant on regulatory
He seeks to achieve a career move from Finance to the Sports Business industry.
Whitney Hamilton comes from Victoria, BC, Canada. She graduated from the University of Victoria, where she competed for the Women’s Basketball team, with a degree in Exercise Science and Health Education. Since then, she received a sports business certificate through the Anderson School of Management at UCLA, while also working in the hospitality industry for Delta by Marriott Hotels. This past summer, Whitney also chaired the Tournament Organizing Committee for Canada Basketball’s under 15 and under 17 Women’s National Championships.
Marcos Hinojosa comes from San Jose, California. He graduated from Santa Clara University competing in track & field and cross country for the university while majoring in Finance and European History with a minor in International Business. He has spent the last four years in sales and revenue operations in the tech industry in Austin. Most recently having worked for TrendKite through their $225 million dollar acquisition.
Quinn Ireland hails from North County San Diego. He graduated from West Virginia University with a degree in philosophy and a minor in history. After graduation, he worked in a variety of fields including retail, food, coaching, teaching and most recently baseball industries. For the past couple of summers, Quinn was working in Coplay, PA for Baseball/Sports Info Solutions compiling statistics and reports to be disseminated to professional baseball teams.
Sam Isaac was born and raised on Long Island, New York and earned his BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from the University at Buffalo. While attending the University at Buffalo, Sam volunteered in the Athletics Department, assisting the basketball and football teams with operations, promotions, and sponsorship activation. Since graduation, Sam has worked as a marketing coordinator for SPORTIME Clubs, LLC; a tennis and fitness club company with a high-level academy sponsored by John McEnroe.
Cameron Jabbari is from Boulder, Colorado. After graduating with his undergraduate degree in Microbiology from the University of California San Diego (UCSD), Cameron worked in the biotechnology field selling research equipment. Since entering the sports industry, Cameron has worked as a football analyst for ProFootballFocus and a football referee in San Diego County.
Tyler LaPointe is from Newport Beach, California. Tyler received his Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Northern Arizona University (NAU). During Tyler's undergraduate career he was involved in the athletic department as a marketing intern. After graduating, Tyler went on to work for the PAC-12 and Oregon State University athletics primarily focused on revenue generation and fan experience events.
Elsie Lopez is from San Diego, California. Elsie received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management from Dominican University of California. Along with Business, Elsie minored in both Communication & Media Studies and Leadership. After graduation, Elsie worked full time with the San Diego Padres in the Sales Department for a year and a half. Since then, Elsie has taken on the role as head cheer coach at La Jolla High School.
Shawn Lothman comes from Cypress, California. Shawn received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California with an emphasis in Sport Management. During his undergraduate studies, Lothman accrued nearly two years of sports industry experience in internships with the Stockton Heat, Pacific Athletics, USA Water Polo, and USA Badminton. After graduation, Shawn worked full-time for the American Hockey League’s Stockton Heat, primarily responsible for community/external marketing, corporate partnership activation, and game operations.
Joseph Márquez was born and raised in Chula Vista, California, and received a BA in Economics and a Minor in Accounting from the University of California, Davis (UCD). During his college years, Joseph was Vice President of UCD Men’s Club Soccer, worked in Event and Facility Management at his university’s athletics program, and served as equipment manager for the Houston Dynamo. Since graduation, Joseph has worked as a Business Operations Intern for San Diego State University Athletics.
Maureen McCarthy is from Los Angeles, California and graduated from Georgetown University with a BA in American Studies. After graduating, Maureen spent six years in Austin, TX working as a project manager in Advertising and Technology. She managed design projects for brands such as The NFL, McKinsey & Company, and Shiner Beers, as well as internal process initiatives for Indeed.com.
Clare Murphy is from Charlotte, North Carolina. Clare graduated in May from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she majored in Marketing. Clare was a four-year, varsity lacrosse athlete at VCU; she helped to start the program during its inaugural 2015-2016 season. During her time at VCU she was a marketing intern for the athletic department and handled game-day operations. She also earned a sports marketing fellowship with the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).
Alina Nunez is from San Diego, California. Alina received her undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice from Sonoma State University. After graduating, Alina worked at a non-profit law firm as an advocate educating different organizations on Fair Housing Law. Alina has volunteered with various sports organizations including the Mexico National Football Team, Real Madrid Foundation, PGAAC, and US Soccer Development Academy. She is currently working with the Padres Fan Rewards Program Team and is excited to be pursuing a Sports MBA.
Mansi Patel is from Corona, California. Mansi graduated from the University of Arizona with a BS in Public Health and a Minor in Business Administration. During her time at UA, Mansi interned for Arizona Athletics, worked on the NFL Play 60 Program for the LA Rams, and held various other outreach and health-programming positions. Prior to joining the SMBA program, Mansi worked full-time for Angels Baseball in their corporate partnerships department. Bear Down and Go Aztecs!
Margo Pletcher was born and raised in Laguna Beach, California. Margo graduated from the University of Utah with a BS in Business Administration. Margo was a full-scholarship scholar-athlete on Utah’s tennis team. She made the All Pac-12 Team two consecutive years and was one of four players at Utah to receive all-league singles honors since joining the Pac-12. Margo plans to use her experience as an athlete as well as a business student to pave her career path.
Kyle Renaud, from Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Kyle graduated from the University of Windsor with distinction. He finished with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration where he concentrated in operations management and data analytics. During his time at UWindsor, Kyle was part of the baseball team where he earned OUA Academic All Canadian honors four years straight. Kyle also spent time as a teaching and research assistant during his junior and senior years while also working in operations for a medical center.
Jared Ross is from Sacramento, California. Jared attended the University of Oregon where he earned a BS in Accounting and a Minor in Economics while playing for the Club Baseball team. After graduation, Jared spent time working as a Cost Accountant for a local HVAC company in Eugene, Oregon, before transitioning to cybersecurity sales. While working, Jared also spent time as a high school pitching coach and later the head coach of the University of Oregon Club Baseball team.
Rafael Sixtos was born in Los Angeles and raised about half an hour north in Thousand Oaks, California At San Diego State University, Rafael received a bachelor’s degree in Business Management- Emphasis in Human Resources. Since graduating, Rafael gained valuable experience by working in management at Enterprise Holdings while simultaneously mentoring multiple students through the Aztec Mentor Program. His business background, passion for mentoring others, and love for sports guided him to this program.
Macy Vrabel is originally from San Diego, California and graduated from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing. While attending Cal Poly, she played four years of division 1 soccer and conducted marketing research for the ASICS brand, as well as small retail businesses. Following graduation, she has worked as an Account Manager servicing over 50 clients for Advanced Sports Media Group, best known for TopDrawerSoccer.
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.