Student Spotlight – Erick Torres, MSED in Sport Administration
In his five years of working for the Miami HEAT, Erick Torres has learned about the power of a positive brand. As the program manager of community affairs, Torres assists the Miami HEAT in supporting various organizations and events throughout the South Florida community through donations of sports memorabilia, staff involvement, and volunteerism.
While he started out wanting to pursue journalism, Torres graduated from the University of South Florida with a BA in marketing. He interned in a variety of industries and has worked with four different sports teams, three professional and one collegiate, in various roles including media relations, event marketing, community affairs, premium and corporate services, and sales.
Torres began working for the Miami HEAT in 2013, promoting concerts and events at AmericanAirlines Arena. In September of 2015, he enrolled in the University of Miami’s first class of online students to pursue his MSED in Sport Administration.
“I wanted to gain professional growth but it was also personal. I wanted to be a good example for my siblings. When I was younger it was something I never thought I’d be able to do, but with hard work and by finding my own resources I was able to do it.”
The online program was a good fit for Torres both financially and because of its flexibility. “My schedule is very tight. I have to be able to attend games.” Of course, the U’s prestigious reputation didn’t hurt either. “It’s a brand-name University.”
He found the application process easy, the curriculum challenging, the professors helpful, and the classes enlightening. Not only did they cover practical topics such as promotions and endorsements, but they also emphasized the importance of interpersonal relationships. In a course on leadership, the curriculum covered topics regarding morality and ethics. “It spoke to some of my own natural strengths.”
One of Torres’ strengths is being proactive. He would consult the course agenda in advance and then dedicate time to doing as much work as he could ahead of time. “It took about one or two classes to build a routine, and before I knew it the classes became second nature.”
Torres, who graduated in 2017 appreciated that the MSED in Sport Administration program encourages creativity and individuality, and that many assignments called upon students’ input and personal experience.
“I think like anything else you do, like your job or personal life, it is what you make of it. At the end of the day, it is a reflection of your personal brand.”