Alumna Redesigning Game Plan for Youths in Sports
Dual Accounting Degree Recipient Using Postgrad Scholarship to Explore Ideas
Nov. 28, 2011
A postgraduate scholarship is helping power a UT Dallas alumna’s plan to use sports to help youths excel in all avenues of life.
Simone Jackson recently won the John McLendon Postgraduate Scholarship, presented to minority students pursuing graduate studies in athletics administration.
Jackson, who played basketball for the Comets when she wasn't busy working toward two accounting degrees, will use the scholarship to pursue a career in sports business management with an emphasis on the social impact of sports.
“I want to work in student-athlete development or (professional) player development,” Jackson said. “I am interested in the overall development of athletes – their overall personal and professional development – and to prepare the athlete for life after sports.”
Jackson credits her experience as a student athlete in high school and college with helping give her the drive to reach her goals. “I understand how to incorporate the skills gained by competing in sports. It helped to transform my life, and I want to do everything in my power to help as many athletes as possible realize the same thing,” Jackson says.
“I want to create a pipeline system where athletes can essentially move throughout the levels of sport and have a consistent tool available where they can continually better their lives by utilizing sports,” Jackson says. “There is not a consistent program that helps athletes with their lives off of the field of competition, and I want to change that.”
“Player development and student-athlete development programs offered at their respective levels may be too late to help some athletes,” she says.
Jackson is using the scholarship to develop her ideas at The University of Central Florida, where she is working toward dual master’s degrees in business administration and sport business management in the DeVos Sport Business Management program. She will graduate in December.
“DeVos is the only sport business management program that focuses on leadership, diversity, community services and ethics in the context of sports,” Jackson said. The program accepts only 30 students each year.
Jackson graduated from UT Dallas in December 2008, with a master’s degree in accounting and information management from the Naveen Jindal School of Management. She earned a bachelor’s degree in the same field from UT Dallas in May 2007.
“My accounting studies really came in handy with my new goals in sport business management,” Jackson said. “I had already taken the graduate-level business courses at UT Dallas, and did not have to take three classes. It also added a unique business perspective that has helped me view sports differently during my time in the program.”
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