College of Education and Human Development

School of Kinesiology

Alumna Amanda Rodriguez: Combining sports and business into a career

Amanda Rodriguez laughing at alumni event.

Growing up, Amanda Rodriguez loved playing sports. She later became involved in her high school’s DECA program and wanted to pursue a business career. Once she got to the University of Minnesota, she learned she could pursue both of these interests through the sport management major. It was an easy decision for her to choose this major in the School of Kinesiology to continue learning about her passions of sports and business. 

“This major was the perfect combination of business and sports for me, allowing me to begin a foundation for a career in sports, access to internships in baseball, and the ability to add minors which interested me and supported my eventual degree.”

When asked what her favorite aspects of the sport management BS program were, Rodriguez’s answer pointed to the breadth of knowledge from various experts in the field. She recalled taking courses on marketing, sales and fundraising, ethics and law, management and organization, facilities and event operation, and diversity. Rodriguez cites her practicum working with the Minnesota Twins as a baseball communications intern, guest speakers in classes, and networking opportunities as highlights of her undergraduate career.

“I was extremely prepared for my career in sports through the sport management BS program.”

Outside the classroom, Rodriguez was busy getting various experiences to support her future career. Rodriguez completed a membership internship with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. She also held a marketing internship with the St. Paul Saints and baseball communications internship with the Minnesota Twins. Rodriguez says these experiences added to the foundation of her coursework and prepared her for her future career.

Thinking about her experience at the University of Minnesota on a larger scale, Rodriguez appreciated how the U of M is situated in a large sports market, both professionally and in the Big 10. Rodriguez also enjoyed the diverse options of degrees throughout the University, as she had history and mass communication minors in addition to her sport management major.

Currently, Rodriguez is a Media Relations Specialist at the MLB Network/NHL Network in New Jersey. She enjoys the people she works with, the opportunities to travel, being a part of large events like the MLB All-Star Game, the work-life balance, and the reminders that sports are fun each day. 

“Never in the world that I began my college career, did I think that there would be one job which would incorporate baseball, hockey, history, mass communications, business and travel.”

Outside of work, Rodriguez likes to travel with her fiance, try out new breweries and wineries, attend sporting events, see Broadway shows, and eat ice cream. She also has made it a goal to visit every major league ballpark in the U.S., with only five left to see.

Rodriguez is still committed to the University of Minnesota through the Alumni Association. She is the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut Alumni Network leader and an Alumni Network Council Director.

Through her coursework, extracurriculars, internships and jobs, Rodriguez has gained a lot of insight to share with others going down a similar path: 

  • "“Utilize your areas of interest and potential minors to study what interests you. It’s your education, you should enjoy it!
    It’s alright if certain coursework, on-campus jobs, and internships teach you what you don’t like. Sometimes that’s more important than knowing what you do like when preparing for a career in sports, as it gives you focus.
  • Be willing to move for the position, if it’s financially feasible. I worked three jobs after moving to Cincinnati, Ohio for a year-long internship, which led to my full-time position I’ve had since 2015. You can always go back home, but you’ll never be young with furniture you’re willing to throw in a U-Haul and just go again!
  • If people offer their help, they mean it! People are too busy navigating work-life balance in this industry to say it and not mean it. Take them up on it and someday you will find yourself in the space to offer your help to others.
  • Stay in contact with people who have had profound impacts on you, whether it was personally or professionally. Continue to ask them questions, give them personal updates, and if you ask them for references or assistance, circle back to them with a thank you and update, even if you didn’t get the role.”

If you have similar interests in Amanda, learn more about the School of Kinesiology's sport management major.