Nathan, started his journey in 2006 at MSU and graduated with his masters 4 years later in 2010. Currently the Assistant Athletic Director for Development / Director of Panther Scholarship Club at University of Northern Iowa (UNI), Nathan gives a lot of credit to his success to MSU and his mentors within the athletic department.
“I had an amazing experience at MSU, Mankato from coaches, staff and student athletes but I would credit a lot of my success from two individuals, which were Mike Powicki (now the AD at Wayne State) and current MSU, Mankato's Athletic Director Kevin Buisman. They are both great people with high integrity, I am truly blessed to have them in my life.”
Christensen had many opportunities while attending MSU with internships in the Athletic Department for Marketing, Operations for the Minnesota Vikings, and Development for Iowa State University. He was also fortunate to meet his wife, Kalli who teaches special education. Timing seems to be everything with Christensen as he was offered a Graduate Assistantship with MSU when he started his masters. Once he graduated, he applied all over the country but with good timing, was offered the Director of Marketing and Sales with MSU. He held that role for 3 years before taking his current job with UNI. Nathans favorite part of his job is being able to be a part of something special with college athletics. He loves providing students the opportunity to be successful in the classroom as well as in competition. Working with staff, coaches, donors, and supporters and building relationships is another aspect that Nathan cherishes about his job.
Nathan’s advice to current students is to gain as much experience as possible through internships while you are in school. The best thing on your resume is related experiences. Also, growing your network and building relationships outside of your circle. You never know when you’ll need those people to call on for advice or help you with your career path.
Todd, a farm kid from Worthington, MN, first earned his bachelors in Accounting and Business Finance from MSU in 1989. Todd returned to MSU to earn his masters in Sport Management in 1993. Todd is in his nineteenth year (1999-present) at MSU Mankato as the Director of Campus Recreation, overseeing staff, facilities, programs and services in intramural sports, open recreation, fitness activities, sport clubs, and adventure education. Previously, Todd spent six years (1993-1999) as the Assistant Director for Intramural Sports at the University of Nebraska and 3 1/2 years (1990-1993) as the acting Director of Intramural-Recreational Sports (now Campus Recreation) at Minnesota State University Mankato. Todd’s favorite part of his job is getting to work with students daily.
“They challenge me, support me, motivate me, sometimes they irritate me, but they are the reason why I work in this profession. I love mentoring students and giving back as I’ve had many mentors in my life as well.”
Todd enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids and volunteering around the community as well as the Special-Olympics. Todd is also big into basketball, specifically officiating as he’s been doing it for 33 years and has compiled quite the accolades in doing so!
Todd’s advice for students is to work hard, dream hard, and have goals. “…you need the support and help of other people as they might know the influential people-the decision makers-so don’t be afraid to ask for help, to be persistent, just short of being a pain in the butt. Surround yourself with good people and work together to make things happen-develop strong relationships and a solid network.”
Todd’s biggest takeaway is there is no substitute for hard work and you have to earn your stripes, so work hard, play hard, find your passion, be a leader and go for it!
Paul, the current Associate Director of Athletics here at MSU graduated with his masters in 2002. A West Texas State grad, Paul first started working on his masters at Northern Arizona before transferring to MSU. Maverick blood runs in the family as Paul’s wife Lori ’92 and son Seth ’15 have also flaunted the purple and gold. Paul’s other son, Sean, is set to graduate in the spring of ’19 and youngest son, Jack, will carry on the tradition entering MSU next fall. Paul and his family reside in Eagle Lake, just minutes away from the city. Prior to be being named the Associate AD in 2003, Paul was hired as the Sport Information Director for MSU in 1985.
When asked about what he loves about his job, Paul says, “My field is pretty dynamic with something new every day. We're busy for the entire nine months of the school year and things move along quickly. I’m fortunate to be working in college sports and to be around college students on a daily basis.”
Paul’s advice for current students is to not be afraid to challenge yourself. Set goals and work to broaden the scope of you skill-set and contacts. Networking is a major key in this field.
Bryan Romsa graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN in 2005. After graduating from Moorhead, he and his wife, Katelyn, accepted offers for teaching and coaching jobs in Phoenix, AZ. Next, they enrolled at Mankato State University to start on their Master’s degrees. Bryan was a Graduate Assistant for the Sport Management program as well as a Graduate Assistant for the MSU baseball program. In 2008, Bryan graduated from Minnesota State University with his Master’s in Sport Management. The fall of 2008 he accepted an assistant professor position at MSU. He continued to teach at MSU for 7 years. During this time, he was the sport management program coordinator and the coaching education program coordinator. He completed his Doctorate in 2013 from MSU. In the fall of 2016, Bryan was offered a position at South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota as a sport management undergraduate and graduate coordinator. In addition, he is an assistant professor of sport management. Bryan and Katelyn currently reside in Brookings, South Dakota with their four children Grace, John, Joe, and Jake.
Tony, a 2010 graduate of MSU is the current Senior manager of Stadium Operations for the San Francisco 49ers. Tony graduated with his bachelors in sport management from MSU before getting his masters at University of Minnesota. Tony has been involved with numerous professional sports teams including the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Timberwolves, Oakland Raiders and Golden State Warriors. Tony also served a 2-year stint at San Jose State University in the athletic department before moving on to the 49ers. He credits MSU for helping him get an inside track into professional sports with numerous internships with the Vikings, Timberwolves, National Sports Center, and Taste of the NFL. Tony also was involved in campus rec as an intramural supervisor where he built upon his communication skills. His favorite part of his job is bringing large events together and providing a memorable experience for 70,000+ fans.
Tony’s advice to current students is: to get a job, it’s not what you know it’s who you know; but to keep a job, it’s what you know. He stresses the importance of networking and being able to connect with other Sport Management Professionals as a crucial step to landing your dream job.