Professor Glenn Wong Reflects on His 35-Year Career in Sport Management
November 13, 2014
"I've always tried to put myself in the position of the student," observed McCormack sport law professor Glenn Wong in an interview in the November 10th issue of Sports Business Daily. The Isenberg professor retires from a 35-year career at UMass Amherst at the end of the current academic year. "I've tried to consider all the things that I did not like as a student and I've tried to do it differently. . . I've tried to understand what the students are interested in, what motivates them, and what helps them learn," remarked Wong.
Wong acknowledged the increasing professionalization of sport management as an academic discipline during his career. Academic standards have improved and the "quality of the students has increased significantly." But "the challenge of attracting diversity to our program-both in terms of ethnicity and gender-remains an uphill battle."
Over the years, Wong has taught 3,500 undergraduate and graduate students, many of whom he has mentored. He recommends early involvement in volunteer opportunities, experiential learning, and internships. For careers after graduation, "internships are the way in-the front door," he emphasized. Wong advises students on the fine points of interviewing, including follow-up questions to ask recruiters and the importance of telling compelling stories. But ultimately, he said, "it's up to the students to close the deal on their first job."
In reflecting on his career as an educator, sport law practitioner, athletic director, and administrator, Wong emphasized that teaching thousands of young people and guiding them to the start of their careers ranked highest among his accomplishments. -"That's what I'm most proud of," he emphasized.