Hands-on experiential learning can create amazing opportunities for a student’s career and future. For Jacey Clemens, her classroom, practicum and internship experiences with Southeast Missouri State University’s sport management program allowed her to gain the knowledge and skills to land her first job as director of entertainment with the River City Rascals, which she begins next week.
Clemens, of Warrenton, Missouri, will graduate from Southeast Dec. 15 with a Bachelor of Science in sport management. A dedicated student, Clemens is looking forward to graduating and launching her career.
“It feels incredible to be graduating a semester early from Southeast,” Clemens said. “It’s awesome to see all of my hard work and dedication pay off.”
Beginning Dec. 17, Clemens will begin her position with the Rascals, where she will be responsible for creating game day entertainment events and designing graphics for the organization. The River City Rascals are a Frontier League professional baseball team in O’Fallon, Missouri.
Her new degree and position with the Rascals is an opportunity to work in a career she is enthusiastic about starting, Clemens said.
“I am so excited to be surrounded by the fun atmosphere that sports create,” she said. “I have a passion for sports and always thought that I should have a passion for my work as well.”
Her experiences in and out of the classroom, including experience with Southeast Athletics’ NCAA Division I teams and internships, helped her to pursue a full-time job in the Frontier League.
“The sport management program at Southeast requires a practicum and internship experience before graduation,” she said. “This requirement allowed me to gain field experience with Southeast Athletics and amp up my resume before heading into the real world.”
As part of her practicum last spring, Clemens worked one-on-one with Southeast Athletic marketing where she was responsible for working with sponsors, running the Capaha Park video board graphics at Southeast baseball games, and using Photoshop to create graphic designs for Southeast Redhawk teams. Though she worked with various sports, most of her time in the practicum was devoted to the Southeast baseball team. The practicum gave Clemens the skills needed to complete her summer internship as a promotions and fan engagement intern last summer with the Gateway Grizzlies in Sauget, Illinois.
“What I did with the Grizzlies is exactly what I’ll be doing with the Rascals. I learned the rules of the Frontier League and gained experience during my internship,” said Clemens.
Direct involvement in the field of sport management helped her to secure a position before she has even received her diploma.
“It’s hard to get a job in this field. You need to have many levels of experience,” said Clemens. “I originally applied for an unpaid internship position with the Rascals. During my interview, they suggested that I fill the full-time position instead. The practicum and internship gave me the resume boost I needed to find employment.”
Clemens hopes to one day work for a Major League Baseball organization. Until then, she is excited to build her career skills with the Rascals.
“I am looking forward to working in my dream industry so close to my family, friends and hometown,” she said. “I have watched and participated in sports my whole life, so it seemed obvious that this was the field for me.”