Two BYU Marriott Students Receive National Scholarships, Attend Annual Sports Seminar

PROVO, Utah – Apr 12, 2022 – While their classmates shivered through another week during the Utah winter, two experience design and management (ExDM) students enjoyed the sunny coasts of Hollywood Beach, Florida. Camille Cooper and Kylie Jensen attended the Stadium Managers Association (SMA) seminar in February as scholarship recipients and interns, honing skills they learn at the BYU Marriott School of Business and preparing for their future careers.

Every year, the SMA awards three scholarships to students across the country who work in sports facility or event management and participate in community service. Cooper and Jensen received two of those awards, with Cooper receiving the group’s highest accolade, the Rob Labinski Scholarship.

The pair credits their ExDM experience for helping them stand out among the applicants. “I am always encouraged to do ExDM class projects in a field that interests me, so I focus on sports,” Jensen says. “I also took a venue management class through the major, so I talked about my projects and that class in my application. My variety of ExDM experiences helped me earn the scholarship, and I think the uniqueness of the ExDM major stood out as well.”

In addition to receiving scholarships, Cooper and Jensen were invited to be interns for the seminar, which ran from February 13–17, 2022. The duo helped with set-up, registration, and other logistical tasks. Beyond their work behind the scenes, Cooper and Jensen had the chance to attend conference sessions presented by industry experts and visit local sports venues, including the stadium for the Miami Marlins. Most importantly, the seminar served as a valuable networking opportunity.

“As we worked at the front desk, everybody's face became familiar. A lot of people would tell Kylie and I who we should connect with in the industry and how those connections can help us with jobs and internships,” Cooper says.

Jensen hopes to work in fan experience after graduating in April 2022. Her preferred job would be in the NBA, NFL, or MLB, following her dad into the sports industry. He was the general manager for the minor league baseball team High Desert Mavericks near their home in Victorville, California, while Jensen was growing up. Cooper, who graduates next year and is from Mission Viejo, California, also wants to work in fan experience, hopefully in the NFL or NBA.

Cooper is grateful for how the ExDM program readies her for the career she wants, but she took a long road to end up where she is now. After changing her major five times, she eventually chose ExDM because she felt the major would prepare her for experiences such as the SMA scholarship and seminar.

“I was ultimately deciding between marketing and ExDM,” she explains. “I was weighing my options and thought, ‘Why on earth would I want to do marketing when every single person trying find a job in the role I want has marketing on their résumés? The job title I want is literally fan experience.’ I realized experience is the point of the ExDM major, so having that as my background makes me stand out when I apply for positions.”

ExDM adjunct professor Justin Durfey is on the SMA board of directors and helped Cooper and Jensen network at the seminar. He also saw how the experience connected to their coursework and will translate to their careers. “The experience that Camille and Kylie had at the SMA seminar puts them ahead of other graduates,” Durfey says. “They were able to meet some of the top stadium managers and executives in sports. These contacts make the transition from college to career much easier. These types of opportunities open doors to BYU Marriott graduates as students prepare to move into careers.”

ExDM students Kylie Jensen (left) and Camille Cooper (right) with ExDM adjunct professor Justin Durfey. The trio visited the Goodyear Blimp as part of the Stadium Managers Association seminar.
ExDM students Kylie Jensen (left) and Camille Cooper (right) with ExDM adjunct professor Justin Durfey. The trio visited the Goodyear Blimp as part of the Stadium Managers Association seminar.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Mike Miller