Education and Employment

Alumni Spotlight: Turning a Passion for Sports into a Career

FIU and Real Madrid Graduate School MBA programs have been game changers for people aiming to make it big in the sports industry. It has allowed emerging professionals to diversify their understanding and skills around sports.

An Inspirational Tale of Success

The MBA program at Florida International University (FIU) offered John Perez an anchoring experience while he joined hands with the FIU Football Team and found his way to the top. Perez joined Florida International University in 2012 with no vision in sight to speak of.

During his junior year at FIU, John understood that he had an affinity for sports. This passion and curiosity made him switch his major to recreation and sports management. Perez has always had a hunger to spread the spectrum of his knowledge. He also took up a minor in marketing while still working on securing a degree in recreation and sports management.

After graduating in 2017, Perez’s first professional in-field interaction was with the FIU Football Team, where he served as a video assistant in the early days.

According to Perez, “It was my first assignment as a professional where I had to stand during the day in scorching 100F handling the video gear. It was a learning experience that offered me a thorough understanding of what it’s like to work in an on-field situation.”

Soon, Perez’s career would take off with him shifting to the operational side of the sports. He later got associated with the FlU team handling their internal and external operations. The experience Perez secured while studying at the university helped him throughout his on-field career. In this capacity, Perez handled logistics for the team, ensuring necessary arrangements were made for off-season camps and team visits.

Perez states, “My time on the operational side was all about arranging chartered flights and making things happen for the team. It was an experience that taught me the basics of the job.

Moving forward, Perez found Fanatics to be his next assignment. Michael G. Rubin founded Fanatics, a manufacturer and retailer of premium sports collectibles, licensed sportswear, trading cards, and merchandise. The company also excels in areas like sports betting. Currently, Perez serves as a sourcing operations analyst, and it only became possible due to the education he received in the relevant domain.

Why an Online MBA in Sports Management from FIU?

Florida International University and Real Madrid Graduate School have joined hands to create an MBA program where students take classes online from FIU professors (nine courses) and Real Madrid Graduate School faculty as well (five courses). This revolutionary program opens the doors for students to explore a new world of opportunities. The idea behind this program is to pave a path for students to find the right direction. Under this program, students also get the chance to travel to Madrid and meet sports executives, experience stadium visits and learn about the day-to-day operations of the club.

In 2021, Perez returned to his alma mater to earn his MBA in the Professional MBA in Sports Management program, which is offered in partnership with Real Madrid Graduate School. According to Perez, “FIU is a prestigious institution, and there’s nothing to doubt about their credibility. I believe my decision to join the university was driven by the opportunities and exposure that this program offers. When we talk about Real Madrid, you know it’s the most successful soccer club in the world. You can be a fan of Barcelona or any other sporting club; the structure and confidence that RM offers remain unmatched.”

He added, “Students coming to this program must know that they are looking at one of the finest experiences of their lives. It can change the way you look at sports as an industry. It’s all about finding connections, people who can offer you experience and credibility.”

According to Perez, having multiple degrees can boost your chances of attracting more recruiters in various industries. In his words, “Applying to jobs with two degrees in my resume has helped me stand out more to recruiters.”

The highly acclaimed professors from one of the best business schools in the U.S. and Spain and the expertise brought by Real Madrid CF (one of the best clubs and powerful brands in the world) and other renowned sports leaders make this the ideal program to learn everything required to succeed in the world of sports. [the reasons to believe]

The MBA program at Florida International University, through its association with Real Madrid offers a unique curriculum that develops the understanding of business processes and leadership techniques. This program gives unparalleled access to sports industry leaders and executives, as well as exclusive insights into the day-to-day operations of Real Madrid during the “White Week” in Spain.

To learn more, please visit the Professional MBA in Sports Management program page.