By Kasy Long
Nov 2, 2023
Marketing Major at Indiana State University
Marketing student Myles Sanford is passionate about sports – but his interest extends beyond the basketball court or the football field. The Sycamore aspires to work in sports marketing, specifically for the National Basketball Association [NBA].
Toward that end, Sanford has complemented his marketing major with a minor in sports marketing. And, having combined his creativity and love for basketball with hands-on learning experiences in his coursework, he is confident that the business of sports will play a major role in his professional future.
What made you want to attend Indiana State?
The strong sense of community and close connections really attracted me to Indiana State, making me already feel at home before I even applied. My sister was a nursing student at Indiana State, so I would always go visit her on the weekends, along with taking multiple tours as a high school freshman and senior. The environment and student atmosphere made me feel very comfortable.
Also, the University was in the perfect price range for me. I received the Networks Professional Development Program scholarship entering my freshman year, so I will graduate debt-free because of the scholarship, and I am very grateful.
What has your learning experience been like in the Scott College of Business?
I would describe my learning experience as “hands on.” Not many people from different schools can say they had hands-on experiences along with the coursework. The Scott College of Business [SCOB] has taught me many things that apply to the workforce, shaping me into the young professional I am today. Not many people can say that they had classes where the coursework involved hands-on work with various companies, or hands-on work related to the job that you want. The SCOB has taught me this early on, which is a big advantage when it comes to competitions for many career opportunities.
What opportunities have you had in SCOB that you might not have experienced at another university?
I am a marketing major in the SCOB, so I chose to concentrate that major in sales. For my introduction to sales class, I competed in a worldwide selling competition for Dell Technologies, selling their products during the competition. This led to many networking opportunities and professional development that will help me now and in the future. I had the opportunity as a college student to be a sales representative for one of the most prominent technology companies in the world. That’s hands-on learning and a very unique opportunity, if you ask me!
What have been some of your favorite classes and why?
One of my favorite classes throughout my college career has to be my introduction to marketing class. We had a huge project to change the negative perception of Terre Haute, and I was tasked to put on an event related to the history of Terre Haute. I hosted an Indiana State University scavenger hunt with the children of Camp Navigate in Terre Haute, having clues and riddles within the scavenger hunt that related to the school and Terre Haute’s history. It ended up on the news in Terre Haute, and it made a big impact on the kids. I loved this class because it showed me the hands-on work I was talking about earlier, and I made a huge impact on the community that I will never forget.
What is the Networks Professional Development Program and how has it added to your college experience?
The Networks Professional Development Program is a four-year program for a select number of top students at the SCOB. The program includes professional development, career and networking opportunities, team building, and strong bonds among the other students in the program. It positively impacted my experience in the SCOB. I’m more of an introvert, so I never thought I would come in having friends off the bat, but I was mistaken. There are many people in the program who are my lifelong friends, and I had the opportunity to make connections with business professionals and develop my own personal self, as well. I am forever grateful for the program!
Why did you decide on a major in marketing? Why a sport management minor?
I chose a marketing major because I have always been a creative person. In high school, I was often told that I have a lot of emotional intelligence and creativity, so I had dreams to put that to good use for a company while wanting to make an impact on the community, as well.
I chose a sport management minor because I love sports. I played sports all throughout middle school and high school until I tore a ligament in my right ankle. I am a huge basketball fan and being in the sports industry is something that I love to do. In the world of sports, you meet people like yourself who are sports fanatics, and even though you are not a player anymore, you still feel like you’re a part of the game.
What are your career ambitions?
My career ambition is to be a top marketing executive for an NBA team or a basketball agency. With my creativity and love for basketball, it’s hard to picture myself doing something other than that. I currently work for Paragon Marketing Group, a sports and entertainment agency where I do promotional marketing for Gatorade and Pepsi. So, technically, I’m living my ambitions right now, but I have a long way to go!
Finally, how is your education preparing you for these career ambitions?
I will repeat and emphasize that the hands-on experiences in the SCOB will help you in the present and future. I wouldn’t have gotten my current job at Paragon Marketing Group if it weren’t for the hands-on experiences in my education. From the various clubs in the SCOB, the professors who want to see you succeed, and the amount of time you invest in yourself, all of these will enhance your experiences at Indiana State. So, I encourage anyone to use the SCOB resources and Indiana State to invest in yourself.