Student Voices
Back to Listing

The Ross Sports Tech Conference showed me my dream career was possible. Now I am making it happen with a Michigan Ross MBA.


When I decided to apply to business school, I had plenty of goals in mind — many of them similar to the aspirations of my future MBA classmates.

Jake Salzman, MBA '23

I wanted to grow as a leader, enhance my quantitative and problem-solving skills, and become part of an incredible network of people and professionals. But above all else, I wanted to find a career that aligned better with my passion, which for me was the intersection of sports and business. Deep down, I wondered whether this was really a viable career path for me to take. I was overwhelmed by the different sectors of the industry and unsure whether I would be able to break in without industry experience. 

With these uncertainties, I started to frame my decision regarding which school to go to and how to spend my time in the MBA program with other career goals in mind.

Then something changed late in the spring when I heard about the inaugural Michigan Ross Sports Tech Conference that was taking place at the Ross School of Business. The conference, which would bring together heavy hitters from across sports and technology, was being planned by Business+Tech and members of the Ross Sports Business Association. I was familiar with SBA and planned to join the club when I arrived at Ross, so I reached out to see if I could potentially catch a glimpse of the virtual conference. As a recent admit, the organizers of the conference were happy to accommodate my request. I am so glad they did.

The Sports Tech Conference was incredibly informative, stimulating, and just plain cool. As I heard insights and perspective from people who are leading the industry that I always wanted to get into, some of the questions and doubts I had in my mind began to disappear. For example, during the “Player Analytics” panel, I saw how media organizations, consulting firms, and even professional franchises in sports were using data analytics to measure player and team performance. Having worked in a strategy and analytics role previously, I started to see what existing skills I could potentially build on to break into the industry and where I may be able to provide the most value. Beyond that, I was amazed at how many influential people and organizations in sports were willing to share their expertise during the conference. It became clear not only that I could pursue a career in sports business, but that Michigan Ross would be an incredible place to put all of my energy into making this happen.

Fast forward six months. Now I am a first-year Full-Time MBA student at Michigan Ross; I have been elected to the SBA board; and most importantly, I have received the opportunity to lead the planning and execution of the 2022 Michigan Ross Sports Tech Conference. Even better, I am focusing all of my recruiting efforts on landing a role in the sports business industry. 

Through the Sports Tech Conference, I was able to see that my dream career was possible. Now, by being a part of the SBA, taking advantage of the opportunities offered by Michigan Ross, and leaning on the school’s extremely supportive students, Career Development Office, and powerful alumni network, I am making it happen.

Learn more about Business+Tech at Michigan Ross