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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

  • Sport and entertainment management student Kayla Shannon poses for a photo with Mr. and Mrs. Met from the New York Mets.

College of HRSM Student Spotlight: Kayla Shannon

Major: Sport and Entertainment Management
Hometown: White Plains, N.Y.
Expected graduation: 2023

Career Highlights (so far):

  • Four years as part of USC Dance Marathon, serving as vice president of campus relations this year. In her first three years, Kayla helped raise more than $2.5 million (despite the pandemic) to support Prisma Health Children’s Hospital.
    Kayla says: "I feel like just the opportunity to make such an impact during college is something that's a really unique opportunity. I feel so fortunate: I'm lucky enough to be in a position where I can take my free time and help other people and it's kind of crazy, a group of college students raising a million dollars in a year."
  • Part-time job at Colonial Life Arena since freshman year.
  • Internships with the New York Mets, Learfield and Gamecock Hockey.
  • Mentor to freshman Sport and Entertainment Management students.
    Kayla says: "My major is something I'm very passionate about. Doing the mentorship has been really rewarding, to see freshmen be passionate about this as well."
  • As a New York Mets Corporate Partnerships intern in summer 2022, Kayla learned about and enjoyed the sponsorship side of sports and is considering it as a career option. The Mets’ owners, Steve and Alex Cohen, contribute to a Children's Miracle Network hospital on Long Island, and during Kayla's internship she saw how sport and philanthropy can come together.    
    Kayla says: "It kind of came very, very full circle. The cancer patients from the children's hospital came and did an event with one of the Mets players and I was talking with the people that worked at the hospital. It was a side of sports I never really thought about before last summer."

Why major in sport and entertainment management?

  • Lifelong sports fan, competitive swimmer in high school.
    Kayla says: "I've always loved sports. My dad doesn't have a son and I think he took his firstborn and said, 'This is gonna be my sports kid.' I've been going to Mets games since I was one."
  • A visit to the University of South Carolina as a high school senior and a meeting with College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management Director of Enrollment Management and Professional Development Collin Crick sealed the deal.
    Kayla says: "He talked about the internships people were doing. People were working with the NFL and the Panthers and it opened my eyes to a whole new world. He was one of the first people that explained to me what the sport and entertainment industry was."

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