Not everyone can say that they have spent time working for one of their favorite teams. However, former sport management student Heath Heidtke can. As Heidtke geared up for graduation this past spring, he spent his last semester working in basketball operations for his favorite team — the San Antonio Spurs.
The Northern Dallas native grew up a fan of the team. He continued to cultivate his love of sports throughout his entire undergraduate career — spending time working with the Texas A&M Basketball team and getting involved in other sport related activities on campus.
“Being in a program like mine almost forces you to take initiative to get involved in the sport professional world before graduation. There were always little things that I took from my old classes that I would apply to my daily work. The opportunity to be able to have an internship like this that counted toward my degree plan was awesome,” Heidtke said.
During his internship, Heidtke worked in the front office where he interacted with multiple team representatives including coaches, medical professionals, training staff members. He was quick to admit working for an NBA team was an eye-opening experience.
“It was quite an extensive experience that I feel honored to have been apart of,” he said. “I know just from the sheer number of people who work at the AT&T Center, that the operations side of things is a huge undertaking.”
Upon the completion of his internship toward the end of the spring, Heidtke was given the unique opportunity to extend his internship throughout the summer.
“My internship with the team started in the middle of the season,” he said. “So the team thought it would be a good idea to keep me.”
During the summer portion, he spent time learning the ins and outs of the Spurs’ business model and also about the team’s priorities during the off-season.
“During the season, it was more about team support and tackling short term projects during the day,” he said. “Once the summer started, we knew exactly what we needed and I worked a lot with managing information and updating our databases for different profiles on collegiate basketball players who were to be in the free agency,” Heidtke said.
Heidtke said his most fulfilling part of the internship was his involvement with the draft.
“The goal is always to help the team succeed and win championships,” he said. “Even though I played a small role in the draft process, it was a really cool experience getting to see the depiction of it on TV.”
With his internship behind him, Heidtke said he aims to use his experience to move forward his career in sports. More information on the division of sport management can be found on the division website.