Many people dream of attending the Super Bowl, and Dr. Dexter Davis not only made seven students' Super Bowl dreams come true, but he also made it possible for his students to have an opportunity to work and network at Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday, February 2, 2014.
Juwan Turner was one of those lucky students who worked hard to earn an opportunity to attend the Super Bowl. "First we had to submit a cover letter and resume, and then he narrowed it down to, I think, about 20 people and we all had to do an interview," Turner said of the process to being chosen to attend the Super Bowl to see the Seattle Mariners take on and defeat the Denver Broncos.
A football player himself, Turner was even more excited about getting to experience the game of the year. For four years until this last football season, Turner played center for the UT Martin football team.
"I started playing [football] when I was six years old," Turner said, noting that his friend's mother encouraged his parents to let him play. Now, Turner is focusing on his work as a sports management major.
"I could see myself working for an organization or doing something sports related," Turner said. He continued, "I really want to get into sports marketing. We took the trip to the Super Bowl and we met a lot of people. We met a guy who worked for the New Jersey Devils, who was actually one of our professor's former students. He was involved in ticket sales and promotion, and I really took an interest in that."
Turner discovered that opportunities for hands-on learning abound at UT Martin, and he is taking full advantage of his experiences. He said, "Right now, I'm doing my practicum in the sports marketing department. We're in charge of the Skyhawk Club, which is UTM's booster club for the basketball and football teams, where we promote the basketball and football games and help out in the hospitality rooms."
Whether he's playing on the field or promoting a game, UT Martin has helped prepare Turner for a future in the sports industry.