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Josh Mudgett standing in front of the NACDA sign

Josh Mudgett '22 (Duncan Falls, Ohio) took advantage of nearly every opportunity offered during his four years through Marietta College's Sport Management program to hone his craft.

As he prepared to graduate, he tossed around the idea of going to graduate school or beginning the search for a job. Instead, Mudgett found what he believes was the best choice to further his career - a nine-month internship with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).

"I believe this will translate into a lot of connections and a lot of responsibilities. It is the best internship in the country for networking with colleges and universities," said Mudgett, who begins the internship on September 6th. "In the sport management industry, you have to make a habit of making connections. In the sports world that is how you get jobs."

Rick Smith, Associate Professor of Sport Management, said Mudgett bought into the co-curricular programming and was involved with the Sports Business Association, job shadows, doing informal interviews and earning internships early in his time on campus.

"Josh will have the opportunity to work for the largest membership-based professional group in collegiate athletics," Smith said. "They only hire three interns, and for Josh to earn one of those spots will send a message to our students and to the sports industry as a whole that Marietta College's Sport Management program prepares students for day one after their undergraduate education is completed."

Mudgett's experience on the men's soccer team (two seasons as a player and this past season as a student coach) was also beneficial.

"With Josh being a former student-athlete, we knew he was a candidate who already exhibited many of the soft skills employers are looking for - including coachability, time management, attention to detail and a strong work ethic," said Dana LeRoy, Coordinator of the Internship Program at NACDA. "Working in a more traditional office setting is often an adjustment for our interns, especially those who might have just finished their athletic careers or who worked in an athletics department on campus where the experience is highlighted by events and long hours."

LeRoy said part of NACDA's mission is to teach interns technical skills like navigating internal computer programs and database systems, but also how to effectively communicate both within and outside the walls of our office.

"It is crucial for our entire staff to have open lines of communication to remain successful and provide the best possible professional development opportunities for NACDA & Affiliates members," she said.

Mudgett will be assigned a small group of NACDA's 17 Affiliate Associations that he will work with primarily throughout the year.

"Together with the full-time staff member leading the Association, our interns assist in almost every facet of the day-to-day operations of their assigned groups," LeRoy said. "The interns are also an integral part of our membership team, working to provide first-class customer service to athletics administrators across the country in assisting them to join or renew their memberships for the 17 Associations under the NACDA umbrella."

At Marietta, Mudgett has gained valuable experience at the Boca Raton Bowl and Orange Bowl, as well as an intern with the Ohio Bison baseball program in Licking County, Ohio. This past spring break, he joined a group of other Marietta College students who helped the Savannah Bananas baseball team prepare for their world tour.

"That was definitely the best job shadow I've ever been a part of at Marietta," Mudgett said. "It was so different. To see how they conduct themselves and to learn about their culture was a real learning experience. (Professor Smith) has tried to incorporate some of the things they do into our classes."

Mudgett also praised Smith for his dedication to his students, the program and Marietta College.

"Anybody who is considering majoring in Sport Management should be at Marietta because they will not find any professor who cares as much as Rick does about his students and making sure they get an experience that prepares them for a career," Mudgett said.

Mudgett's work ethic and dedication have been on full display this summer as he accepted another internship with Ballparks of America (BOA) in Branson, Missouri. BOA runs weeklong youth baseball tournaments every week throughout the summer.

"As an intern that entails doing everything essentially around the complex to make the tournaments run as smoothly as possible and give the kids the best experience possible," Mudgett said. "These things include working games, making sure the teams are fed, helping teams/people with any and all things that they have questions about, and just about anything else that goes on in just about any of the departments on the complex."

Mudgett will complete his internship with NACDA in June 2023 and then he plans to transition into a job where he is doing event and facility management.

"I just enjoy putting the pieces of the puzzle together, and making sure everything is running smoothly," he said. "I like the hustle of putting on events and the high-stress environment."