NIRSA Connects GSU Sports Administration Graduate with Dream Job
By: Jennifer Pecoraro (M.S. Sports Administration, Spring ’15)
Kendra Bayne, a 2011 graduate from the Sports Administration program, came to GSU after studying Sport Management at Central Michigan University. Interested in a career in campus recreation, Bayne attended several National Intramural Recreation Sports (NIRSA) conferences. “I started going to NIRSA in 2009. That’s how I got the graduate assistantship at Georgia State University,” said Bayne. It was at the conference where she landed a marketing graduate assistantship with GSU’s Department of Recreational Services.
She worked as a graduate assistant for two years under Marketing Coordinator Judi Moss. Bayne managed, created, and maintained both social and graphic media for all programs at the Student Recreation Center. She reflected on her time as a GA, “Judi Moss, my boss [at Georgia State University] was a good person to work for. She definitely made me comfortable at Georgia State, as well as Scott Levin. They both had a positive influence in making sure that I got a job that I wanted.” While at Georgia State, Bayne attended marketing and recreation focused conferences that aided in expanding her professional network. Bayne fondly remembers the NIRSA conferences as being beneficial to her career path. “[NIRSA] was in New Orleans [that year]. I went on a facilities tour during the pre-conference, and when we got to LSU on the tour, the Facilities Director mentioned that there may be a [marketing] opening soon. It’s funny because I have a picture of myself in my [now] office while I was on that tour,” she said.
While at Georgia State, Bayne conducted research and thesis development with Associate Professor Dr. Beth Cianfrone regarding the effectiveness of social media marketing on a campus recreation event. “I’ve gotten a lot of questions about [my published research]. It has definitely been something interesting to speak about with other people. The biggest thing that came out of it for me is that if you are creating an event, it has to be something that people want to go to,” she said. Bayne elected to write a thesis to fulfill the program requirements because she felt it improved her overall experience. She remarked, “For me, I like research. It was something I didn’t have on my resume. I had a lot of practical experience, so I didn’t feel like I needed an [internship].” She would advise more students to complete a thesis. She continues, “[To succeed, you need] experience outside of the classroom. I would definitely recommend doing a study, doing research, doing a thesis. You become an expert on the topic. [This differentiates] you from other people. Everyone is doing an internship, but [doing a thesis] definitely paid off.”
Bayne left Atlanta in 2011 to become the Marketing Coordinator for Louisiana State University Campus Recreation. Duties of her position include overseeing media and public relations, writing press releases, and supervising graduate and student assistants. She also created and maintains social media accounts and website content for the Recreation Center. In August of 2014, she was promoted to the Assistant Director of Marketing and Promotions.
As a final word of advice to student striving for a career in campus recreation, Bayne adds, “Get experience and get involved in NIRSA. Present as much as you can. Be involved and make those connections at your recreation center. Be connected and engaged. Contribute the knowledge that you do have, even if you’re still young.”
Fun Facts about Kendra Bayne
Favorite Movie – Remember the Titans
Favorite Sports Team – LSU Football
Favorite Part of Tailgating – The southern cuisine
Favorite Color – Coral
Best Career Advice – Always keep your resume in the trunk of your car