Alumni Highlight - Douglas Wright
Courtesy: Molly McKeogh
Douglas Wright graduated from the Sport Management program at Western Illinois University in May 1997. While at Western, he worked as a graduate assistant for the department researching for the professors and connecting with alumni from the program.
Wright did not know that he would work in development and fund raising, but he always knew he would work in sports. When his dream job of becoming the center fielder for the New York Yankees did not come to fruition, he applied to Western for graduate school.
After Western, Wright became employed with the University of Nebraska Athletic Department in the development office. Wright enjoyed Nebraska but was offered an opportunity to work as marketing manager for the group sales department for Giants Stadium and Continental Airlines Arena. In his time in New Jersey, he saw the NBA Nets and the NHL Devils both reach the playoffs, and he even had the privilege to hold the Stanley Cup.
After New Jersey, Wright went back to intercollegiate athletics and worked at Wichita State where he served as the director of athletic development. He then moved to his current position as director of development for the Oregon State University Athletic Department where he watched the men’s baseball team win the 2007 NCAA World Series.
One thing Wright has learned from his professional experience is the importance of networking. Networking is the key to the sport management profession. Networking is not just about making contacts. It involves communication skills, being able to express oneself and being able to listen to what the other party is saying.
Wright’s persistence, perseverance, and social skills as well as his ability to connect with people on all levels are what enable him to be successful.