Prior to his enrollment as a student in the master of arts in business with a specialization in intercollegiate athletics administration (MAIAA) program in the College of Business, Ryan Christy golfed for four years at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. He accumulated an overall scoring average of 77.7, was named First Team All-Conference his junior year and shot a career best score of 71 five separate times in his collegiate career.
Although Christy still competes in amateur tournaments across the Midwest, he shifted his focus towards his career. One of 12 graduate students selected for the MAIAA program this year, Christy joins the fourth cohort. A fully-funded, joint program between the Nebraska Department of Athletics and the College of Business, the program offers students the opportunity to earn their master's degree while getting hands-on experience in a Big Ten athletic department.
As a business administration major, student-athlete and volunteer assistant coach for the Northwestern basketball team, Christy did not enjoy much free time as an undergraduate student. He spent his days going to class in the mornings, golfing in the afternoons and volunteer coaching at night.
“I played basketball in high school and I still have a huge passion for the game,” said Christy. “The team had been struggling, and I wanted to help out in any way I could. I ran the team’s social media page, broke down film for each of the players, and specialized in defensive fundamentals and technique as a coach.”
He spent each summer in college building up his résumé. Two years ago, he interned in the South Dakota State University Athletic Department as a volunteer assistant for development. Last summer, he interned as a championships department assistant with the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) office in Kansas City, Missouri. These two experiences cemented his decision to pursue athletics administration for a career.
“I helped plan and organize a charity golf fundraiser, completed research on potential host sites for conference championships and gained experience with a variety of different projects in an athletic department setting,” said Christy. “I knew athletic administration was the career path I wanted to travel, so I started looking at options to get my master's degree and I found the MAIAA program.”
The program being the first of its kind to combine business and athletics appealed to him. The guaranteed internship also provided him with a chance to work with Nebraska Athletics.
“With my business background and desire to work as an athletic administrator, I thought this program fit me perfectly," said Christy. “My ultimate goal is to become the athletic director at my alma mater because I had such a great experience there and I absolutely love that place.”
To apply for the 2018 MAIAA cohort or get more information, go to: http://business.unl.edu/maiaa