Author: Tim Anderson
August 27, 2015
Do you ever get tired of studying and just want to stop learning? In 2004, at the age of 43, I made a decision that changed my life completely. I decided to go back to school and obtain my Master’s degree. I knew that it would be a challenge for many reasons.
I decided that I could, and would, accept the challenge and succeed. Much as when I’m playing or coaching volleyball, – I’m competitive 100% of the time – I knew that I had to complete my degree. I would not quit, take a break or waste my money.
After I had decided California State University – Long Beach (a/k/a Long Beach State) was the closest and most reasonably priced option, I began working on the requirements to be admitted:
After successfully completing these, I was officially admitted to the program (in 2004) where I would begin 18 months of non-stop classes. Each class was a very quick 2 months in length plus an internship had to be completed once every 6 months. Luck would be on my side with the 2004 NCAA Final 4 Volleyball Championship being held in Long Beach. I quickly applied for an internship and was accepted. Having the opportunity to see so many facets of a NCAA championship event, I knew that I had made the right decision. I also made contacts that have been helpful over the last 10 years. A full-time job and fast paced classes, as well as hours spent at a (non-paid) internship, made me quickly realize that my time management must be at its best.
The class curriculum consisted of classes in facility planning, sport law, sport finance, sport marketing/development & fundraising, research methods and 4 others that culminated in a Capstone presentation. With the exception of research methods – also known as statistics – I looked forward to class each week and learning from the various professors and sport professionals who taught the classes. It also included 2 additional internships – 1 with the USC Women’s Basketball Team and 1 with The Lynne Cohen Foundation with whom I was employed at the time.
There were many challenges:
I successfully completed the program in 2006. I use the word “successful” based on the following:
My grades weren’t as high as they were in high school and undergraduate school, but I realized that I had accepted my own challenge, tried my best, made professional connections, attained my degree and began a career in college athletics.
As I look back I realize how grueling that time period was in my life, but my competitiveness, determination and WILL – which serves everyone well in life – were the key traits that helped me attain my goal.
Adventure is a path. Real adventure, self-determined, self-motivated, often risky, forces you to have first hand encounters with the world.