Blaine Spencer (right) managing Seton Hall's open house during his graduate assistantship.
Imagine moving all the way across the country one week before classes start to begin your college career. Well, that is exactly what Blaine Patrick Spencer did. Based on Seton Hall's reputation for having comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs, Spencer moved from Brentwood, California to South Orange, New Jersey to pursue his education before even visiting the campus.
In the fall of 2014, Spencer started at the University as a freshman in the B.A. in Communication program, with double minors in journalism and philosophy. When he initially sought to pursue an undergraduate degree, he considered journalism. He shares that he changed his mind as a degree in communication would give him a more comprehensive skill set to pursue a career in sports broadcasting and communication.
After earning his Bachelor's degree in May 2018, he elected to continue his education by enrolling in the M.A. in Communication program within the College of Communication and the Arts. "I was deciding between UC Berkeley, University of Fresno and Seton Hall University," he shared. "I chose Seton Hall because of my interest in pursuing a career in Sports Communication and I knew the University's strong sports background and proximity to the sports hub-New York City, would give me an advantage in finding internships and tools to enter the field upon graduation."
Reflecting on his decision to pursue a graduate program soon after an undergraduate degree, Spencer shares that he was already in the "academic mindset" which has helped him stay focused on interweaving his career interests with his academic interests. "My education at Seton Hall has given me a solid foundation for a career in sports communication and I am so glad that I made the decision to stay at the University for graduate school."
In class, Spencer leverages his research projects to align his interests in sports communication. He shares that "in the field of sports, getting a master's degree has become a staple" and while he completed his degree, he explains that he is ecstatic to research about topics that are related to sports communication. As Spencer begins his journey writing and compiling his masters project, he decided to focus on leadership communication in collegiate athletics. Under the guidance of Ruth Tsuria, Ph.D., Spencer is currently researching how formal and informal leaders in collegiate sports communicate goals for their teams. This topic includes techniques of coaching which he has been able to examine firsthand due to his Graduate Assistant position at the Richie Regan Recreation and Athletic Center.
Spencer is currently a Graduate Assistant within the Richie Regan Recreation and Athletic Center. In this role, he assists with club sports and intermural sports and often can be found on the soccer field and basketball court ensuring that all facilities are up to date during the games. He states that, "My graduate assistantship immensely helps my interest in sports communication because working in athletics is a segue to sports." Working in both recreation and athletics, he says that it allows him to work alongside and network with sports professionals in the field that often provide him with advice about entering the sports communication field. This opportunity to work in the Athletics center, Spencer says gives him an advantage in a field that is competitive to step into. With the connections he's made through his graduate assistant position, Spencer shares that it has made it easier for him to apply to positions post-graduation.
Outside of his responsibilities at the University, Spencer works part-time for a construction company handling their social media accounts and writing pieces for SB Nation, one of the nation's leading sports blogs. Coupled with his research in class, his graduate assistantship position and the educational foundation he has built at the University, he is confident that he will be able to secure a position within his field of interest. He looks back on his experience at Seton Hall saying that, "I am lucky to have access to various sports communication professionals as well as professors who have encouraged me to conduct research about topics related to the field."
The College currently offers graduate-level programs in Museum Professions and Communication, including the opportunity to pursue a unique area of study, including options in Public Relations, Digital Communication/Communication Technologies, and Communication in Organizations. In addition, four dual-degree options, including three accelerated master's/B.A. programs and a dual M.A. degree with the School of Diplomacy and International Relations are offered.
Categories: Arts and Culture