This story by Communications and Public Affairs writer/editor Jackie Hennessey originally appeared in UNH Today during the Sochi Olympics.
Anna Vashurina '09 M.S. has worked in the global sports marketing world for several years now. But at the Olympic Games in Sochi, even she has found herself a bit star struck.
Vashurina is an account manager for IMG, a global sports, fashion and media business with 3,500 employees operating in more than 30 countries. She is in Sochi overseeing the company's accounts with General Electric and other corporate sponsors at the Winter Games. She typically works out of the Moscow office in the Olympic Consulting Department, where her clients are major international and Russian companies and partners of the Games.
UNH is an ideal place for people aspiring to work in sports management and marketing, said Vashurina. “It has everything at once – great professors, a beautiful campus, a perfect location in Connecticut, right between New York City and Boston,” she said. “And it’s just an hour away from some of the world's leading sports franchises.”
Vashurina encouraged UNH students currently preparing for careers in sports management to take advantage of all the field has to offer. “The sports industry is so much fun – never stop enjoying it!” she said. “Seize every opportunity and network. Always volunteer and keep your eyes open. You never know where you might go and who you might meet. Don’t hesitate to work for a team that is not your favorite; it can still be a great experience.”
After the Olympics are over and she has had a chance to recover, Vashurina plans to do a live talk with University students via Goggle Hangout, sharing her experiences, answering questions and providing students with insights on how to land a job like hers.
She will leave the Games with indelible images, particularly the stunning Opening Ceremonies. “The Sochi Olympics were a dream for Russia, the dream that we waited seven years for,” she said. “The ceremony reflected a girl named Lubov, the Russian word for love, who was actually living this dream. She was flying over Russia, learning different things about it and watching it evolve and grow, showing Russian history, our people and traditions.
“And then three-time Olympic hockey champion Vladislav Tretyak and legendary figure skater Irina Rodnina lit the Olympic flame,” she said. “It was a beautiful, touching moment and an unforgettable experience.”