That’s why Emily Fornatora, whose love of basketball helped to decide her career goals, chose to study sport management at Towson.
“I fell in love with the major,” says Fornatora, because “everything you do is about experience.”
In Fornatora’s case, that experience came in the form of internships and work opportunities — with a minor league baseball team, with the TU Tiger Athletic Fund, and with TU Campus Recreation — exactly the background she needed to pursue her dream of a career in collegiate athletics marketing and development.
Fornatora credits the sport management program’s off-campus connections and partnership with the TU Athletics Department with giving students shots at on-the-job training.
Fornatora also did research on post-partum body image with professors Jacob Bustad and Jaime DeLuca. She admits being anxious about doing academic research before she started, but is grateful that Bustad and DeLuca persuaded her to face her fears. She received the university’s prestigious Research Impact Award in recognition of her hard work and dedication to research.
Now Fornatora has an experience under her belt that is propelling her toward her goal of entering a master’s degree program after graduation.
“The professors are very engaged with your life,” says the Montgomery County, Maryland native. “They try to get you internships. They talk to you about grad school. You get multiple e-mails from them saying, ‘Here are opportunities.’”
One faculty member, adds Fornatora, recently set up a LinkedIn page for current and past sport management majors, providing a valuable networking space.
“They really want you to succeed,” she says, “in the real world.”
Fornatora, who graduated in 2019, was honored to be selected as Commencement speaker for the College of Health Professions. She accepted a job with Koa Sports, a nonprofit youth sport organization, after graduation.