Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Speaker Spotlight: David Cohn

Dec. 6, 2016

ICYMI: David Cohn was born outside of Milwaukee in Glendale, WI. Cohn’s first sports internship opportunity came as a member of the ticket sales department for the Milwaukee Bucks while he was still in high school. He described his experience there more as a “jack-of-all-trades” on top of gaining sales experience.

Cohn began college as a freshman at the at University of Indiana-Bloomington. He had originally considered UW-Madison as well, however, Wisconsin’s lack of a sports management program is what ultimately brought him to Bloomington instead, given that Indiana did in fact offer this track. During his first year in Bloomington, Cohn quickly realized that Indiana’s program instituted a larger focus on sports science, such as nutrition and fitness rather than business or finance.  

He then returned to his home state as a transfer student to the University of Wisconsin. In the summers before and after his junior year at Wisconsin, Cohn became involved as an intern with the Wisconsin PGA Junior Foundation. As a student at UW, Cohn also joined the university’s Athletic Department staff as an intern for both his junior and senior year.  

After multiple visits to a chapter of the Sports Entertainment & Marketing Experience (SEME) which was previously hosted at Northwestern University, Cohn soon realized he was the only student in attendance from UW-Madison, despite the campus’ close proximity. Upon a similar observation, an event staff member inspired him to consider, and eventually found the Sports Business Club at Wisconsin along with a handful of fellow interns from the Athletic Department during Cohn’s senior year.

For those seeking employment in the sports industry, Cohn had this to say:


  • “Take advantage of the connections you can make as a member of the SBC while you’re here, because the number of people you will become involved with through the club will continuously grow throughout your career.”
  • “Use your resources.” Being a student can open a lot of doors simply by saying you want to learn from someone almost always makes that person want to give back to you. As you’re a student here at UW, ask yourself who you want to learn from. What are my available resources?
  • “Continue to learn.” For Cohn, that’s always asking himself what else he can do. Continue to seek out new ways to learn.
  •  “Value your network.” Try and stay in touch with the people in your network from UW; utilize your network in an appropriate way.
  •  “Create your opportunities.” Raise your hand and ask, “Hey, how can I help?” Always ask to do more. 
  • “Make yourself valuable.” Figure out what works best for you, whether that’s gaining work experience or pursuing an MBA.
  • “Say thank you.” You’re going to encounter a lot of people who will go the extra mile to help you, whenever that happens, say thank you. Draft an email, phone call, text, or classic thank-you note. “Handwritten thank-you letters are under-valued these days.”

Thank you to David for making the time to share with our club and teach us about the Sports Business Club’s inception and founding back in 2008!

Follow David Cohn on Twitter: @dmcohn
Follow WSGA on Twitter: @WSGAGolf

Learn more about WSGA here

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