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Student Success

Antonio Jimenez is Making His Sports Dreams Come True at NC State

Antonio poses at Wolf Plaza - Second-Year Student Antonio Jimenez Pursues Passion for Sport Management - College of Natural Resources News NC State University

Antonio Jimenez is a sophomore majoring in sport management in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management at NC State’s College of Natural Resources.

Jimenez is a member of the James Buzzard Leadership Development Program and the University Honors Program. He is also involved with Mi Familia, a Latinx cultural, social and political club at NC State.

We recently asked Jimenez about his decision to study sport management at the College of Natural Resources and his goals for the future. Check out the Q&A below to learn more. 

Why did you choose to study sport management?

Sports have always been an incredibly important and involved part of my life. Growing up in Green Bay, Wisconsin — a small but mighty football town — it was hard not to fall in love with sports, and not just the sports themselves, but what they do for the community and uniting people. Sports have that unique ability to not only be entertaining and engaging, but to also bring people together and create everlasting memories. From having Packers players visiting my school when in kindergarten to carrying a banner on the field during the 2019 Gold Cup in front of 60,000 fans with my family in attendance for a Mexico game, there was little question about what I wanted to do in my future.

When it came to pursuing my education, I knew I wanted to continue being involved in sports, and after much research I knew it had to be through NC State. There was such a strong connection between what the university had to offer and what I wanted my college experience to be like. Additionally, the opportunity to not only receive a world-class education but be able to immediately put it in practice through working with my favorite hockey team in the Carolina Hurricanes could not be passed up.

What is your favorite memory from your time at NC State so far?

My favorite memory from my time at NC State was Packapalooza last year. I had just finished my first week of class and was in the early stages of adjusting to life in college. The first week was incredible, between Welcome Week activities such as the Moonlight Howl and Run, meeting new people in my classes, and getting to know my fellow residents in the Quad area. To that point, NC State was proving to be an excellent decision.

What really separates this memory from my others is when I finally got to experience Packapalooza. This had been talked about almost nonstop, from when I had first toured NC State in high school to now finishing up that first week as a college student. However, nothing prepared me for how incredible it actually was. I had gone with some of my new friends from the Quad, and we didn’t want to leave the event. The food, the giveaways, the activities blew our minds. When it was finally time for the music, we, like many others, left due to the pouring rain and uncertainty of whether American Aquarium would actually perform. Instead, we all went back to the Quad, and played volleyball in the pouring rain, only stopping to watch the fireworks go off at the Memorial Belltower. We must have played until 3 a.m., and to this day, those friends are some of my closest here at NC State.

What are your career goals?

My goals are to build a long and successful career within the sports industry, and one day be either a general manager or a team president for one of the Big Five sports leagues in the United States, or work for a major sports team in Europe, such as an English Premier League team or in Formula One. After having worked for the Charlotte Knights in minor league baseball, and in my second season with the Carolina Hurricanes, there is no doubt that I want to continue to build a career in sports. My goal is to do my parks, recreation and tourism management internship this upcoming summer and work to continue building myself up for success after college.

How has the college prepared you for your future?

The College of Natural Resources has helped prepare me for my future by providing me with engaging classes and professors who not only care about my success in the classroom but also provide unique assignments and projects designed to help build my professional network and post-graduate career. Through the college, I have been able to connect with professionals with different sports organizations, such as the Durham Bulls and D.C. United, meet incredible leaders through the James Buzzard Leadership Development Program, as well as gain connections with professionals in the sports agency industry. 

What advice would you give to students entering your major?

My advice to any student who is entering the sport management program is to take advantage of every opportunity you can, and to not stress about what others are doing. While I did have some experience through working with the Charlotte Knights before arriving at NC State, I knew that I could only learn more and gain more experience by being active not only in sports by working, but through the college and university programs via professors, academic advisors and programs. Through the Buzzard Leadership Program, I have been exposed to a wide range of incredible leaders, building connections with them and expanding my knowledge and network in the process. 

I have also been involved with the university through working as an orientation leader and as a resident advisor, which has given me the opportunity to grow as a leader and individual. Any meeting, any organization or relationship you have been offered, take advantage and use it to build your skills, knowledge and professionalism. Finally, always be ready to give back and pass on what you have learned in order to help others.

Tell us about something you are passionate about outside of your academic studies.

Outside of my academic studies and pursuits, I have long had a passion for world history and reading. As a student who comes from a multicultural background, it is difficult for me to not find an interest in how historical events have shaped the world to be the way it is today. Whether it was medieval conflicts such as the War of the Roses and the Hundred Years’ War, revolutionary wars in America, France and Haiti, or more recent conflicts such as Cold War-era espionage and the Balkan States, history has been a fascination of mine that I can never get enough of.

In addition, I also love spending time to read and detach myself from reality at times. My particular interests include science fiction like Frank Herbert’s “Dune” or Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation”, fantasy like “Harry Potter” or “The Hobbit”, and mystery, such as the works of Agatha Christie. I have always believed that reading is an instrument for imagination and dreams; I have no shortage of dreams.