Sports Industry Standouts

Erica Desrosiers, STH ’13
Dollars and sense

At an NBA Atlanta Hawks game, every detail—the lights, seats, sponsorships, jerseys, concession stand workers and on-court talent—holds one thread in common: It all costs money.

“All the fun stuff you see on ESPN, no one talks about the finance and accounting that’s involved,” Erica Desrosiers says.

Desrosiers does a lot of talking about it, though: She is completing her first year as a senior financial analyst with the team.  

Because in addition to scores and records and salaries, the team has other important numbers to track. 

“At the end of the year, we need to see how profitable we are as an organization.”

Brandon McManus, CST ’13
Football phenom

I always wanted … to be involved in sports in some way. That’s why I majored in biology—to be an orthopedic surgeon.

Winning Super Bowl 50 was … surreal. To be the leading scorer and have my family, my parents and my wife there to celebrate with me was incredible. My parents did snow angels in the confetti on the field—it takes a whole family to get where I am.

Besides football I love ... fashion and putting different pieces together. I love to be an individual.

It’s important for … young kids to know they can be themselves and they should reach out to an adult when they need help. In my speaking engagements, I try to help kids know how to cope with bullying, and I donate all proceeds from my clothing line, The Brandon McManus Collection, to fighting bullying. 

Jessica Rawlings, CPH ’14, ’16
It’s a wrap

I spend my days … as an Athletic Trainer at William Penn Charter School, a Friends K-12 school in Philadelphia’s East Falls neighborhood. People ask if I see myself moving up to a college position, as if that would be a promotion. But I see the work I am doing here as more than just taping ankles and providing ice packs. I’m helping kids get to the next level in athletics and better understand their bodies. 

The trickiest part of my job is … working with young kids who don’t know how to verbalize what they are feeling. You’re left piecing together the clues.  

I’m glad I ended up at Temple, but ... Originally, I thought I wanted to go to school in Ohio, right up until move-in day when I just knew it wasn’t for me. I came back and did two years at Delaware County Community College, then transferred to Temple. Temple just took over my life, for the better! 

Athletic training enables me to … combine my love of sports with the opportunity to help people. Watching kids get back to their sport after an injury is probably the best part of my job. 

Kamali Thompson, CST ’12
Fearless fencer

Since graduating from Temple in 2012, women’s fencing star Kamali Thompson has been training fiercely, with her sights set on the 2020 U.S. Olympic team. Amidst an intense athletic schedule, she’s also earned her MBA at Rutgers Business School and is currently in medical school (also at Rutgers) to become an orthopedic surgeon. Here’s what she has to say about her multi-pronged, exceedingly ambitious career.

When and how did you get into fencing? I’m from Teaneck, New Jersey, and fencing is very popular there. I started in high school, though most people start in a private club when they’re very young, so I was a little behind the curve. But I was actually pretty decent at it!

What was a turning point in your high school fencing career? In 2006, I started training at the Peter Westbrook Foundation located at the Fencer’s Club in New York City. It’s the the oldest fencing club in the country. Peter Westbrook was a six-time Olympian and he’s African American and Japanese, so he wanted to make a club for kids in New York City who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford fencing. Our club is the most diverse in the country, and we have tons of Olympians. By my senior year, I was on the national circuit.

Why was Temple a good college choice for you? At nationals, I was introduced to Nikki Franke, CPH ’74, [former Olympian and renowned Temple fencing coach], and all my mentors said Temple would be a great place for me. When I visited campus, I really liked the diversity. Temple’s team atmosphere was so great. The older girls really helped me out and Coach Franke was the best coach I could ever have asked for.

Can you name the biggest influence on your ambition? My mom. I was in 8th grade the first time we saw fencing, and she pulled me aside and said, “You’re definitely going to do this,” and she took me to the foundation. My mom pushing me to do things that made me uncomfortable is probably why I go for things the way I do now, like medical school and getting my MBA.

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