Jerod Patzner

Current Role: Assistant Chemist II at Cayman Chemical
Graduate Year: 2018


What is it Like to Pursue a New Career Path?

What was your motivation or goal that prompted you to research and begin your degree program?

I’ve been doing laboratory work for 8 years now and after some self-evaluation, I realized I want to do something outside of the laboratory. I attempted to find jobs within the chemical industry in a business or customer focused role without much luck. I realized I needed to procure new skills and this program afforded the possibility to marry my passion for sports and data utilization.

Please briefly summarize how you would describe the program and your experience thus far to a potential student.

What’s the program’s biggest strength? How has the program exceeded your expectations?

I have currently only finished 2 of the courses in this program, but if I were to speak to a prospective student I would tell them this program will begin by introducing them to the most pertinent issues that are being investigated in the sports industry today. They will have their eyes opened to the growth markets emerging in sports today. They will also have the opportunity to network with people in the industry and be able to pick their brains about the future and what skills will be needed to succeed moving forward.

What made American University the obvious choice as opposed to other higher-education institutions for you?

The fact that it was pretty much the only online curriculum I could find with an emphasis on analytics. There are a multitude of sports management degrees available. As a working professional looking to pivot, I required flexibility.

Has the program assisted in your current role? If so, what courses did you find most helpful? What are the most valuable skills you learned?

My current industry is so different from the sports world, it’s hard to come up with much overlap. I’d say the most valuable skills I have learned are in the areas of revenue generation and customer engagement. I hope to use these skills moving forward as I make this career pivot.

How did the faculty keep the curriculum current?

The curriculum is based on very new and constantly evolving areas of the sports industry; therefore, the subject manner is very current.

Please describe an experience or two at work where you were able to apply skills from the program.

In my current position, we often look at new products and whether we should pursue them for our catalog of chemical offerings. Using the skills I have learned in this degree path, I routinely perform SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis on all new product suggestions.

What trends in the field are you looking forward to applying your skills to?

The trend of data analysis: the methods for collecting data, deciphering important data, and coming up data-informed business decisions to assist an organization in reaching their goals.

What have you gained from the communication with your peers online?

I have learned a lot from the online communication. The great thing is all my classmates and myself have different interests. I have learned a lot about eSports and VR segments from my classmates through the discussions for example.

Any additional comments or a story you would like to share that was not covered in the questions above?

The opportunity to attend the SEME Conference was a great experience. I am so used to the world of chemistry-related conferences. To be able to attend a conference focused on the sports industry was motivating and educational.

To learn more about American University’s online MS in Sports Analytics and Management, request more information or call us toll free at 855-725-7614.