A change in career trajectory was pitch perfect for Christopher Lorenzo.
"For 22 years, I wanted to be a lawyer," he said. "I had law school in mind, but I took the LSAT once and decided a career in sports was a better opportunity for me."
The Miami native completed the Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Sports Administration program at St. Thomas University (STU) in June 2020.
Lorenzo is also an intern in the community engagement department of Inter Miami CF, a Major League Soccer expansion team with the legendary David Beckham in its ownership group.
"The general counsel at Inter Miami CF went to law school with my dad, Richard, who taught law at St. Thomas," he said. "They have been friends for almost 30 years.
"I got the internship before I enrolled. I was going to apply to law school at STU anyway, but it's one of the most well-known sports administration programs in the nation, which was what I wanted."
Although the MBA program includes more business courses than Lorenzo anticipated, he has benefited from all of the knowledge he has gained in the 12-month time to completion.
"It's been a challenge, but it's also been eye-opening," he said. "I enjoy learning new things. I have always been more into sports than school, but learning about something that I enjoy is the most important part for me. Sports has been a big part of my life.
"Learning more about what goes into the daily aspects of running a sports team and working in certain departments has been the best. My family and friends were proud of me for finally picking something I wanted to do."
After a stellar baseball career at Gulliver Preparatory, Lorenzo played shortstop and center field for four seasons at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
"I played soccer until I was 8 years old," he said. "My dad played college soccer. I was the first of the five kids to tell my dad, 'I don't like all of this running around.'
"I want to become vice president of a department or be a general manager. Eventually, I would like to work in baseball."
Lorenzo is right at home in Miami, gaining real-world experience while putting the finishing touches on a master's degree.
SPO 544: Sports Marketing and Promotions is Lorenzo's favorite course in the MBA in Sports Administration program — especially since it's so applicable to his internship.
"I had always thought marketing was something that was basically getting people to watch commercials," he said. "My department works closely with the marketing department, and there is a lot more to it than saying, 'Here's a billboard. Come watch us' or putting a sticker on something."
Plus, Sean Flynn, who taught that course, was president of a semiprofessional soccer club, Miami FC, for nearly four years and is also a graduate of the MBA in Sports Administration program at St. Thomas University.
"It was cool because Mr. Flynn talked about everything he has done from the beginning, including the failures and the successes," Lorenzo said. "Learning from someone who has made it to the top of the organization and hearing about the pain you have to go through before you get a CEO title was interesting."
In addition to the practical knowledge Lorenzo has gained in the program, he has also seen the variety of career options available in the sports administration field.
"I thought working in sports meant you work for a professional team or you don't work for anybody at all," he said. "I have friends who work for nonprofits that help people in underprivileged communities find sports.
"I work closely now with Special Olympics. Miami has its own Special Olympics team. You make connections. The networking can be very beneficial. There are people I would have never met if I hadn't gone to STU."
Lorenzo would like to walk the graduation stage if Inter Miami CF's postseason schedule doesn't pose a conflict to commencement in December 2020.
"This degree will definitely open up opportunities for me," he said. "STU currently has three alumni serving as presidents or general managers of professional sports teams. A lot of people know St. Thomas University."
Now that Lorenzo has a degree that will help him follow his passion, he believes he can achieve anything. STU upended his long-held notion that school is boring.
"I had fun at St. Thomas," he said. "You learn different things and meet new people who work for so many different types of teams and organizations. I got exactly what I was looking for — and more."
Learn more about the STU online MBA program with a concentration in Sports Administration.
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