News / USA

US College Students Get 'On The Job Training' at Vancouver Olympics

Most visitors to the Olympics come to enjoy the sporting events and take in the atmosphere. But a group of Washington D.C. students traveled to the Vancouver Winter Games to learn about sports marketing and management.

George Washington University students meet with a USA Today journalist in the Main Press Center at the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, 26 Feb. 2010
George Washington University students meet with a USA Today journalist in the Main Press Center at the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, 26 Feb. 2010

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +
Parke Brewer

This is the 10th time Lisa Delpy Neirotti has accompanied college students to an Olympic Games.  Neirotti is a professor for Sports Management at the George Washington University, and 28 students from the Business School are with her in Vancouver studying the management and marketing of the Olympic Games.

Through the years she has built up relationships with people connected to the Olympics to make these educational visits successful.

"We're meeting with people from IOC members all the way down to volunteers, including USOC, VANOC, sponsors from the top level to the national level, to suppliers," Neirotti said.

Professor Neirotti told VOA she meets with the students well in advance and warns them that the Olympic trips are not about fun and games.

"This is a rigorous course," she said. "The students are just dead tired.  I mean we go from 8[am] to 5 or 6[pm], and then they're expected to go out and collect surveys.  They collect a minimum of 50 surveys each of spectators."

And the students do that after their class time and their behind-the-scenes meetings and tours.

Neirotti says she also expects the students to attend sporting events, and they must purchase their own tickets.  

"The students are on their own to find tickets, but I help them," she said. "I have some connections with all the different ticket agencies, not just from the United States but from all different countries.  So at least I can point them in the right direction."

For obvious reasons it's an expensive college course to be enrolled in, says Neirotti.  Students must not only pay the normal university course tuition, but they must cover the cost for airfare, local transportation, housing, food, tickets and, of course, souvenirs.

Professor Neirotti was able to find a youth hostel so the students pay a modest $40 a night compared to other lodging options.  She said they don't spend much time there, so they don't need anything better.

"I actually have them sign a form saying you will be running, you will skip meals, you will not get [much] sleep," Neirotti said.  "And, you know, they think I'm kind of joking when I have them sign this form.  But when we're here it's in preparation for if they work a Games.  I mean I know the staff of VANOC [Vancouver organizers] and media; they don't get much sleep when they're here because they're working."

George Washington University Professor Lisa Delpy Neirotti and student Morgan Goerke at the Vancouver Winter Olympics, 26 Feb. 2010
George Washington University Professor Lisa Delpy Neirotti and student Morgan Goerke at the Vancouver Winter Olympics, 26 Feb. 2010

Student Morgan Goerke confirms her professor's claims.

"She's not lying.  I think I've eaten lunch once in the past week, and we literally run from one event to another, across traffic and through crowds and crowds, but it's very important that we make a good impression so we try to get there on time, and that sometimes involves running," she said.

The students are getting some journalistic experience as well, as they are writing an Internet blog at sportsfanlive.com.  

Professor Neirotti says it's been well received.

"Thousands of people have come to the site to see the unique experiences that our students are experiencing here," she said.

Just like athletes and spectators have their special moments at an Olympics, Neirotti beamed when she told about her special moment in Vancouver.

"I was at the USA House the other day talking to somebody about our student group, and I went on after our discussion, and then he came back and he came over and shook my hand and said how impressed he was with what we were doing," she said. "And when he shook my hand, inside was $400, and he said I want you to take the students out for a good meal."

As for sightseeing, there's little time for that during their studies at the Olympics, but the students are welcome to stay for a bit on their own afterwards - if, of course, they are not worn out.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid