My Winthrop Experience

Name: Brandon McGinnis '12
Residence: Charlotte, North Carolina
Degree: Sport management
Occupation: Assistant director of public relations, Big South Conference

If you ask Brandon McGinnis '12 how to make the most of your Winthrop University experience and land a job post-graduation, he has two words for you: GET INVOLVED.

"During my four years, I not only volunteered with Winthrop Athletics, but I also spent time working with the Charlotte Knights, the city of Rock Hill and the South Atlantic Conference," said McGinnis, now assistant director of public relations for the Big South Conference. "All of those hours will help build your resume and separate yourself from other college graduates. Many sport management majors have a tough time finding full-time jobs right out of school because of their lack of experience, but that was never something a potential employer said to me."

It comes as no surprise that McGinnis, a sport management graduate, counts the sporting events he attended and volunteered at as his greatest Winthrop memories. He estimates he worked and/or attended at least 75 events each academic year.

"I'll always remember enjoying going to class every day, which is something I thought I'd never say," he said. "It was waking up for class to learn about working in sports, then in the evening, I would attending a sporting event. What more could you ask for?"

Originally from Doylestown, Ohio, McGinnis chose Winthrop for its "small-town feel" and a charm that reminded him of home.

He rushed the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, joined the Interfraternity Council Board, where he served as vice president of administration affairs, participated in intramural sports and became a member of the Sport Management Association.

After graduating in 2012, McGinnis interned at Appalachian State University's sports information department.

"Within the year I spent there, App State went through many changes from a new football coach to joining the Sun Belt Conference," he explained. "From an experience standpoint, it was a great time to be there."

He then earned his first full-time job as the assistant sports information director at Anderson University, a Division II school. Moving from Winthrop-a Division I school-to Division II was a "culture shock" in terms of the resources available, he said.

"At Anderson, I took the lead on a lot of the new media aspects there weren't there when I started," McGinnis said. "We started streaming games, we grew our social media presence and created a positive interaction with our student-athletes that added to their college experience."

McGinnis began his current role with the Big South Conference in 2016.

His hands-on experience in Winthrop Athletics helped prepare him for his career, he said, and allowed him to network with people who helped get him to where he is today.

"The conference was the perfect fit for me being back with not only Winthrop, but the other Big South schools I grew to know during my time as a student, he said. "It's a surreal feeling when I get to travel to Winthrop for work purposes and not just to visit because without Winthrop, I wouldn't be in the spot I am in today."