Member Spotlight: Josh Varughese, New York Yankees

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This week, SAinSports is shining the spotlight on a recent college grad who just started his career in the world of professional sports. Josh Varughese, graduated from Rutgers University last year with a B.S in Sports Management and is now an Account Executive for Inside Sales at the New York Yankees.

What made you choose to have a career in the sports industry?

From a young age I invested heavily in sports, drawing passion from the game of basketball, hoping to make a life out of it. In lieu of a professional sports career, sports helped me develop fundamental characteristics that are applicable not only in business, but also in life. Particularly, it introduced me to the value of camaraderie, work ethic, and the significance of being a goal-oriented individual. I was immediately attracted to the business side of the sports & entertainment world after taking a deeper look at what it offers.

Being South Asian, did you come across any barriers in choosing an undergraduate degree in sports management? For instance, at home with your parents?

Of course! As most South Asians parents would like of their children, my parents wanted me to go into finance, engineering, medicine, etc. It was difficult for my family to understand my vision in the sports business industry. I went against their will and decided to pursue my passion for sports. I took pride in learning as much about the industry at Rutgers University to put myself in the best situation in hopes of pivoting towards a role with any team.

What’s its like being right out of college working for a major baseball team?

Getting a call from the New York Yankees my junior year at Rutgers was one of the best moments of my life. I never thought the opportunity would present itself so early in my career.

What is the best part of your job?

Having the ability to work and learn from some of the top people in the business and network with influencers in the NYC area. I also get to be a part of the game, which allows me to see sports & athletes behind the scenes with a different lens.

What advice do you have for young aspiring students wanting to go in the same direction you did?

Be aware and learn as much as you can about what’s going on in the sports and business world. Learn about the corporate structure of different sports organizations to see what kind of positions are available that cater to your strengths and interests. Find out who has a job you’d like and reach out to them to set up a phone call or meeting.

Good luck Josh! We look forward to following your budding career.

7 Successful South Asians Working in Sports

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We are back to highlight another set of successful South Asians making a name for themselves in the sports industry. This list boasts South Asian men and women thriving in sports leadership, creative production, advertising and journalism.

Check out these 7 South Asian professionals who work in sports.

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Asha Thacker
(@ashaiscool): Sports Partnerships at Facebook. Asha is currently leading sports partner development for Facebook in India. Previous to Facebook, she led the partnership function for IMG Reliance Ltd, (a joint venture company formed by IMG and Reliance Industries Limited). Before working in sports, Asha had an extensive global career in consumer goods, fashion, and non-profits. Asha is certainly cool!

 

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Atul Khosla
(@atulkhosla) Chief Operating Officer for the Chicago Fire Soccer Club. Atul holds an undergraduate degree in an Industrial Engineering from the University of Wisconsin- Madison and worked in Healthcare for at General Electric for several years before completing his MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. After graduate school, Atul secured his first role in the sports industry serving as Vice President of Business Development and Operations at Alli Sports (A Division of NBC Sports). Since 2011, Atul has served as the COO of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club. In 2013, Atul was named Crains Chicago 40 Under 40.

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Alykhan Ravjiani
(@AlykhanKR): Reporter MLB.com – Toronto Blue Jays, Canada. Alykhan’s path in sports started in 2009 as a High School basketball coach and referee for the Mississauga Monarchs Basketball team. After getting his certificate in Sports Journalism at Centennial College, Alykhan became a sports writer/reporter for the Toronto Observer, Pan American Games and Tennis Canada. He also worked in media relations for the Toronto Raptors and the NHL before acquiring his current position as a Toronto Blue Jays MLB reporter. In addition to his work as a reporter, Alykhan launched the Sports From The 6 platform, a place where young professional journalists have the opportunity to hone their craft and create a portfolio.

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Neeta Sreekanth
(@NeetaSreekanth): NFL Social Media at ESPN. Neeta started her career in sports as  Ball Kid for the Dallas Mavericks and later interned at the LA Sparks and CBS Television. After completing her undergrad in management, Neeta honed in on a niche in sports. She focused on Digital and Social Media for sports and worked for the Dallas Cowboys before her current position at ESPN.

 

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Rohan Nadkarni
(@RohanNadkarni): Writer for Sports Illustrated. Rohan graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in journalism. While completing his undergrad, Rohan wrote for The New York Times as a Sports Blogger, The Miami Herald, Deadspin and Sports Illustrated before becoming a full time writer for SI.com in 2015.

 

 

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Pooja Van Dyke
(@Brooklynpbjs) Associate Director of CreativeWorks ESPN. Pooja boasts more than 11 years of experience working in Sports; from studio and remote production, brand marketing to integrated marketing. She holds an undergraduate degree in Broadcast Journalism from Ohio State University. Fun fact, Pooja is an Emmy Nominated Associate Producer for ESPN!

 

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Harshal Sisodia
(@SuperHarsh) Global Digital Brand Director for Nike. Harshal is an award-winning digital producer and director with a distinguished career in advertising and marketing. He is a creative leader focused on discovering innovative and interactive experiences for the world’s leading sports and entertainment brands such as Burger King, Sprite and Nike. As the Global Digital Brand Director at Nike, Harshal has received more than 5 awards for his work Jordan The Last Shot campaign.