Today, I am unemployed for the first time since high school. Despite the company being incredible and full of brilliant and great people, especially the founder and how he built the place and culture, I quit my job after only 6 weeks because I began to realize I missed being a practitioner.
And I felt it was going to become too difficult to produce high quality interviews for Higher Ed Athletics in the fall if I lost my perspective as a practitioner. It might be different since I’m not actually working in an athletic department, but I still see myself as a practitioner by doing my own homework and talking to industry colleagues. Those that know me understand the HEA podcast has been a long-term play from the beginning. I started it in 2019 when I found out I was accepted into the IU Higher Education & Student Affairs EdD program. The plan was to start a qualitative research company specializing in focus groups, interviews and observation studies when I finished my coursework and started on my dissertation, which is a year from now.
Change of plans. Instead of waiting another year to launch HEA as a business, I’ve decided to do it now. I am confident in my knowledge, processes and relationships to understand what athletic directors need help studying. I’m starting with three specific research services: Donor Study, Season Ticket Holder Study, and Embedded Fan Observation Study. I have been thinking and designing these studies for over a year and plan to keep the price low as a one-person small business.
I hope you continue to listen to Higher Ed Athletics and the research briefs/content I begin to put out, especially now that this is my full-time gig. And I hope the athletic directors and senior-level administrators that know me and/or hear me on the podcast give me an opportunity to show you why conversational research can be quite useful in an industry obsessed with numbers. Time to bet on myself.