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Nicholas Watanabe, Assistant Professor - University of South Carolina (Interview)

Updated: Mar 29, 2021

An excerpt from the interview of Nicholas Watanabe - an associate professor in the Department of Sport and Entertainment Management at USC. He received his Master of Science in Leisure Studies and his Ph.D. in Recreation, Sport and Tourism from the University of Illinois.

Q) In India when you talk Ph.D., If I say sports management, even if I say a Masters in Sports Management, parents and a lot of people out there will be like “Okay, is that even a program?” What do you see yourselves doing differently? In the US there are multiple programs out there, how do you guys set yourself apart?

A) The first job I took as a professor was at the University of Missouri, and my first week there, somebody asked me, "What did you get your degree in?” I said “Recreation, Sport and Tourism”. He’s like “You can get a degree in that?” I was like, “Well, what do you study?” he's like “I study soil” and I was like “You can get a degree in that?”

I can make this argument for a lot of things. He studied dirt, right? How is that important? So, I understand. My dad's Japanese and I went through a lot of schooling in Japan, so I understand that it's usually that you're in sport because you're going to be a professional athlete, or you go and study and do a real thing.

But now it's evolved somewhat, and I can see it sort of shifting worldwide. Definitely, the impression is different here in the US. Japan has a lot more legitimate sport business programs now, people are seeing it as a business. China is making that shift as well. So, I think it's sort of a gradual education process that’s eventually happening.

"So, I think eventually as time passes, more and more programs in India will form and even we have started having more Indian graduate students coming to our program as well."

That's good to see because we want to make sure that we're getting a good international base here at South Carolina.


To watch the complete interview, please click here

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