Making Sport a Numbers Game: Meet Erica Desrosiers, One of Temple’s 30 under 30
First Published: January 23, 2020
Topics: Alumni, Alumni Stories, In the News, STHM School
As an undergraduate at the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM), Erica Desrosiers ’13, combined her aptitude in numbers with her love for sport, earning a degree with a double major in finance and sport and recreation management. Now a Senior Financial Analyst for Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena, she excels in various financial aspects that are crucial in the industry. Named one of Temple’s 30 under 30, Desrosiers joined the Hawks after working as an analyst for Madison Square Garden and Warner Music.
“What drives me is the feeling that what I’m doing today may someday pave the way for someone who looks like me to have the courage, motivation and dedication to go after what she wants—to be able to walk into a room, confident in her abilities, even if she’s the only one who looks like her. I’m inspired to pave the way for someone like me, the same way that so many paved the way for me.”
How did your experience at STHM prepare you for your career as a Senior Financial Analyst with the Atlanta Hawks?
I learned how to work with individuals from diverse backgrounds, and my degree also helped me hone my problem-solving skills. Taking what I learned from my professors and my peers, I’m able to do better and help my managers accomplish their goals.
What drew you to your position working in finance for a sports team?
I’ve always loved numbers as well as sports—I’m a diehard football girl. I wanted to give back to the industry in a way that didn’t have a shelf life. Through finance and accounting, I can apply my expertise with any team or league, regardless of what changes may occur on the court, on the field or on the ice.
Given that the business of sport is still dominated by white males, how do you feel your education at STHM prepared you to succeed as a woman of color in this industry?
In a highly-competitive industry, I want to be able to show someone else that—even when you might be a minority and there aren’t a lot of people who look like you—you can still thrive. At an amazing school such as Temple, they take the time to honor you for that as well.
At STHM they drilled into us that, regardless of your background, your faith, creed, or socioeconomic status, if you’re qualified for the position, you can do well. It gave me the self-confidence to know that I shouldn’t shrink myself just because I might be the only one who looks like me in a room. You may find yourself wanting to shrink into the background…to not have to be the token woman of color in the room—because you don’t want to have to speak for all women of color. But the STHM program gave me the confidence to speak up and be confident about my ability to bring about positive change, and garner my own ideas to help facilitate an organization.
What would you tell someone who was considering an STHM program?
To someone considering enrolling as either an undergrad or a graduate student, I’d say do it. It’s a great program. The faculty and administration show countless times how much they care. You’re not just another student—they care about your journey and do everything in their power to help you accomplish your goals. Even when you’re no longer within the walls of STHM, they still think of you and make sure to bridge the gap with current students. It’s a network and a family you never leave, even after you walk across the stage and get your diploma.
How do you feel about being named one of Temple University’s 30 under 30 in 2019?
I was shocked! When you’re not even 30, you think of your career as still taking off. But I don’t take for granted being recognized as someone who is influential for students coming up. I feel blessed to be able to be a beacon of inspiration or hope to other students.