Alumni Highlight - Shawn Touney

Shawn Touney

Courtesy: Chad Brennan

The Sport Management program at Western Illinois University has produced a number of graduates who are having successful careers. One of those is Shawn Touney, a 2004 graduate of the program, currently employed as the media relations coordinator with the Kane County Cougars baseball team of the Midwest League.

Touney, who finds himself in the field he envisioned when he began the master’s program at Western, had some advice for current students beginning their careers.

Touney believes students should immerse themselves in opportunities in the sports industry through internships, assistantships, and part-time work in order to gain practical experience. The contacts made from these experiences will be invaluable for their careers.

He also recommended that individuals looking for a career in sports can find job vacancy announcements on the many job boards dedicated to sports such as Teamwork Online and

When preparing for the interview with a sports team Touney said, “Studying the particular organization, the year they had, and scouring their website for how they operate or market their product, will make your interview setting much more impressive and help you stand out more.”

Touney wished he could have done a couple of things better during his time at Western in order to be a better asset to potential employers. First, he wished he would have done a better job of networking with fellow students and his professors while at Western.

Another thing Touney wished he could have done better is being organized. He said that organizational skills are critical for being successful through his experiences, whether it’s with meetings, appointments, setting long-term and short-term goals and deadlines. Networking and organizational skills are invaluable in terms of being a better asset to your company.