Why the Cottrell MBA – MBA Student Ashley Beaton

Ashley Beaton with the UNG Nighthawk Nigel

by Ashley Beaton

Currently, I am a graduate assistant for Athletic Administration where I help with day to day operations, special events, student-athlete development and game day operations.

I wanted to pursue my MBA because I knew it would set me apart in the collegiate athletic industry. One class in particular, Accounting for Decision Making, directly helped me to broaden my scope in my career and in life. I earned my B.A. in Developmental Psychology, so I did not have much experience in accounting. Needless to say I was intimidated by the class material at first. My professor, Dr. Ellen Best, was an absolute joy to learn from. She had a way of challenge my classmates who had significant experience in accounting, but she was also able to break down the material in a way that those without that experience, like me, could excel.

One area that is imperative to a collegiate athletic department is the budget and finance area. This was also one area that I did not have immediate interest in. With that being said, I knew it was an area I needed to grow in. I was able to take the basics I learned in the class as well as specific topics like how to analyze financial reports that are important to our day to day activities. I am able to help our Associate Athletics Director for Business Operations with our mandatory financial reporting and our team’s budget tracking. This is another tool I have in my toolbox to further help the Athletic Department here and where ever I go next in my career. I have more respect for the folks who deal with accounting and financial procedures, as the work they do is the glue to keep the department running and to give our student-athletes the best experience while they are here at University of North Georgia.

I am confident moving forward that I can be an asset when it comes to accounting operations in an athletic department. This class helped me in so many ways from being able to navigate excel in a more productive way to being able to make intelligent decisions when it comes to the financial wellbeing of our department.