Gable Johnson ’20 chose Simpson College because he could design his experience to fit his future goals. With a desire to work in sports, Johnson took advantage of Simpson’s proximity to Des Moines to shape his experience. He landed not one, not two, but three Exploreships with different collegiate athletic departments and professional teams just minutes from campus. Those experiences contributed to his acceptance into the Master of Arts in Business with a Specialization in Intercollegiate Athletics program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, one of the top athletic master’s programs in the country.
Hometown: Earlham, Iowa
Majors: Sport Administration, Business Management
Involvement at Simpson: Basketball Manager, Sport Administration Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Exploreships at Simpson: Grand View University Athletics, Drake University Athletics, The Ripken Experience, Iowa Cubs
Graduate Program: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Master of Arts in Business with a Specialization in Intercollegiate Athletics
You'll be attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and plan to puruse a career in sports. Was there a part of your Simpson experience that led you down this path?
Interning for both Grand View University and Drake University were incredible experiences that allowed me to be a part of a collegiate athletics department and perform meaningful work. I worked the NCAA Division I Basketball Championships, the Drake Relays and helped with other miscellaneous roles that allowed me to experience collegiate athletics on the biggest stages. Also, working for [head men's basketball coach] Brad Bjorkgren and [assistant men's basketball coach] Brandon Stromer for four years made me realize the importance of having great mentors in this industry. They challenged me to work in this industry once they saw the work I put in and the passion I have for sports.
What drew you to the MAIAA program at the University of Nebraska?
The program is designed with MBA coursework, provides tuition assistance and fits my career interests. Most importantly, the program was founded and is currently operated by some of the best professionals in the industry, resulting in a strong network of current administrators in collegiate athletics departments across the country. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has an incredible academic reputation and boasts one of the most notable athletic departments in the NCAA. Participating in the curriculum and the graduate assistant position will set me up for continued success throughout my career.
What are your plans after grad school?
I will be seeking a career in collegiate athletics administration. I am hoping to specialize in one of NCAA compliance, life skills, or coaching for men's/women's basketball. Eventually, I would like to become either an athletic director or work for the NCAA headquarters.
Did you take advantage of the services offered by the Office of Career Development to acquire your internships or get accepted into graduate school?
I utilized the Office of Career Development through the COOP May Term course my freshman year, along with preparing for my graduate school interview at UN-L. Career Development gave me a direction for a career choice and helped secure a spot into one of the best sport administration graduate programs in the country.
What will you miss most from your time at Simpson?
The friendships I made. I met almost all of the most important people in my life so far, at Simpson. Spending every day with them for four years was the best time of my life. All of the people at this college made me a better learner, friend, professional and person.
I'd also like to give a 'shout-out' to the people and groups who made my life so much better: Conor Riordan, Kenton Thoms, Adam Reiter, Mads Schulenberg, Coach B, Coach Stro, Coach McMahon, Simpson MBB, FCA, Sport Admin Club, and my advisors Katie Smith and Marilyn Mueller.
Why did you choose Simpson?
The sport administration program, the campus feel and the ability to make an impact right away. At a small college, you can design your experience however you want. Knowing this going into school, I took full advantage of the opportunities that I could to make it the best experience possible.