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Arkansas State University

Floridian Justin Homatas Sets Career Foundation in Online Master’s Degree Program

A-STATE MS Sports Admin graduate Justin Homatas

By the time that sports enthusiast Justin Homatas completed his bachelor’s degree in supervision and management two years ago, he had a new career path in mind.

“My mother, Angela, heard from one of her friends that being an athletic director was a pretty good option,” he said. “That got me interested in pursuing a career in the sports industry. I did some research on the role of athletic director. It was enticing to me.”

Soon thereafter, Homatas enrolled in the online Master of Science in Sport Administration program at Arkansas State University (A-State). He completed the program in August 2021.

“I did some research and found the program at A-State,” he said. “I liked the fact that it was completely online, which gave me the opportunity to complete courses around my schedule. That was appealing because I was working full time and wanted to balance it with my life.

“The affordability was also nice. Many of the other programs I was considering at the time were almost double the tuition of A-State’s … That reassured me that the program was going to supply me the knowledge and skills to be successful.”

A-State’s M.S. in Sport Administration program is accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation, which also appealed to Homatas. He currently works as an assistant operations manager at Club Design Group in Tampa, Florida, after working in customer service during his time in the online master’s degree program.

“The online format was great,” he said. “I worked school in around my work and life schedules. It’s important to be organized when you’re earning an online degree.”

Opening Drive

Homatas was born and raised in Chicago, where he grew up an avid sports fan. He moved to the Sunshine State in 2010. Nine years later, he graduated from Florida SouthWestern State College.

“I did a lot of research on what went into becoming a sports administrator,” he said. “It appeals to me. I wasn’t interested in coaching, but I love the idea of working in the sports industry.”

To ensure that he was covering his bases, Homatas took the thesis route in the online M.S. in Sport Administration program. He hopes to become a college athletic director.

“The program prepared me for my career well,” he said. “I learned a lot in the classes. I am also planning on pursuing a Ph.D. program. Getting to work with Dr. David LaVetter directly and complete the thesis was a big help in preparing me for that.”

Homatas plans to start the Ph.D. program in 2022. However, the information he learned in the M.S. program gave him the perspective to achieve his career goals.

“I enjoyed all of the courses, but my two favorites were Sport Finance & Budgeting and Sport Governance & Operations,” he said. “Those two courses apply to what I want to do in the future.

“I absolutely got tremendous value out of the program. Getting all of the knowledge from the courses and getting to complete my thesis and work directly with Dr. LaVetter was a great experience.”

Ready for Tip-Off

Homatas had much encouragement throughout his time in the online M.S. in Sport Administration program — especially since he is the first person in his immediate family to earn a master’s degree.

“My mother and father, Peter, always encouraged me to take my education as far as possible. They are also pushing me to go for the Ph.D. My whole family was very excited for me.”

Homatas enjoys spending time with his dog, playing basketball and online gaming, but he also made time to keep up with his schoolwork, which was essential to his success in the online master’s degree program.

“It’s important to make sure that you’re organized,” he said. “The program relies on you to manage everything, so you have to have good time management.”

Homatas looks forward to embarking on his career now that he has the online M.S. in Sport Administration under his belt.

“I definitely feel like the master’s degree will open up some opportunities and help me make the transition to the sports industry,” he said. “I am not working in the sports industry right now, but I am getting business experience. The degree will help me tremendously.”

Learn more about A-State’s online M.S. in Sport Administration program.

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