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World Mag > WM Summer 2014 edition > Interview with Simona Popescu

Interview with Simona Popescu

Sports management as a career
Simona Popescu Class of 2003
Simona Popescu Class of 2003

WM: When did you attend AISB? What impact did it have on your life and career?

SP: I attended AISB from 2001 to 2003 (11th and 12th grade). I can say it had a major impact on my life because I was coming froman all-Romanian education system, which isvery different than the one in the American International School of Bucharest.

Even though back then I didn’t realize the benefits AISB offered, I came to a point in my life when I can say it really helped me a lotboth professionally and personally.

Besides making lifetime friends all over theworld, I gained a lot from the education system that the school had to offer.

WM: What sports did you play during your time at AISB? What were your favorite seasons and coaches? Tell us more about tournaments and mention names of team players and stories

SP: During my time at AISB I played soccer(11th and 12th grade) and basketball in my senior year.

I have to say my favorite season was the firstsoccer tournament that we went to in Warsaw.I had a great time from the moment we got
on the bus that took us to the airport until we arrived back in Bucharest.

Even though we only scored one goal during the whole tournament, we had loads of fun and it was worth every minute of it.
Mr. Bournas (our coach) was great, always supportive and we did our best on the pitch, which made the whole experience unforgettable.

As for team players, everyone was full of enthusiasm and we formed a great team.

Both my soccer tournaments and my basketball one were great, they taught me how to accept a loss, how to celebrate a win and most importantly how great it feels to be part of a team.

After graduating, in my first year of university, I came back to help out with the girls varsity soccer team - that’s how much I enjoyed my CEESA experiences. The tournament was in Bucharest, which gave me an idea of how things work from a host’s point of view.

WM: How did you decide to study Sports Management? Where did you study and how was the program?

SP: After graduating from AISB I decided to stay in Romania and so I attended theAcademy of Economic Studies with a major inInternational Relations, I graduated in 2007.

After University I started working for a company in the medical business. I liked my job but I decided I wanted something else
and considering the fact I was always a sports person, either practicing it or just watching it, I wanted to explore this area further so I startedlooking for a degree related to sports.

I chose to go to London, where I got myMasters in Sports Management from the University of East London. The program was great and the timing couldn’t have been betterconsidering the fact that I went there justbefore the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Everyone was breathing sports so I had manyopportunities to learn a lot from professionals in the sports market from all over the world.
I had a chance to get a glimpse of whathappens behind the scenes of such a great sporting event.

WM: What do you do now? Tell us how you started working at your job and describe the main activities you are involved with.

SP: Right now I work for the Romanian Rugby Union in the Communication, Marketing and Events department.


I got to work here after I graduated from my Masters and came to Bucharest to try andimplement some of the things I learned in London, back home. I started at the RugbyUnion in Romania as a volunteer, trying to gain experience, and in no time I became a fulltime employee.


I was very surprised to see that the Romanian Rugby Union was already implementing mostof the things I learnt at school and was alsovery open to new ideas both communication and marketing wise.


The team I am part of is great, we worktogether very well in trying to grow rugbyin Romania and I like to believe that we aremaking great progress every day.

Right now I am responsible for all of the Union's communication channels (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram as well as all of our websites) but I am also involved insponsorship, marketing and events.


WM: What is your recommendation to students who want to study sports management?


SP: Sports management is a growing market, and I believe more and more people start tounderstand the need of professionals and put more and more emphasis on this area because of the great outcomes it can create.

I would recommend sports management toanyone who likes sports and understands that behind medals, trophies or great success, there are dedicated professionals that make the things happen.

Sport has the power to move people andthrough sports a country can benefit in somany ways, no matter the sport, no matter the country.

Read the entire WORLD Magazine Summer 2014 edition here.


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