In the Atrium with Madison Zylstra

Growing up in La Verne, California, Madison Zylstra always looked forward to watching her brothers play sports. So when they shipped off to play on different BYU teams, she knew she didn’t want to miss a game. Now a few years down the road, Zylstra is getting ready to graduate from BYU’s recreation management program and preparing for a career in sports management.

Working this summer as an intern with the Fredette Family Foundation, Madison took some time to speak with The Exchange about how BYU has opened doors that will help her accomplish her goals.

How did you get find your current internship?

I found out about it in my sports management class during winter semester—going to class pays off! The foundation’s purpose is to promote anti-bullying in schools through Jimmer Fredette’s Jimmer Jam Basketball Camp. We teach kids about the benefits of being kind in a really fun and interactive way. We just got done with the camp in Utah, and now we are heading to Glenn Falls, New York, where Jimmer grew up. The Fredette family is really passionate about putting an end to bullying.

What are the biggest highlights of your time in the recreation management program?

The two study abroad programs I had the opportunity to go on stand out. I went to Europe and the South Pacific. Overall, the program has been great because it’s allowed me to network with tons of great people.

What is the biggest challenge people face when trying to get more recreation in their lives?

The main thing is people thinking they don’t have time for it. A lot of the world thinks that you can either be successful in business or you can have a fun life. But I don’t buy into that.

Who influenced you the most during your time in the Marriott School?

Patti Freeman was a big influence during my academic career at BYU. I started out in her class curious about whether I really wanted to do recreation management. She opened my eyes to all the possibilities of recreation management and helped me to stick with it. She was also really good at trying to mold the students’ education based on our interests. For example, we went on a business visit to a rugby arena because a few of us were interested in sports management.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Hopefully working in a large arena in sports marketing or management. My dream is to work at the Staples Center in Los Angeles for either the Lakers or the Kings. I think it would be awesome to work there because of the concerts and events. I want to be a part of that.