With a Demanding Job in the NFL, He Needed a Flexible Way to Earn an MBA

September 28, 2021
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Baylor’s flexible online MBA program offers a path to a career-advancing degree for Carl Faraon, who works 12-hour days with the Houston Texans.

With a Demanding Job in the NFL, He Needed a Flexible Way to Earn an MBA

Growing up near Detroit, Carl Faraon dreamed of working in pro sports one day. That day came in early 2021, when he received a job offer from the Houston Texans.

Faraon is also pursuing an online MBA at Baylor, which he sees as the next natural step in advancing his career.

Carl FaraonCarl Faraon“I don’t know where I’m going to end up in my career, but I know that I’m more than what I am right now,” he said. “To help me get there, I’m learning everything I can about business and anything that can help me become a more well-rounded person. And I know this program will get me there, based off of Baylor’s reputation.”

Faraon’s journey into pro sports began at the University of Michigan, where he majored in sport management. That led to a full-time job as equipment manager for the Wolverines football team. At his next job, with SportStar Athletics in Houston, he sold equipment to NCAA and NFL teams across the country.

The job gave him a taste of the sales side of sports; he particularly enjoyed developing relationships with the contacts he made at various teams. Contacts he had at the Houston Texans resulted in a job offer in early 2021. As team logistics and equipment assistant, he knows most of his counterparts at the other teams because he used to sell chin straps to them. It’s a tight-knit network that extends across the country.

Well-Rounded Business Knowledge

With a job in professional football—in the most popular league for all U.S. sports—Faraon sees an MBA as an opportunity to gain a more comprehensive knowledge of business for an even stronger foothold in his career. As a first-year student, he has not yet chosen a concentration but is eyeing marketing or executive communication.

“There are a handful of folks in this operation who do have their MBA, and they told me they wouldn’t be where they are without it,” he said. “I’m going into this with a very broad mindset. I want to become more well-rounded.”

Online Flexibility, Excellent Reputation

Faraon’s search for the right MBA program started with a look through the academic rankings. He had heard of Baylor’s reputation as a quality MBA program and said his experience in the classroom has already proved it is well deserved. But what happens after graduation is also important, he pointed out.

“It sounds bad, but I’m big with the names, and Baylor is a big name that always sticks out to anyone,” he said, laughing. “While it’s important to learn a lot while you’re in school, it’s also important where you went, as well as the alumni connections that come out of it, and Baylor checked all those boxes for me.”

Faraon chose the online MBA program for the flexibility it allows. His job with the Texans demands 12- to 14-hour days, every day, during a season that can last from September until February. With such a busy schedule, the discipline of an established routine is essential for graduate work. Baylor’s online MBA program lets him tackle his studies at the time of day or day of the week that makes the most sense for him.

“The way that these courses are set up allows for me to hit it at my time while also learning and meeting deadlines set by the professors,” he said.

Success = Persistence and Connections

While working in professional sports can be grueling, Faraon said, it’s exciting too. For those hoping to break in, he has two pieces of advice.

“The biggest thing about breaking into sport is just being persistent, showing that you’ll do whatever you need to do for the team,” he said. “While the hours are long and it’s not always glamorous—heck, I do laundry for the players and coaches—there are a lot of cool things too, like traveling with the team.”

“The other thing is making contacts and connections, whether before you get into sport or while you’re in it. It’s who you know. I knew a few people at the Houston Texans who are helping me succeed in this role,” he said.

Earning his MBA will allow Faraon to advance in ways he can’t yet imagine as his career evolves.

“I know the value of continuing my education formally with a graduate school education is going to be worth more than anyone can put a number on,” he said. “In the end, I’m thinking of my future—my future family’s future—and I have confidence in this program to get there.”

What’s Next

Interested in learning how the flexibility of Baylor’s online MBA helps busy professionals prepare for their next career step? Explore our online MBA page. Or complete the form below and one of our admissions advisers will contact you directly to help you determine the best path forward.

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