Andrew Olinger ‘14

Title: Athletics Budget Analyst

Employer: The Ohio State University 

Major: Economics, BA




What do you enjoy most about your current position? 

I enjoy using critical thinking skills every day and it never gets boring. We always have new issues or challenges to solve. In the current financial climate it is a constant challenge to try to improve efficiencies while trying to maximize every dollar we have to maintain or improve the student-athlete experience.

What is a typical day like in your position?

There are no two days the same in intercollegiate athletics. I work heavily in excel fine-tuning the year-end financial projection to help management make informed decisions. I also try to find more efficient ways to quickly prepare and analyze our monthly financial statements and various other reports for the department.

Which undergraduate experiences (i.e. internships, on-campus leadership, living learning communities, faculty member, etc.) did you find most helpful in preparing you for your current position? 

Internships provided me with the practical experience to be able to apply skills I learned in the classroom and apply them in the real world. I developed numerous connections I still have today which have helped me tremendously in my current job. My involvement in club sports was another aspect of my undergraduate experience I found helpful to prepare me for my current position. It allows you and your classmates to make decisions and plan at a micro level. I had to develop budgets and a financial plan on a micro level in a controlled environment, something I do on a daily basis today.

How has your coursework helped you in your current position (i.e. quantitative skills, research techniques, communication skills)? 

The coursework I took while in school helped me to develop my critical thinking and analytical skills. My courses taught me a different ways to analyze and solve problems. In an office where most have traditional business degrees it helps to come at problems from a different angle. 

Any job or internship advice for students seeking a position in your field?

In my field of Intercollegiate Athletics it is important to amass as much experience as possible. I tried to find what I wanted to do by having internships in the Marketing, Ticketing, and Operations (Women’s Basketball) department. Through these experiences I found what I liked and didn’t like and determined the business office was where I wanted to be in an Athletics Department. An added bonus of working in various areas before finding my passion is I now have a better understanding of how those departments work within the entire operation.

Anything else you want to share with undergraduates?

Take time to network in your industry as it will be immensely helpful in your career. My networking throughout graduate school helped me get numerous interviews and although the job I got was not from a networking contact they have all been immensely helpful. I have been able to use my contacts to learn how other universities operate in our industry and implement them in my current role.