Texas Tech University

Award-Winning Alumna Enters Sport’s Management Field After Bachelor’s Degree in Retail Management

Katherine Wilson

March 18, 2021

Katy Keenan

Retail management alumna, Katy Keenan, wins 2020 jostens rising star award while majoring in sport’s management.

Katy Keenan is an alumna of Texas Tech with a bachelor's degree in Retail Management and a minor in Restaurant, Hotel, and Institutional Management (RHIM). The experience of working at a retail store during her early stages of life opened her eyes to the commercial aspect of merchandising. After finishing her undergraduate degree, Keenan followed her other passion by earning a master's degree in Sports Management.

At the beginning of her college journey, Keenan chose to study Retail Management due to her experience working at Dallas Market Center, plus her time spent assisting at Dallas Apparel and Accessories Market.

"I loved seeing the behind the scenes of what it took to get clothes in stores along with the relationship and roles that exhibitors and buyers played," Keenan said. "Following this experience, I knew I wanted to work in an environment similar to Dallas Apparel and Accessories Market."

Keenan's degree in Retail Management is an essential element to building her insight into the industry, as the program allowed her to gain a better work ethic alongside learning how important communication skills are in every aspect of businesses.

"The Retail Management program instilled a strong work ethic in me, taught me how to interact and connect with everybody I encounter, provided me tangible skills that have transferred across multiple industries, and so many other things," Keenan said.

In her current role as a Graduate Assistant of Career and Student-Athlete Development with the J.T. & Margaret Talkington Leadership Academy, Keenan helps student-athletes find their life passions. The position requires Keenan to aid students through the beginning stages of finding careers or applying for graduate school.

In December 2020, Keenan achieved the goal of obtaining her master's degree to further her passion for helping other individuals. The J.T. & Margaret Talkington Leadership Academy allows Keenan to apply her recently acquired master's degree in Sport Management so that she can make an impact. Throughout her college years, Keenan played on Texas Tech's women's volleyball team, an experience that fueled her desire to advance her education.

Not only does Keenan's current role at The J.T. & Margaret Talkington Leadership Academy help her gain knowledge of the sports industry, but Keenan says she also enjoys the ability to assist others in growing into their full potential as well.

"What I most enjoy about my position is that I get to impact the experience of all the Texas Tech student-athletes and help prepare them for life after sports," Keenan said.

Recently, Katy Keenan became the recipient of the prestigious 2020 Jostens Rising Star Award by the Women Leaders in College Athletes. Recipients of this award are acknowledged for demonstrating leadership for the future of athletic administration.

"I am so appreciative of Women Leaders and all that they are doing for myself and other women working in intercollegiate athletics," Keenan said. "I am very thankful for all the individuals that have invested in me because I would not be here without them."

Looking into the future, Keenan is excited to put all her hard work into her career path. The program of Retail Management and earning her master's in Sports Management has been a place where as a professional, Keenan can grow into her role as a better communicator, plus further her ability to be an advocate for women in athletics.

"Regardless of what industry or institution I work at, as long as I am living out my passion, I will be fulfilled," Keenan said. "I am so thankful for Texas Tech University and the Retail Management program for the pivotal role they played in my life."