Kit McConnell

Master of Management

It’s not every day that you score your first job at the most prestigious company in your chosen field.

But Kit McConnell did, winning an internship, and then a job, with the Olympic Committee in Switzerland while still studying sports management at Massey.

KitMcConnellRugby.pngIn 1995 he was one of the first students in Albany to gain a Masters In Management with first class honours. While still studying he sent out cold-calling’ letters to all the international organisations that he wanted to work for.

It paid off. The IOC were looking for an intern from Oceania, and the job become his.

He hasn’t looked back. On finishing his internship he stayed with the IOC, becoming first the Manager Sport Competition for the Sydney 2000 Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and then the IOC’s Manager Sports Operations.

Kit grew up in Auckland in a very sports-minded family. His father lectured in sport management and was, for a time, on staff at Massey’s Albany campus.

“Dad talks about getting me up in the middle of the night as a young kid in the 1970s to listen to games in South Africa.”

“My parents encouraged my sister and me to take part in sport. I played everything from tennis and soccer to cricket and rugby – and backyard hybrids with friends and cousins.”

Although he played both rugby and cricket for Auckland Grammar he was not good enough to play professionally, he says. But he laughs at the suggestion that he went into administration as a result. “Not everyone in sports administration is a frustrated athlete. You need to have a love and understanding of sport, but the skill set is different.”

Today, his hard work has paid off. After two years as the Operations Manager for the IRB  he’s the tournament director for the Rugby World Cup internationally, a role that saw him coordinate the event in New Zealand in 2011.