When you know, you know. At least, that was the case for Jenna Kash ’22, a business analytics and technology major from Flower Mound, Texas.
Growing up, Kash had envisioned graduating high school and attending a large, public university. On her first visit to Trinity University, this quickly changed. “I got out of the car, and I said, ‘Wait, I want to go here,’” she remembers. “Once I looked into the academics, I felt it was perfect.”
Kash was always academically driven, receiving the Murchison Scholarship based on her merit as an incoming first-year student. She grew up playing competitive softball and found her way to college athletics somewhat unconventionally. “I sent the coach an email introducing myself just for fun, and she got back to me,” she says, laughing. Trinity’s Division III athletics struck the perfect balance for Kash, who had experienced the all-consuming nature of club teams in high school and was looking for a more balanced college experience.
“This team was different. It’s just as competitive, but you can still focus on academics and have other parts of your life.”
Four years later, Kash has become an expert at making the most of her time, serving as a team leader on the softball field, joining a sorority, volunteering with a community softball league for special-needs adults, and prioritizing her rigorous academic schedule. She is a 4-time Dean’s List recipient, a Murchison Scholar, and an NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete.
When asked how she balances all of her passions, she just smiles. “To me, that is the best part of college. I never even knew that’s what I wanted until I had it.”
Kash came to Trinity with an interest in player statistics that began in childhood, watching baseball games with her dad. She has a “numbers head” and gravitated toward statistics courses as a first-year student. The business analytics and technology major (BAT) was a perfect fit for Kash due to the interdisciplinary curriculum. “It is a cool program because it gives students opportunities to work with real life data,” she says. “BAT is broad enough that you can apply your skills to any industry you are passionate about.”
Kash ambitiously added two minors in data science and sport management. She knew she wanted to work in sports, but explains it was Jacob Tingle ’95, chair of the sport management minor, who gave her a footing in the athletic world of San Antonio. At his annual Trinity panel with sport industry professionals and top executives, she found a network of people passionate about sport. Kash was encouraged by this community and a fellow classmate made her aware of an internship opening at AthleteAlly, a national organization that promotes LGBTQ+ inclusion in college athletics. Kash capitalized on the opportunity and landed the internship.
In this role, she poured over massive amounts of data relevant to eight different criteria used to rank NCAA schools on discriminatory practices. After the internship ended, she continued her research with AthleteAlly through an independent study program for class credit. Kash says, “It was really intimidating at first, because everyone on the research team was getting their Ph.D., and I’m out here as a 19-year-old.”
She credits this early practical experience in data analytics as a major reason she got offered a job at Spurs Sports and Entertainment in customer relationship management (CRM), which she started full-time after graduating this past spring. Kash is excited to work for San Antonio’s prominent sports franchise and use her expertise to improve the spectator’s experience by analyzing fan behaviors. “CRM is a positive thing because you are working with the fans,” she says. “They are coming to watch their favorite team. They are surprising their siblings with a birthday ticket.”
This genuine enthusiasm for sport as a means to bettering the lives of others is a primary reason Kash was named 2022’s outstanding senior in sport management. When asked why she was selected for the award, Tingle said, “She is an example of what so many sport management students do and who so many of them are. They know sports matter, not because of wins and losses, but because it builds community and can break down barriers.”
Kash expressed gratitude for the “relationships I have made and the confidence I’ve gained on my journey here, both personally and professionally. Trinity is a special place for me because it gave me space to develop all aspects of my life that I care about.”