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Dan Beckler, left, with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick after the NFC Championship Game in Atlanta.

Internship opened the door for Shocker grad; led him to 49ers

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Less than four years after graduating from Wichita State University, Dan Beckler found himself where many men dream of being someday: the SuperBowl.

No, he wasn’t there as an athlete. In fact, Beckler used to play basketball, not football.

The Wichita native was working as manager of public relations for the San Francisco 49ers. Some of his duties include facilitating media requests for players and coaches, as well as generating positive publicity for the organization.

It’s a job he got after several years of hard work in and out of the classroom.

‘Took the time to get to know me’

Beckler, who attended Trinity Academy, began college at Oklahoma Baptist as a basketball player. But after one year, he started researching schools with strong sports programs. He landed right back where he came from.

“WSU had one of the best in the country,” Beckler said. “It was home and was an easy decision.”

Once he decided to go the public relations route at Wichita State, Beckler was encouraged to work with the sports information director’s office to see if it was exactly what he was looking for.

“The professors were very instrumental as I was trying to decide the specific field in sports I wanted to pursue,” he said.

Beckler applied for the sports public relations internship at Disney and got the job, exposing him to invaluable on-the-job training while still a WSU student.

“I continued to stay in touch with professors who were always available to offer advice,” he said.

That experience opened the door for Beckler’s career.

“In the sports world, it’s all about who you know,” he said. “I met a lot of great people during my time at WSU and at Disney that had connections all over the sports industry.”

Beckler went on to earn a Bachelor of Sports Administration in 2007 and Master of Sport Management in 2009.

He’s grateful for the time spent guiding him toward his career goal.

“WSU really helped shape me and push me in the right direction,” Beckler said. “There are so many fields in sports that it can often be overwhelming when you are trying to decide which way to go. The staff at WSU was very knowledgeable and could offer advice based on the questions they asked me. They took the time to get to know me and really tried to align my interests with a specific field.”

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Created on Thursday, March 28, 2013; Last modified on Monday, April 15, 2013