Christian Augat pictured in the Esports Lab
Feature Stories 2023: Christian Augat '24: Making your own community
Christian Augat '24: Making your own community

Human resources management major founds, manages growing Esports club

Human resources management (HRM) covers a lot of skills and tasks—orientation, talent acquisition, budgeting, conflict management, working with a variety of shareholders, and helping all members of an organization feel a sense of belonging. These are all skills HRM major Christian Augat '24 has developed by founding and growing the Corsair Esports teams on campus.

Human resources management

Augat knew he wanted to help people when he started college, but wasn't sure how best to utilize his skills to do so. He started off as a biomedical engineering studentdetermined to cure illnessesbut determined biochemistry and bioengineering weren't his best fits

After a stab at computer science, he opted for a business undeclared major to use the other side of his brain. When the Charlton College of Business added a human resources management major in the fall of 2022, Augat knew this was his calling.

"Being able to help others is all I ever want to do," said Augat. "Human resources management was the most direct route for me to achieve what I had in mind."

What's exciting about the major?

"Being able to work with like-minded people about topics and strategies involving HR and ways to improve!"

What type of career are you looking for?

"Somewhere in the realm of talent acquisition, organizational support, and overall management for a company that has a well-knit, caring, respectful, and passionate community."

Corsair Esports

Getting involved in student clubs and organizations helps many students find their communities, or in Augat's case: building one. Different parties had made various attempts at starting an Esports club on campus over the years, but between challenges of organizing players on different games, systems, and graduating years, and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, nothing had stuck.

"When I got to UMassD I was expecting there to be some kind of gaming scene but there was little to nothing," said Augat. "I wanted a community that felt like a home to others where people could let themselves be who they want to be. A place where passions are set aflame and old skills are rekindled."

Putting the foundational lessons in his new major into practice, Augat got to work organizing, recruiting, and managing Corsair Esports, bringing nine games under the same roof to schedule tournaments, share highlights, and bond over the shared passion for a growing industry. In less than a year, the group has over 200 members, including more than 40 alumni.

Beyond just gathering his peers, Augat took additional steps to work with the SAIL (student activities, involvement, and leadership) and university marketing teams on campus to help build a new Esports arena that opens this fall, displaying an HRM skill set for working with a variety of stakeholders in an organization.

How exciting has it been to watch the team grow so fast?

"It's kind of like watching your child walk for the first time. I've never been prouder both because selfishly, this is something I've always wanted to do, but also because this is only the beginning and will continue to grow into something people stop to acknowledge and say, 'this is amazing.'"

How does managing a large, diverse organization benefit a skillset in HRM?

"Most people probably might think of this as a general/executive management skillset, but the key difference is our group's leaders aren't a separate entity. We're part of the teams the way an HR staff is part of an organization. We converse with general members, hear their ideas and strategies and make sure they get everything they want from this experience. This has confirmed to me that I want to be in HRM."

Are there any accomplishments you're particularly proud of?

"Right now, just the community being built. I'm sure in the future we'll be winning tournaments out of state and I'm looking forward to watching that with pride when I'm an alumnus."

Internship

This past summer, Augat gained professional experience interning at Cape Cod Five Savings Bank as a relationship banker. He served on the front line for the bank, talking to customers, sorting out problems and questions, and making sure they're satisfied with their experience.

What did you learn about yourself in this role?

"I learned that even though I think of myself as an introverted extrovert, I am more of an extroverted introvert. This means that although I am outgoing, I tend to be quieter and patient, listening to people's needs and wants first. This further reaffirms that I have a skillset for human resources management."

Why UMassD?

Can you describe UMassD in one word?

"Accepting."

Why did you choose UMassD?

"I was looking for a college that was open to diversity and inclusion. A place people could call home and not just a place of education. Where a family can be born from nothing as I have done here with fellow classmates and friends."

What's your favorite thing about UMass Dartmouth?

"The people and their passion. I have never seen such happiness on people's faces when they talk about what they love. It is unimaginable. Not only then but afterwards when they show you what they have achieved and accomplished. It not only motivated them to do more but places a spark in you and others who have seen their glowing passion to do more and improve."

Looking back

How do you know UMassD was the right choice for you?

"I didn't at first. While struggling to find the right major during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I almost left because I didn't see a place for myself. I learned that I could make a place for myself and in doing so, create a community for other people like me. A year ago, there was hardly an Esports presence on campus. Today, we have our own facility with an external sponsor. I think that shows how this place allows you to make your experience what you want it to be."

Do you have any advice for first-year UMassD students?

"If you don't feel like you belong or there isn't a place for you, build that place. Get involved. Make memories. Before you know it, your home will be in front of your eyes because you made it."

Favorites

  • Professor: Assistant Teaching Professor Chris Jacobsen. I 100% recommend his Accounting 212 course for any business student.
  • Mentor: Associate Professor Kellyann Kowalski (Management & Marketing)
  • Class: Management 201: Leadership, Teamwork & Collaboration
  • Spot to eat: Birch Grill
  • Place to study: The Grove or the 1st floor of the library
  • Hangout spot: The Grove
  • Event: Corsair Fair 2022 – when we founded the Esports team
  • Extracurricular activity: Gaming with the Esports team