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Lauren Glennon (’15) Gets a Firsthand Look at Sports Marketing and Management With the Asheville Tourists

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My name is Lauren Glennon and I’m a senior at UNC Asheville majoring in Management with a concentration in Marketing. I’ve always been interested in the entertainment industry and worked several street teaming and promotional internships in music. When I was offered an internship with the Asheville Tourists Baseball Club I jumped on the opportunity to experience the world of sports management and marketing.

I began working a month before Opening Day with a small group of about 15 full time staff members. While gearing up for the season I would sit in on sales meetings about sponsors of the team, seeing first hand how all the sponsored portions of a sporting event come to be. I would also be sent into the community to do grassroots marketing including prospecting local business that would be willing to display promotional schedules for the season or taking the mascots, Mr. Moon and Ted E. Tourist, out to various community events.  One of my favorite opportunities was going to ESPN Radio and getting to voice the commercials for our sponsors that air during the broadcasts of our games!

About a month into the season, I can say that the sports industry is an exciting roller coaster and you have to be prepared for anything that could happen. On a game day there is so much that needs to be done to be ready to open the gates in the evening to up to 4,000 fans.  First thing in the morning I will go set up flags along Biltmore Avenue in Downtown advertising “Game Today”. I will also go through our inventory to make sure the store is fully stocked with merchandise, answer phone calls regarding ticket sales, and prepare all promotional materials that are to be distributed including jersey giveaways, t-shirt gun t-shirts, gift cards, etc.

Once gates open, I supervise a group of employees called the “Jade Bombers” with the Promotions and Community Relations Manager. The Jade Bombers are basically our baseball cheerleaders and energize the crowd as well as execute all of our in game promotions from kids races, t-shirt tosses, and other giveaways. Every promotion is scheduled for a specific moment of the game, whether it’s top of the fifth inning or middle of the eighth.  This part of my job is extremely fast paced; you cannot stop paying attention to the game for a split second or you can miss an event you’re supposed to do. I have been continuing to develop my management skills in delegating tasks to the Jade Bombers to ensure a successful run thru on any given game day.

Through my internship I’m getting a great mix of opportunities to utilize my management skills and marketing tactics. The staff at the Asheville Tourists is great at giving me opportunities to try all different aspects of the sports industry, from allowing me to manage the store, supervise part-time staff, and interact with both clients and customers. They place a lot of trust in me, which I appreciate because it gives me a chance to accept new challenges and rise to the occasion.

My advice to any current students interested in working in sports management is to do an internship, or even two! Almost every single person that is a full time employee at the Asheville Tourists began as an intern and it’s a great opportunity to really understand the logistics of all that goes on behind the scenes. I can definitely say this job has given me invaluable experience in customer service, communication, and leadership that will be transferable no matter where my professional life ends up. I’m very excited to continue throughout our 2015 season!

Talene Biltmore

Talene Dadian (’16) Learns HR Expertise with Biltmore

My name is Talene Dadian and I am currently a junior Psychology major and Management minor at UNC AsTalene Biltmoreheville. Like many students, I started feeling the pressure to get “real world” experience. I wanted an internship and thought HR sounded interesting. However, I had no idea where or what type of company, if any, would even offer this. Thankfully, I spoke with the career counselors at the Career Center and they were able to connect me with an awesome opportunity that I don’t think I would have come across on my own, or even have thought of applying to. This past summer, I had the AMAZING opportunity to intern at Biltmore. Within Human Resources, I specifically interned within Biltmore Staffing Services.

Right from the start, I quickly learned and was treated with Biltmore’s trademark “Gracious Hospitality” that is extended to not only guests, but to all employees. As expected, I was given a multitude of research projects aimed at identifying niche culinary, horticulture, and hospitality markets and job platforms. However, I could not have imagined the amount of actual experience my internship would provide.  I was incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to be an active participant in nearly every step of the hiring process. From interviewing applicants to hiring new employees and getting all of their necessary pre-employment paperwork and trainings completed, I got to participate in everything!

One of my faBiltmore west sidevorite parts was conducting screening interviews with potential candidates. While initially terrified that I would be the interviewer for a change and not the interviewee, the Staffing Center worked with me to provide training and got me to feel more comfortable sharing details about the positions, Biltmore Estate history, the legal rules of conducting interviews, the types of questions to ask, and what answers to look for. The practice I gained through conducting interviews has been invaluable. I was able to not only see what an employer, such as Biltmore, looks for in a new hire, but I also had the chance to reflect on the way I interview and what I should and should definitely not do in the future.

I also learned about the tedious, time-consuming process of pre-employment onboarding that goes on behind the scenes before a new employee can start work. I was swimming up to my eyeballs in I-9 documents, tax forms, ordering of drug screens, background checks, physicals, scheduling of trainings, and making nametags and employee ID badges, etc. all of which must be completed for each new employee! As overwhelmed as I was at the beginning of all these endeavors, this was an excellent learning opportunity about the processes of staffing any company or organization. Being thrown into a new situation is part of life, school, or any job and I am so thankful that I was challenged to learn new skills and think critically about new processes.Biltmore Fall

Another awesome part about interning at Biltmore was the ability to interview other departments and areas of Biltmore Estate. I had the opportunity to complete informational interviews with the HR Safety Manager, Benefits Manager, as well as the Food & Beverage Manager for the Biltmore House, the Outdoor Center Director, and many other departments. From touring the house, test-tasting the delicious cuisine, interviewing different HR managers, to taking a trip to the west side of the estate to view the winery fields, I got to experience it all. Every moment and interview allowed me to see how staffing fit ibiltmorento each and every aspect of the estate and how interconnected each aspect must be for Biltmore Estate to run smoothly and provide the best guest experience.

I think the biggest challenge for me was wanting to do everything really well and not disappoint not only the Staffing Center, but also myself. The biggest tip I can give to anyone looking for experience with an internship is that an internship is a chance to learn, learn from mistakes, and learn how to quickly address mistakes. Ask questions, say “yes” to new projects. Take this opportunity to learn and challenge yourself!

When I first began my internship, I had no idea what type of Human Resources field I would like to go into. After completing my internship at Biltmore, I have found that I love working with people. Working in a talent acquisition and staffing center would be something I can see myself doing and enjoying as a future career.

Brittany Curtis (’13) uses Management to Aid a Non-Profit

I transferred to UNC Asheville Fall 2010. I had been a theater major, switched to biology, and ended up graduating with a BS in Management in 2013. I am so thankful for that last jump to Management, and the guidance and wisdom of Dr. Micheal Stratton. I also joined the sorority Gamma Phi Beta, and had a blast as their Financial Vice President and Webmaster.

I currently live in Brooklyn, NY. I work as a Workforce Development Instructor at a non-profit organization that runs homeless shelters and provides transitional services, including occupational training opportunities. The individuals I work with have histories of incarceration, substance abuse, and chronic homelessness. I facilitate soft skills classes, such as Communication, Boundaries, Professionalism, Customer Service, and Conflict Resolution, and help create new and updated curriculum for clients and staff.

-Can you tell us about your first job search?

My first job search was at the tail end of a solo cross-country road trip. I made it to Seattle, visiting family, almost completely broke, and had to decide my next steps. I had enough money to get me back across the country, but not much more. I decided to search for jobs in New York City – I have several friends who live and work in NYC, had visited several times and loved the city, and knew I would have a couch to sleep on if I was able to get an interview. I looked on different job searching websites, but ultimately found my current job on Craigslist.

I only applied to one job. I did not think I would be given a chance at a “real” job in New York City, particularly since my work experience was limited to Asheville and my small home town of Brevard, NC. I updated my resume while curled up on a couch in Seattle, using the UNCA Career Center website resources as my guides. After creating the most beautiful cover letter of my life and a polished new resume, I submitted my application.

I drove from Seattle to NYC in 5 days. The day after I arrived, I received a phone call from the organization I applied to!

-What experiences have best prepared you for your current professional role?

Having assistant manager experience at the UNCA Telephone Outreach Program was what convinced my potential employers to hire me. I helped train students in the call center and aided in supervising shifts, and my position required experience in training. Furthermore, my national travels and experiences in different American cities prepared me to work with the diverse population of NYC.

-What is next for you?

I’m considering graduate school – possibly a MS in Human Resources Management or MBA with a focus in Human Resources. But I have to take the GRE first- wish me luck! My other option is to move to a more Human Resources oriented job, and gain more experience before delving back into school. I’m trying to decide in the next few months.

-What do you know now that you wish you knew as a student?

Volunteer more. You might not be getting paid, but the experience is massively important. You can also make amazing connections that could help lead you to a job.

Ian Graham (’13) Coordinates HR for the New York Mets

How has this internship/job helped you learn more about your major? Management is a great course of study because it offers a broad range of quantitative/qualitative, analytic and strategic learning for the students to fully optimize their intellectual capabilities. Having the opportunity to intern with the Charlotte Bobcats (Hornets) allowed me to utilize the skills I had learned in Dr. Micheal Stratton‘s Human Resource Management course, which eventually paved the way for my current position as Human Resources Coordinator with the New York Mets.

What was a typical day like in your position?

The most exciting part about my position/industry is that there’s never a day that’s the same as the day before. As the Coordinator in the HR Department, I have the opportunity to complete an array of special projects. Some of the projeGraham,-Ian---Citi-cropcts include conducting interviews with prospective job candidates, attending Career Fairs at local universities and leading meetings with the internship classes. I thoroughly enjoy going to work everyday because of the various experiences I get to learn from, along with the incredibly talented people I get to work alongside. Working inside the most beautiful ballpark in the country isn’t so bad either.

Did you learn any interesting or unexpected insights into your major or career path?

Honestly, if I were to answer this question accurately, I would spend the next several days elaborating on all of the unexpected, interesting experiences I learn from each and every day. In my opinion, when you’re in an entry-level position, it’s important to embrace new ideas and concepts because you are learning new processes and procedures everyday. Constantly asking questions and learning from your mistakes is a practice that will set you apart from your peers. Being adaptable and adjusting to the workplace culture is a crucial mindset for young [and new] employees to embrace.

What did you wish you had known going into the experience?

In terms of my major, I NYMwish I would have known how important the little things are in the classroom and in your study habits. Taking detailed notes and asking questions is something I did differently toward the end of my academic career. When one is truly engaged in the material, it’s noticeable to the professor and in your overall academic achievements.

What advice do you have for current students who are pursuing your major?

Time management. Time management, especially as a student athlete (and this can apply to those who are working full-time), is the major difference between being a mediocre or an outstanding, overachieving student in the classroom.

What did you learn about yourself while you were working or interning?

I learned how much I value relationships with my classmates/teachers and co-workers/supervisors. It’s important to establish a healthy relationship with your colleagues in order for there to be an effective, shared organizational culture. Everyone on the team must work productively/efficiently together, and that occurs most often when the team members are cohesive.

What influenced you to apply for this position?Graham-Ian-batting

It’s always been a life-long dream/career aspiration of mine to work in the front office of a Major League Baseball organization. Having the opportunity to work on this team is something I will be forever grateful for.

What would you do differently if you could go back?

If I could go back, I would try to achieve the level of focus I had in my final semester at UNCA, throughout my entire time. Growing over the course of four and a half years allowed me to develop a sense of intellectual maturity with regard to my study habits. Has your internship or job impacted your future? [Hopefully] it has paved the way for a bright and prosperous future in the field of Human Resources and in Major League Baseball.

What were your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?

My biggest challenges were learning the ins and outs of resume building and becoming comfortable in my interviews. To understand the important features of a successful resume I took the initiative to reach out to various resources I had, including several HR professionals (Dr. Stratton) and my supervisor at the Charlotte Bobcats (currently HR Manager), for feedback/recommendations.

(Photos taken from https://www.unca.edu/features/reaching-major-leagues with permission of Ian Graham)