SAEM Alumna and Outstanding Student Award Winner Grace Offerdahl Pursues Passion for Live Entertainment Alumni Profile
Meet Grace Offerdahl '20
- Job Title & Employer
- Digital Relations Representative, The Concert Manager
- Job Title & Employer
- Intern, Freak'n See
- Sports, Arts & Entertainment Management
- Digital Marketing
- December 2020
- College Activities
- Campus Activities Board, entertainment coordinator of SAEM Club
- Presidential Scholarship
- Youngstown, Ohio
- High School
- Austintown Fitch High School
- Now Living In
- Youngstown, Ohio
- Hobbies & Interests
- Concerts, performing in community theatre, playing with my puppy and running my own small business, Nasty Woman Earrings
"Point Park and the SAEM program are so hands-on. It really is experiential learning, which makes learning so much more interesting. From internships to the shadowing program in SAEM 101, they really try to get you as much actual experience as possible, so you feel more prepared when you graduate. Also, the location is great, being right in the middle of the city. I liked that I wasn’t separated from the city by a traditional campus, where every building around you is part of the school. I liked that I could walk outside of my dorm in Lawrence Hall and be right in the middle of it all."
What attracted you to the Sports, Arts & Entertainment Management program?
When I was young, I wanted to be on Broadway. My whole life that’s what I thought I would do. When my high school graduation got closer, I changed my mind, and I didn’t end up auditioning for any programs. I went into Point Park undecided, but I went to my first concert when I was 5 years old, so that’s always been something I’ve loved to do. When I heard about the SAEM program, I took the intro class and the rest is history.
What was your favorite SAEM class and why? Favorite professor?
My favorite class was probably the Pioneer Records/Recording Industry class with Kendra Ross, Ph.D., because that really helped me to realize that I want to work at a record label. I don’t think I could pick a favorite professor, because they are all really great people and teachers. Although every single professor has helped me, I do feel particularly indebted to Ed Traversari, because he has gone above and beyond to help me network and land a job. Ed introduced me to my current boss at The Concert Manager. Kendra has also been super helpful, and she introduced me to my current boss at my internship, Freak'n See.
How did it feel to receive the Outstanding Student Award?
I was really surprised when Paige Beal reached out to me about it, and it definitely wasn’t anything I was expecting. I felt really happy because it just helped solidify that all of my hard work paid off. I don’t feel like I’m one to brag, but I did graduate Summa Cum Laude with a cumulative 4.0 GPA, and I’m honestly really proud of myself. I balanced a job, paid internship, 18 credits a semester, participating in campus organizations and running my own small business while I was at Point Park, so to receive the award just made me really happy.
What are some of your favorite Point Park memories?
Meeting my friends. I’ve met some incredible people at Point Park that I never would have met otherwise. Besides that, going to Pollstar was probably the highlight of my college years. That was the trip that really solidified the fact that I wanted to move to Los Angeles after graduation, and I met some incredible people out there who I’ve stayed in touch with who have been super helpful to the beginning of my career.
What do you do at The Concert Manager?
The Concert Manager is a booking company that sort of acts as the middleman between artists, venues and events, so we help book various acts of entertainment at places all around the country. We do a wide variety of work, like concerts at universities (now virtually), DJ’s at casinos and even balloon artists at campgrounds. I do all the digital and email marketing for the company, so I create assets and send them out to all of our contacts to inform them of the entertainers that we have available to book. I also run the company’s Instagram page and assist with anything else my boss needs done!
How did Point Park help prepare you for this role?
I wouldn’t really have the slightest idea of anything that goes on behind the scenes of live entertainment without Point Park. I have been going to concerts since I was 5 and have probably been to over 250 at this point, but before attending Point Park, I only knew what it was like to be a fan. I didn’t know anything about the actual industry itself, and after all of the classes I took at Point Park, I definitely do.
What sets Point Park apart from other universities?
Point Park and the SAEM program are so hands-on. It really is experiential learning, which makes learning so much more interesting. From internships to the shadowing program in SAEM 101, they really try to get you as much actual experience as possible, so you feel more prepared when you graduate. Also, the location is great, being right in the middle of the city. I liked that I wasn’t separated from the city by a traditional campus, where every building around you is part of the school. I liked that I could walk outside of my dorm in Lawrence Hall and be right in the middle of it all.
What career advice do you have for current SAEM students?
Who you know is really important. Obviously having the knowledge and skills is super important, but knowing the right person can give you an extra advantage. Network as much as you can. Reach out to people who have your dream job or work at your dream company, and just ask them for advice. In my experience, that person will usually be willing to help and the worst they can say is no. Never say no to an opportunity. Do as much as you can to differentiate yourself from others, because that one little thing could make a huge difference someday.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Right now I work part time for The Concert Manager, intern one day a week for Freak'n See, and work part time at my parent’s music venue in Youngstown. I have plans to move to Los Angeles in June, and my dream job is to work as a music supervisor in TV and film or in the touring department at a record label. I know that my education at Point Park and my experiences have equipped me with the skills and knowledge that I need to achieve my goals.