SAEM Student Jenna Tarson Interns for the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium Student Profile
Meet Jenna Tarson '22
- Job Title & Employer
- Group Sales and Rentals Intern, Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
- Sports, Arts & Entertainment Management
- College Activities
- Rowland School of Business Social Media Manager
- Pittsburgh, Pa.; Baldwin High School
- Now Living In
- Pittsburgh, Pa.
- Hobbies & Interests
- Making music playlists and painting
"Based on my conversations with friends at other universities, Point Park's dedication to providing contacts and networking through volunteer opportunities, internships or co-op opportunities is unrivaled. If your education and career goals are your priorities, Point Park cannot be beaten."
What does your internship entail?
I assist the group sales and rentals manager with all aspects of hosting an event at the zoo. The zoo hosts weddings, proms, formals, galas, graduations, corporate events and field trips, as well as many other types of private events. I handle office duties, including managing a database, fielding phone calls, answering emails, posting signage and assembling mailings. I meet with clients to review contracts and plan their events. I also attend the events to assist with the logistics of hosting, such as facility set-up and tear-down; directing catering, maintenance and the entertainment; hospitality services for all of the guests; transporting the docent with the animals exhibited at the event and general troubleshooting and problem solving. I was also tasked with contacting other Pittsburgh-area event facilities to obtain their event pricing and details for comparison.
What are your favorite animals to visit at the zoo?
My favorite animal at the zoo is Lewis, our giraffe! He loves attention and even comes to me when I call his name.
How has your internship enriched your educational experience?
This internship has been invaluable to my educational experience. I have learned so much about working with clients and how to adapt to their individual needs and personalities, how no two events will ever be the same and no matter how much planning or preparation is involved, there will almost always be an unexpected issue. I learned how to think outside the box and on the fly, calmly and effectively, to deal with these unexpected issues. This internships has improved the professionalism of my communication skills, both written and verbal, with managers, coworkers and clients.
The SAEM coursework is extremely relevant for preparing graduates for employment positions in the sports, arts and entertainment career fields. The faculty is dedicated to providing the best SAEM educational and internship experiences for their students. They take the time to get to know each of their students and their students’ ultimate career goals, and they make the effort to ensure that each educational experience, whether in the classroom or with an internship, is consistent with helping their students achieve their goals.
Prior to becoming a professor at Point Park, most, if not all, of the SAEM faculty had positions in the SAEM industry and have maintained contacts and relationships in the industry. It has been my experience that each faculty member will not hesitate to reach out to these contacts, or even network for new contacts, in order to help their students make connections in their chosen SAEM field. I have found all of the SAEM faculty to be extremely motivating, encouraging and committed to seeing their students succeed.
What are your career goals?
My original career goal when I entered the SAEM program was to find a management position in live music, and it still is; however, my experiences at Point Park have broadened my horizons to other opportunities in sports, arts and entertainment, as well as hospitality, which I have found to be a wonderfully complementary minor to the SAEM major. I would be excited to have a career in almost any aspect of these industries. I truly believe that my education and experiences at Point Park and a degree from the SAEM program will enable me to achieve my goals. In a career field that once solely relied on on-the-job experience, I will enter the field far ahead of the learning curve.
Why would you recommend Point Park to a prospective student?
Point Park's dedication to providing a real-world experience is not just a slogan. It truly is the University's core mission and focus, in addition to providing a quality classroom education as evidenced by the classroom sizes and faculty who are effective educators and professionals with their own real-world experience in the fields that they teach. Based on my conversations with friends at other universities, Point Park's dedication to providing contacts and networking through volunteer opportunities, internships or co-op opportunities is unrivaled. If your education and career goals are your priorities, Point Park cannot be beaten.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
The opportunities at Point Park are numerous, and the faculty, staff and University are willing to help you find or create an opportunity specific to your individual goals. Take advantage of these opportunities. If there are dreams that you would like to pursue, but a current opportunity doesn't exist, don't hesitate to ask. In my experience, Point Park can make it happen.