SAEM Alumnus Matthew Uzar '20 is the Events Coordinator for the Pittsburgh Penguins Alumni Profile
Meet Matthew Uzar '20
- Job Title & Employer
- Events Coordinator, Pittsburgh Penguins
- Sports, Arts & Entertainment Management
- Carnegie, Pa.; Carlynton Junior/Senior High School
- Now Living In
- Pittsburgh, Pa.
- Hobbies & Interests
- I began playing ice hockey around middle school, and I still love playing to this day.
"Point Park’s nontraditional campus atmosphere in Downtown Pittsburgh is truly its greatest strength. The urban location places students within walking distance of nearly every major entertainment venue in the city."
How did you land your role at the Pittsburgh Penguins, what does it entail?
I was introduced to my current supervisor through an initiative between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Point Park’s SAEM program, which allowed students to volunteer for various events for the team. I also held the position of Youth and Amateur Hockey Development intern with the Penguins in spring 2019.
Today I work in conjunction with the Director of Events and Hospitality on planning and executing all non-fan-facing events for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Several of these events are done in collaboration with our corporate partnerships team. One event that recently wrapped up was our annual "Rethink the Rink" program, an ongoing effort with our partner, Covestro. Selected students are tasked with improving one facet of hockey in the areas of safety, fan experience, maintenance and more. It is a week-long event that takes months of planning. Other areas of events that I work on include staff initiatives and our internship program.
How did Point Park's SAEM program prepare you for career success?
Point Park’s SAEM program provided me with the core background knowledge of what areas of work are available in the sports industry. The program and its professors push students to make real-world connections with people in and around the industry. The knowledgeable faculty and interactive courses were extremely helpful, and being in a classroom environment with like-minded individuals who could bounce off one another’s thoughts and ideas was exciting.
Nothing can compare to the on-the-job experience that I was able to accrue through the internships and volunteer opportunities made available to students. SAEM students are required to complete an internship for credit during their academic career. My internship with the Pittsburgh Penguins was an experience that really stuck with me. Being able to immerse myself in the industry environment on that level allowed me to narrow my work efforts and concentrate on what I needed to accomplish while in school to secure the best opportunity once I graduated.
Were there any faculty members who had a significant impact on your Point Park experience?
Professor Robert Derda, M.S., was the first SAEM professor I met during my freshman year. He introduced me to a variety of volunteer opportunities, and he taught me the importance of developing my relationships with people I met during my internship and the other events I worked.
Why would you recommend Point Park to a prospective student?
Point Park’s nontraditional campus atmosphere in Downtown Pittsburgh is truly its greatest strength. The urban location places students within walking distance of nearly every major entertainment venue in the city. The SAEM program is also unique to Point Park because at many other institutions you only have the ability to be exposed to one industry. At Point Park, you can learn about sports, arts and entertainment, while concentrating on what appeals to you the most.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
As someone who grew up loving the sport of hockey, it’s amazing to be in an environment that gives me the opportunity to still take part in the sport on a daily basis.