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"Professional sports teams from across the country now know that Point Park develops some of the brightest sports industry talent in the country!”

Robert Derda, M.S., professor and chair of the Department of Sports, Arts, Entertainment & Music Business

Point Park University students aspiring to work in the sports industry had the opportunity to network and interview with industry professionals representing 30 professional sports teams this semester as they traveled to Cleveland's Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse for the 2024 TeamWork Online Sports Sales Workshop & Job Fair.

Professor Robert Derda, M.S., took a group of Sports, Arts, Entertainment & Music Business (SAEM) majors to the event, which included hands-on sales training from sales managers and inside sales representatives; networking and interview opportunities for full-time, part-time and internship positions and a panel focused on ticket sales with sports sales executives.

"Our students have enthusiastically embraced sports sales as a career path," Professor Derda said. "In our Sports, Arts, Entertainment & Music Business degree program, we are creating a sports sales culture at Point Park where students are learning the sales process and are putting their sales skills to practice through experiential opportunities with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Penguins and Cleveland Cavaliers."

"They also participate in professional sports sales workshops and national sales competitions," he said. "Professional sports teams from across the country now know that Point Park develops some of the brightest sports industry talent in the country!”

In the Q&A below, hear from students Kaelyn Adams and Chris Vaughn about their experience at the TeamWork Online Sports Sales Workshop & Job Fair and how Point Park is helping them prepare for career success in sports. 

Kaelyn Adams '24

High school: Ligonier Valley High School
College activities: Pirates Sales Team, Penguins Sales Team and Cleveland Cavaliers Sales Team
Dream job: President of revenue for a professional sports team

Why did you choose Point Park University’s Sports, Arts, Entertainment & Music Business program?

I chose Point Park’s program because of how connected they are in the industry. Our professors have worked in these industries and they share their first-hand experiences with us. They are willing to connect us with the people they know, and it ultimately sets us up for success!

What did the Sports Sales Workshop & Job Fair entail?

The Sports Sales Workshop & Job Fair was awesome. This was my second time attending, and I had an absolute blast. It consisted of three interview blocks during which we could have up to 14 interviews with professional sports teams. We also received training from industry leaders, and they got to see our skills in action and what we're capable of. Thirty teams attended this year, and I filled all 14 interview slots!

What did you enjoy most about the event?

I enjoyed seeing everyone in person that I have stayed connected with over the past year. It was nice to have that face-to-face interaction because that’s when you really get to know people. It was also exciting because with my graduation drawing near, I’m looking for a full-time role, and some of my connections are already talking about having me visit their workplaces to explore potential opportunities. I learned how important networking is. It pays to know people, and it pays to have good relationships. 

How is the SAEM program helping you to become career-ready?

The SAEM program is helping me get career-ready by giving me plenty of interview practice and helping me refine my professional brand, including my LinkedIn. The faculty here is honestly the best. They helped me so much throughout my journey. Without the push from all of them, I don’t know where I would be now.

Chris Vaughn '24

High school: Chartiers Valley High School
College activities: Ticketing sales intern with the Pittsburgh Penguins
Dream job: General manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates

Why did you choose Point Park University’s Sports, Arts, Entertainment & Music Business program?

I chose the SAEM program because of the large scope of paths that I would be able to choose from in terms of learning and taking classes. I transferred to Point Park after getting an Associate's Degree in General Studies at CCAC, and I did not know anything besides that I wanted to work in sports or music to continue my education. The SAEM program provides such a unique opportunity to pursue both paths. I knew it was the right fit for me.

What did you enjoy most about the Sports Sales Workshop & Job Fair?

I enjoyed the opportunity to network and make connections with professional teams from all around the U.S. I got a feel for what different inside sales programs look like at different teams, which is helpful information for when I graduate in the fall.

Describe the impact that the SAEM faculty and courses have had on you so far. 

The SAEM faculty has had such a positive impact on me personally and academically, especially Professor Derda and Professor Paige Beal, MBA. They have helped me to use the opportunities and resources available to me through the SAEM program and established a level of trust where I know they are always steering me in the right direction. Point Park's connections with local sports teams and concert venues have been invaluable in allowing me to gain real-world experience and figure out what I want to do in my career through shadowing and internship opportunities.

Is there anything else you would like to add? 

My advice to future Point Park students is to utilize all of the resources available to them. Point Park is a great school, and the SAEM program provides students with meaningful opportunities, so make sure not to take it for granted!

More About: success story, Pittsburgh Penguins, sports, arts, entertainment and music business, Sports, Arts, Entertainment and Music Partnerships, Rowland School of Business, faculty, Chartiers Valley High School, sports, arts and entertainment management, student trips, Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Steelers