Barbara knows what it takes to turn your Sports/Entertainment/Event Management (SEE) degree into a career. Her Democratic National Convention internship led to a dream job coordinating events at Denver’s premier entertainment venue. Why did you choose your SEE major? One of my earliest memories is singing the Monday night football with my family. Sports were definitely the center of the household. And in high school, I heard about JWU. I realized you could actually make a career out of loving sports, even if you can’t play. You had an interesting start in this industry.I’d met this gentleman on a site tour for class at JWU. He said “I’ve never had an intern before.”
I said “I’ll intern for you!” So my first internship, I worked for the Western Alternative Sports Association (a dodgeball/kickball league for adults).And that led to your DNC internship? We held a tournament here at the Pepsi Center. That was the first time I actually came to the facility. I let Stephen Pyle, the Hospitality chair, know I was interested. And I got it the DNC internship.
How did you expand from sports events?For the DNC internship, I had to shadow every single department, so I could understand the facility.
What events did you work on? I got to work every single concert, every single sporting even. I got to learn so much about how the building operates. Do you like coordinating all kinds of events—concerts, pro sports events, meetings? It’s honestly never the same thing every day, and that’s why I enjoy it so much. What I love most about my major is our main goal is to make people happy. To create an experience, and a memory. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned? No event’s ever too small, whether it’s Lady Gaga performing or just a small business meeting. Even if it only seems like a small meeting, but everything goes flawlessly for the client, they’re so excited. They just want their guests to be happy. Do you think JWU prepared you for this job? JWU is all about preparing you for a career. That’s got me so excited I can’t wait to get out there. I will of course miss the professors, the constant support.
I hope that one day I can come back and talk to students like myself. I went through it, too. You’ll make it. You’ll be just fine.
How can you get that top internship at next year’s DNC? Your professor can help, says Barbara: “The internship opportunities JWU provided for me were phenomenal." read more