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Beyond the Gates-A Review of MGT 341/514: Behind Chicago Sports Organizations (Day 4+5)

Brandon Bowens


Here at Radio Depaul Sports, we have fun talking our favorite teams and topic we as college students are passionate about, be it DePaul athletics, Chicago based sports, or in my case, everything baseball.

But we are DePaul students first, and as most of our classes, regardless of major, are not sports-centric, I feel that it would be our stations best interest to talk about the sports classes here at DePaul when we can. For me, whose graduate studies typically fall under the arts, to be allowed to be part of the ninth edition of Andy Clark's Behind Chicago Sports Organizations class was an honor. I got to enjoy my "classroom" in various sports offices around the city getting my education from the best in the sports business.

Now I could give you a bare bones review of my week. That would be the easiest way method for me. But because the creative student in me won't accept the bare minimum, I decided to do this instead:

  1. A general overview of my mindset during the day. Sometimes it's a paragraph, sometimes it's two. Sometimes its related to the class, a good amount though is not. Sometimes it's positive, and sometimes it's not. You have the honor of peering into the inner working of my mind be grateful.

  2. I will briefly touch upon where the class went, who spoke with us, and include my highlights and lowlights of the day. I will also include quotes and statements that stuck me with me enough that I remembered to write it down.

  3. Finally, I gave a highly prestigious review of the day. I won't lie and say all of the were the best, because they weren't. However, I feel like for some of you might be surprised how I felt about as the class went further along.

With all that out of the way, enjoy!


Day 4

There's a huge difference between waking up early and waking up early because you have to. Granted, full-time jobs must feel like the later versus the former, but I think the mentality that one has to go through just to function each and every day is what makes waking up early so much more difficult. Most of my graduate studies occur during the night and so I'm not used to waking up at 8 or so in the morning. Its definitely has been a grind to get up and motivate myself to get fancy dressed for class.

That being said, I'm actually amazed how close this class represents the work day. Most time you arrive at a location typically around 9-9:30 and your day typically doesn't end until 5 that afternoon. I don't know if it was planned, or if was just how the scheduling worked, but kudos.

DATE: Thursday, December 1st

LOCATIONS: Chicago Bears, Paragon Marketing Group

SPEAKERS: Kristin Rogers (Chicago Bears Manager of Employee Experience), Rachel Chessky (Chicago Bears Partnership Activation Specialist), Victoria O’Connor (Chicago Bears Partnership Activation Assistant), Miguel Lemus (Chicago Bears Corporate Communications Assistant), Matt Dunlap (Chicago Bears Manager of Brand Creative), Joann Kowalski (Chicago Bears Project Management– Marketing), Matt Waitz (Paragon Marketing Senior Vice President), Gatorade, Pepsi, & PPG Team: Michael Miller (Paragon Marketing Senior Account Supervisor), Gatorade Team: Talia Petrosino (Paragon Marketing Senior Account Coordinator), ESPN Team: Jim Perry (Paragon Marketing Account Supervisor), Chipotle Team: Michael Socks (Paragon Marketing Account Supervisor)

QUOTE(S) OF THE DAY: "Absorb as much as you can", "Get a hobby", "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have", "Find a way to show the employers your true potential", "You only have one chance to impress", "Don't wait to follow up"

HIGHLIGHT: I appreciate the Bears, specifically Miguel Lemus and Ana Rodriguez for taking the time after talking out of their day to speak with us in a forum setting, to speak with us before heading off to Paragon. Other teams, like the Bulls, technically did this as well, but I felt like I got a lot of career advice that felt more for everyone going into any field, not just for people who were interested in a career in sports.

LOWLIGHT: Can't really think of anything (which is good, I think)

RATING: 4/5. It was going to be hard to top the previous day, but given what I got out the day, it was still a good day in its own way. The Bears gave me lots of advice that, for once, sounded like it was meant for anyone, not just sport marketing/business/centric students. Paragon gave me a sugar cookie. That's good enough for me.



Day 5

Can I actually work in the sports field?

When I started this class, I actually only to see sports from the unseen side. In my head, that meant more front office and less sport businesses, but beggars can't be choosers.

However, based on just the advice I received, maybe I should apply for some of these sales or internship jobs. I mean I was the one telling myself that I couldn't do these types of jobs in the beginning. Whose to say I'm not an absolute prodigy in the sport bussiness world? Me? I tend to tell myself that I can't do a lot of things...maybe this is a sign?

Plus, I mean, my career goal is to be the most flexible person in the world. If I got something like sales job, whose to say that wouldn't make me more flexible? After all my skill assets would be so vast that I could do any job...


DATE: Friday, December 2nd

LOCATIONS: Wintrust Arena, Depaul University: Coleman Entrepreneurship Center

SPEAKERS: Wintrust Arena: David Kennedy (ASM Global General Manager), DePaul Athletics: Taylor Stapleton (Executive Associate Athletic Director, Revenue Generation & Strategic Initiatives), Chicago Sky: Alex Teodosi (VP of Sponsorship), Northwestern Sports Properties: Mike Gordon (General Manager), Olivia Solimene (Chicago Fire Partnership Strategy Coordinator), Jen Enright (Life Fitness Marketing Manager, Health Clubs)

QUOTE(S) OF THE DAY: "Employer's hire people they think they are going to like", "Make your luck", "How are you any different from the next person?"

HIGHLIGHT: All this week, we have been told the best way to get into sports, but it would always be at the end, when you are about ready to go, and your mindset wasn't focused enough to remember everything. Mike Gordon basically told us about the power sports and then BOOM, he went how do you get into sports. Was he a bit intimidating when he said it, yes. But I think if it didn't faze you...you can work in sports.

LOWLIGHT: Our time with Alex Teodosi and Taylor Stapleton was rather short, which sucked because they the best part of the Wintrust Arena tour. Wintrust arena in of all itself, isn't that impressive, at least to me. I come from the south, you've seen one convention center/arena, you've seen them all.

LOWLIGHT: As I was finishing my thoughts up, this also reminded me that DePaul doesn't really have any control on what goes down at the Wintrust Arena, as they are technically the primary tenants of the Wintrust Areana, or rather, the Mccormick Place Convention Center. It's a baffling move to me, as in undergrad I bounced around universities that had its own basketball-centric arena. Depaul is at least as big as the smallest university I went to, so why reject building a baskeball centric arena, near campus, that would make you more money and get more student involvement? It a move that screams convivence over practicality and DePaul might be regretting making such a deal in ten to fifteen years, in my opinion.

RATING: 3/5. Mike Gordon, the aged-up Michael Scott, really saved the day thanks to his talk. This is great because Friday was looking at lot like Monday to me. Kinda funny how much this class started and ended kind with my opinion begin similar.


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