Thursday, June 19, 2014

Keeping Up With Mike Pacini

Getting the internship of a lifetime that could set you up for success is something the current students told my cohort at orientation. Some mentioned one job or internship where everything just clicked, and they knew what they wanted to do in their careers. Others were able to experience working in their dream organization where their futures were just starting to unfold. For one of my classmates, his future is beginning to unfold.

A few weeks ago, quite a few people from cohort 39 gathered together to have one last barbecue and gathering before Mike Pacini left for New York. Mike got an internship with NBA Entertainment in the programming department for 10 weeks. Amazing, right? 

As I've mentioned in previous blogs, USF not only provides us with opportunities to intern and work with companies in the Bay Area, but also the ability to reach out beyond the Bay Area. Of course there's always the option to transfer to the Los Angeles campus if we get an opportunity in SoCal, in fact, we've had quite a few classmates from the LA cohort transfer to San Francisco. But, no one has taken an internship outside of these two areas where weekly classes aren't available. 

Here's a little bit of information about how Mike got this awesome internship and how it's going thus far:

NB: How early did you apply for the internship?
MP: I applied back in late November. The interview process included one Skype interview at 6:30 AM where I wore a jacket, tie and sweatpants. The 2nd interview was over the phone and lasted about an hour. I didn't find out till about 2 months later.

NB: What are your day to day duties?
MP: I get tasked with small project everyday, all related to media content. It may be anything from data entry to idea generation. I also get to sit in all the staff meetings, which is cool.

NB: Because this internship is in New York, what was the process you had to go through with Stan and other administrators because you'd miss so much school?
MP: Stan was aware of my application process from day one. Because this is a rare opportunity, I was allowed to miss the two classes to move to New York to work for the NBA. I'll make up the classes before I graduate (either online or with another cohort).

NB: What has been the coolest experience you've had so far?
MP: The coolest experience I've had thus far with the NBA has been a Q & A panel with Adam Silver. We will have another one with him towards the end of the program as well as one with deputy commissioner Mark Tatum. I'm also looking forward to working draft night later this month. 

NB: Are there any major projects you will be a part of once you have more experience in this organization?

MP: We have this project called the "Think Tank" where myself and 6 other grad interns will ultimately present our research on global e-commerce to NBA Senior executives.

Just a few photos Mike has sent me over the weeks
Mike will return to us in August, so until then I'll keep everyone updated on his adventure in New York. As I've said before, having the ability to move across the country for an internship without putting a stop to classwork is just one of the perks USF provides. 






Wednesday, May 21, 2014

One More Year

As my cohort and I sat in the third internship meeting, Dr. Cellini reminded us how we will be graduating in one year and to reflect on the last 10 months of our experience here at USF. My thoughts went 100 miles per hour, and I know these next 359 days will only go faster. As I sat there, I thought about all of the different things I've accomplished so far, and all the memories I've made with friends.


In the top left picture, while working as the meet director for Stanford's women's gymnastics team, I was able to see two of my high school teammates that I trained with in Texas. At each meet this year, I was able to see old friends and coaches who shaped me into the person I am today. Although we've been away from each other for about four years now, it's always a good feeling being able to pick up with people right where you left off. Having good friends is always a plus, but I think having that ability to keep up with contacts makes it easier to connect and network with people. And as you know, networking is everything.

In the top right picture, I captured a memory I'll never forget and that was working the Pac-12 Men's Basketball Media Days during my second week at Pac-12 Networks. That was definitely a day where I was tested by being thrown in the mix without much direction. That day actually went really well and seeing everything behind the scenes was definitely the highlight of my day. This definitely taught me that when you're hired for a job, they expect you to be able to pull your own weight and your hand won't be held through the process. I went with my instincts that day and it taught me to go with my instincts no matter what the situation might be.

The picture below that is of Krystal Temkin (cohort 39), myself, and Desirae Burkley (cohort 39) wearing helmets from the Pac-12 Men's Basketball Media Days. We had a little down time, so why not pretend to be football players? Sometimes I can take work and myself a little too seriously, so this always reminds me it's okay to take a breather and to have fun.

To the left of that is a snapchat I sent way back on July 9th of my roommate, Alyssa Nakken (cohort 39) and I. This was on our way to orientation. I still get butterflies thinking about how nervous I was! I always smile looking back on that day mainly because it was the start of an experience I never imagined. I can guarantee I wouldn't believe it if you told me everything I had done in these last 10 months during that car ride to orientation. I had no need to be as nervous as I was.

The picture to the left of that was the most recent picture I took. It was taken May 18th, after Heather Vandevanter (cohort 39) and I ran the Bay To Breakers race. It was a 12k race which is 7.46 miles. It started by the Bay Bridge and finished by Ocean beach so we literally ran across San Francisco. I've always been a fan of races, so doing one that is so well known in the Bay Area has been a highlight for me.

The next picture to the left is of Nicole Loscavio (cohort 39) and I at the Texas Rangers vs. Oakland Athletics game. Although we're good friends, we were rivals that night as our favorite teams battled for a win. It's always fun when my favorite teams come to town, especially when I get to go with a friend rooting for the other.

The picture below that is of my father and I. Last fall, I worked with the Oakland Raiders as a member of the Premium Services Game Day Staff. Being so far away from my family is definitely hard, so when I knew what day the Kansas City Chiefs were coming to Oakland, I had to get my dad there. As an early Christmas present, I was able to get him a ticket and fly him out to visit and see his team. My dad and I have always been the sport fans of our family, so being able to work for a team and do this for him was something I'll always cherish.

The last photo to the right of my dad and I is when a few of us went to a USF Men's Basketball game where they were trying to set a world record of how many people could be in a room with fake mustaches. Mike Pacini, Thomas Sweeney, Nick Walsh, Austen Powers and I all went to this fun event (and even got Don's masks).

All these memories were made in just a short 10 months and those aren't even all of them.With each memory has a lesson, and those lessons I try to apply to my daily routine. Whether it's a professional or personal lesson, USF has been more than just a learning experience in the classroom. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

New Places, New Faces

Can y’all believe it’s already the end of April? I’m still in a little bit of shock how quickly this year has gone by. My cohort and I have been to seven meetings through our fifth class, which means next week, I’ll only have 7 classes left before graduation (the program has 12 classes, I go to school once a week, one class is eight weeks long). CRAZY. I still can’t figure out how to slow down time.

So, after traveling to Arizona in the last post, I decided to go back and visit again during the last weekend in March. I know, I’ve already been told I’m crazy. But, I did make a resolution to take advantage of my opportunities and I need to live up to it, right? Not only this but it has taken me eight months to explore outside the city, just because I was always working on weekends. Just like the last trip, I met with people within MLB organizations to expand my network. I’ve learned that no matter where you’re going (or if you’re favorite team is coming to town) you should always reach out to see if someone is willing to talk. You never know how far that connection could take you.

Two weeks later, I joined a couple of the guys in my cohort for a weekend trip to Los Angeles. Nick Walsh, Adam Johansen, and Thomas Sweeney (all from cohort 39) and I went down there to see the New York Mets play the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Nick is from New Jersey and is a diehard Mets fan while Adam is the Angels fan. I want to visit every ballpark in the country, so I wanted to cross the Angels stadium off of my list.

Myself, Nick, Sweeney, and Adam at Angels Stadium
For the record, I couldn't wear red and have it be mistaken for 'Angels red', so I decided to represent my favorite team, the Rangers (I am a Dallas girl). The only one who didn't represent a favorite team was Sweeney (he's a Brewers fan and told me how lame I was for wearing a Rangers jersey). The game went to 13 innings and the Mets came away with the win, so at least Nick was happy. Overall it was a fun weekend and I definitely need to go back to visit the Dodgers Stadium, as well as the Padres which is two hours south of LA! While we were there, we tried to hang out with Cohort 15S (the LA cohort that started in July with us), but we told them of our LA plans a little too late to where they were all busy. But hopefully next time!

With all the traveling that I've done over these last two months, it has really given me another perspective of the sport industry. I already knew there's a lot of opportunity within this field, but I think lately living in the Bay Area for the last 9 months has only had me thinking about this area since there are so many people and so many opportunities in sport. 

Each day, all of the USF Sport Management students are sent e-mails with job and internship opportunities within the Bay, LA area, and even beyond state borders. I've been told a few stories about how a few people from earlier cohorts accepted positions for the summer outside of California but still managed to stay on course with their schoolwork. This definitely got me thinking about having a potential summer stint somewhere other than the Bay Area. After talking with Stan Fasci, he reassured that it's definitely possible, especially if it's an opportunity in an industry that I'm passionate about and hope to end up in.

I don't think many graduate programs can say that. I've already said multiple times how great this USF program is, but I don't think others could compete in the fact of their students staying on top of their work with an internship outside of where ever their campus may be. This is just another cool perk that this program has along with everything else that it offers.

As I've learned and said before, it's all about networking and who you know. USF not only gives you a large network within being in the program, but it also gives you an opportunity to create an even larger one outside of the Bay and LA area.


Monday, March 17, 2014

March Update

Happy St. Patrick’s everyone, I hope you’re wearing green!

As promised, here are the pictures from the Levi Stadium tour. If you are a 49ers fan, live close, or like to travel to sporting events, this will be one you do not want to miss. The way the stadium was described made it seem as if it’ll be more of an experience than just watching a football game.


The areas for concessions, bathrooms, and shops were state of the art. There will be restaurants within the stadium as well. I think the coolest thing (and most different) is that there will be an app you can download on your phone that lets you order food and have it delivered to your seat, as well as checking how long the line for the bathroom is! How cool is that?

Meanwhile with school, my cohort just started Sport Business Research Methods with Dr. Nola Agha. I’m looking forward to this class mainly because of the interests I have with what industry I want to work in. With media, it’s constant research. I know other departments need research as well, but I think this class will really benefit what I hope to do.  With the multiple positions I’ve had, the ones involving media definitely had the most research to do.

We got a week off of school after one day with Dr. Nola because of spring break. In undergrad, I never got a spring break because I was in season with gymnastics, so this didn’t feel too terribly different. Since I work more days than I go to school, I couldn’t exactly take a week off. Fortunately for me, the workload at Pac-12 Networks last week was light because of the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament. With that and having an awesome boss, I was able to leave early Thursday to take a short vacation in Arizona for spring training.

As a lover of baseball and traveling, I don’t think I could have had a better weekend. I went alone, which was an experience itself.  If you’ve never experienced a new place on your own, I recommend it. Moving to San Francisco on my own back in July opened my eyes to what I thought was a whole new world. With so much to digest in San Francisco, it made me want to explore so much more; which is why I was okay to go alone (and develop a love for traveling).

I went to four games and one bating practice during my three-day stint. On Thursday, the first game I went to was the Arizona Diamondbacks versus the Milwaukee Brewers at the Maryvale Stadium. It wasn’t the prettiest place I’ve been, but I sat third row behind home plate, so I was happy. Later that day, I watched the Seattle Mariners and Colorado Rockies batting practice before their game.

Friday I went to two games starting with the Texas Rangers at the Oakland Athletics. The Phoenix Municipal Stadium was nice, but I think it’s because the Rangers players made it look so good (okay, maybe I’m a little biased). But man, it was the slowest game of my life. It was about four and a half hours. The final score was 16-15 Rangers, so I was a very happy the Rangers pulled out the win. During the game I saw two familiar, famous faces. I’ve always been a fan of Chelsea Handler and her talk show, books, etc., so when I saw her sidekick and friend, comedian Sarah Colonna, I sort of froze. She’s dating the punter for the Seattle Seahawks, Jon Ryan, so seeing them was another perk of spring training. After that long game, I got to see two of the best pitchers in baseball in the same game: Clayton Kershaw and Chris Sale. The Chicago White Sox beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-4, but witnessing them pitch had to be a highlight of the trip.

I saved the best game for last and that was watching the Rangers at home against the White Sox. Surprise Stadium was amazing, and I’m not just saying that because it’s where the Rangers call home (along with the Kansas City Royals). It had a huge lawn, big video board, most seats were in the shade, and had an overall feeling of a regular season game. I would have liked to see the Royals play there as well, just to see if I would give it the same reviews.

Although I went for a vacation, I couldn’t help but use the networking tools I’ve learned throughout the program. As many know by reading these blogs and mentioning earlier, I’ve always wanted to work in media, specifically a sideline reporter. I recently applied for a position with the Modesto Nuts, the Advanced A minor league team for the Colorado Rockies.  I applied the week before spring break, so the organization didn’t have my information for that long. I e-mailed the guy hiring for the position, letting him know I would be in town getting the spring training experience and asked if he had time available to meet me to talk about the position. Overall the interview went well, although I’m not sure if that position will help me as much as I hoped with the aspirations I have. He was impressed with how I reached out to him and my ‘go-getter’ mentality, so I’m glad I went to make that connection because our paths could cross in the future. I would definitely recommend reaching out to someone in an organization while traveling because more connections never hurt, and you never know where it could lead.

When opportunity allows, take a trip, go somewhere new. Moving out here was the biggest leap of faith I’ve ever taken and it has helped me develop the fearlessness of trying new things and taking chances. A year ago, I would have never done this. I probably would have laughed if I was told I would go on a trip like this alone. This weekend in Arizona was not only a lot of fun for me, but it had much more value to me than just being a baseball fan.

When an opportunity presents itself for a job or for good time, don’t hesitate, go for it. You never know what it could lead to..
Brewers vs. Diamondbacks (Maryvale)


Rangers vs. Athletics (Phoenix Municipal)

Dodgers vs. White Sox (Camelback)


White Sox vs. Rangers (Surprise Stadium)

Friday, February 14, 2014

New Year, New Fun


A new year means new fun, and new resolutions to go along with new beginnings. To be honest, I didn't have a New Years resolution, I've been working on one that I started to pursue as soon as I moved here: try new things and take advantage of every opportunity. I know it’s already a month and a half into 2014, but I didn't write much about the New Year in my last post. 

The first opportunity I had in the New Year was to be a part of the student panel at cohort 40's orientation. Back at my orientation, I loved hearing the advice and stories from current students, so I was really looking forward to it. 

As I expected, I had a lot of fun and was able to meet all the new students as well as alumni of the program. When I was asked how much I had left in the program, I kind of stared into space before answering next year. I didn't actually believe the words that came out of my mouth. Cue Dr. Cellini reminding my class that the program goes by quickly! In two weeks I'll be finished with my fourth class, meaning I'm a third of the way through the program. 

Although public speaking isn't new for me, it was an opportunity to meet more people to add to my network. USF is known for the alumni and network, so it was nice being able to meet even more, rather than those I've only spoke to via e-mail. 

A few weekends later, some of my classmates and I made our way to Berkeley to watch the #1 basketball team in country. I expected Arizona to pull out a win against Cal, but I think everyone in Haas Pavilion was just as surprised as me when Cal upset Arizona. To say the least, it was crazy witnessing Justin Cobbs' final shot to get the win over Arizona. Even the aftermath when I went to work Monday at Pac-12 Networks was insane.
Our view
Nicole Loscavio (cohort 39) and I
The next event most of my cohort got together to watch the Super Bowl. I've been a Peyton Manning fan ever since I met him last year, so it was a little disappointing for me. But overall, it was nice being together not sitting in a classroom.

Our Lombardi Trophy made by Amanda Holtz (cohort 39)

Another opportunity I got to do was tour the San Francisco Giants stadium. Thanks to the alumni who work for the Giants, other alumni and current students were able to attend a private tour as well as a social with everyone afterwards. I was able to meet even more alumni, as well as reconnect with cohort 40, and learn more about the Giants than I ever could have by just being a fan. Here's a fun fact, there's a two-lane bowling alley within the stadium. Who would have ever guessed that!? 

Lastly, my cohort and I are going to have the opportunity to tour Levi’s Stadium, thanks to Amanda Holtz. I’m really looking forward to being able to see the stadium in person, rather than just online. I will post pictures in the next blog!

Again, these are just a few of the fun events I've been able to do all because of the USF program. These have been only a few of the fun outings I've had here in San Francisco, and I definitely couldn't have done any of them without being a part of the USF program. 

Be back next month!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Classmates From Around The World

There’s no doubt this program has already opened so many doors for my classmates and I. I’ve praised this program for the network it provides all across the country. All of the jobs I currently have and ones I’ve been eyeing are all because of this program and the alumni who are involved in these organizations. To say the least, being in this program creates such a large network all across the country.

But, this network goes beyond the country; it’s global. In my cohort (cohort 39), there are six students who were born in other countries and I believe there are seven in cohort 40s’ (if I’m remembering correctly) from the orientation I attended. These students have studied all over the world, making our network even larger than anticipated. The six I have gotten to know over the last seven months have opened my eyes to what really occurs beyond the borders and not what is shown in the news.

Over the last few days, I’ve been talking with my classmates about their experience so far and what they hope to learn while studying at USF. Here’s a brief biography about the six in my cohort!

Sissy Feng, from Jiaxing, China, is taking advantage of these opportunities to gain experience in the American sports industry. “The sports industry is much more commercialized in the US than in China. There are a lot of political factors included in sports in China, the state sport system dominates the industry”. With the knowledge of how Chinese and American sports operate, she hopes to bring an American view of sports back to China. Feng plans to work in professional sports' development in China after graduation. She says that if any of her friends were interested in this program and coming to America, she tell them to do so because of the nation's passion for sports and how professional the industry is”.

Similar to Feng, Jinhee Byun from Seoul, South Korea is eager to learn what the sports industry is like here. She always knew American sports were a big deal, but didn’t actually understand until going to a Stanford football game. As of now, Byun is eager for more experience is all different areas of the industry because she hasn’t found a specific focus she wants to concentrate on. The USF program allows us to work in many areas with all of the connections this program has. As far as being away from home, it has definitely been something Byun has struggled with. “Frankly speaking, it’s not easy to live and study in the U.S. I had to overcome some difficulties such as homesick, language barrier, or culture differences”, Byun says. “However, I was really satisfied with staying there. The school and people that I met there were so amazing”. She advises that if anyone she knows were to be given an opportunity like this, she would not want anyone to pass it up.

Natalya Ratan, from Dubai, has lived in California for a few years and is currently working with the Oakland Raiders. She says, “in the middle east, sport is not a huge industry, there are few opportunities to work in the industry because it is so small and there is far more focus on American/European or international sporting events”. Cricket is the most popular sport in India, so pretty much every other sport suffers in terms of funding and participation. It’s why a country of over a billion people struggles with success on the international stage. With her schooling and knowledge of sports here, she will one day want to return to Dubai, but not anytime soon. She is hoping to get a better understanding of what exactly she wants her career in sport to focus on through the Sport Management program. She’s interned and worked in a number of different departments, which is where she developed her passion for CSR and environmental sustainability with an NFL team.

As most in my cohort grew up playing sports or went to college on scholarship, Jana Soethout from Cologne, Germany, is still living out her athletic life. She is on the track and field team here at USF where she competes in distance running. She is able to balance track, grad school as well as internship opportunities because of the support from her coaches and professors. After graduation, she plans to return to Germany to focus on her track career. Until then, with her time at USF she hopes to “get a different perspective of the sports industry, to gain contacts within the sport industry all over the world”. As far as her professional career, she hopes to pursue a position in marketing at a sports related firm.

Another classmate from China is Ruoyang Wu. I’ve had the chance to work with her in a group project and she has to be one of the most knowledgeable people I know. She has told me that in China, the majority of the sports resource is under the control of the government. At the moment, there is no real and open sports industry. She has the smarts to definitely make a change in China, just from the ideas I’ve talked with her with in class. As far as jobs after graduation, she hopes to stay in the United States for a few more years. She has been training for a half marathon (which she completed earlier this month) and has found a passion for racing and running events. She hopes to one-day work with events similar to the San Francisco Marathon and Tokyo Marathon.

Last but certainly not least is Madeleine Ellingsen-Larsen. She is from Oslo, Norway and is a roommate of mine. She has probably taught me the most about international sports and Norway in general. The US is more professional and on a commercialized level while the sports industry in Norway is really small and built on volunteering. Ellingsen-Larsen has always aspired to work with the Olympics, especially if they’re in Norway in 2022. When asked if she would recommend this program to friends back home, she said “I would tell them to take the chance. It’s really good opportunity to learn another language better, understand a different culture and meet many new people”. She’s taught me a lot about winter sports in exchange for baseball lingo. She may not be an expert, but she understands the basic rules (proud roommate moment)!

Collectively, they all have studied if more countries I can count on my fingers and toes, which is why I think it’s so cool to have people with this much global experience in my cohort. They have made our cohort more aware of the sport industry across the country, and have been very willing to learn about American sports. These six ladies are motivated and determined to excel in school while finding their niche in the sport industry, and I couldn’t be more appreciative of their friendship and the knowledge they’ve shared.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Summary of The Last Six Months

Ever since I can remember, I've been obsessed with photos and videos. I always love capturing moments. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? So rather than telling you about all the fun I'm having in San Francisco, I thought a few pictures might do the trick. Here's a little summary of the last six months:

When I first moved here I was like:

And learning that public transportation is the best way to get around:

Walking into orientation:

When friends from back home can't believe I only go to school once a week:

Sometimes when I don't get something in class I think:

But then the USF professors and staff remind me:

Dr. Cellini is really big on learning how to properly speak in public. So, at first my classmates and I were all like: 

And he was like:

And occasionally like:

But after 8 weeks with him, this is how he reacted to our final presentations:

After those 8 weeks, we were told no other class would have as much work as Dr. Cellini's:

So, after that class, we all couldn't wait until class #2:

By this time we've all interviewed for jobs, so we all start the process like:

But leaving the interview and getting the job, we all felt like:

Class #2: Marketing. Not knowing anything about marketing:

But Dr. Goldman made it easy to learn and I felt like:

After my group nailed their final project and moving on to class #3:

Remembering how good I am with numbers before Accounting & Budgeting in sport:

And when Professor Faas asked who had an accounting background:

But then he assured us we would be just fine with no previous accounting knowledge:

And then doing well on his final:

How I felt leaving class knowing I won't see them for three weeks:

And realizing I'm a quarter of the way through grad school:

I think these GIFS perfectly sum up my adventure and emotions so far in the city and school. As excited as I am to see what the future holds at USF, I can't emphasize enough how much I need everything to slow down! I'll never regret this decision to move out here and continue my studies.

Happy Holidays!!