Alumni Profile: Melissa Brozeski, Pittsburgh Pirates Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Job title and employer: Community Relations Coordinator, Pittsburgh Pirates
Degree earned: Bachelor of Science in sport, arts and entertainment management
Graduation year: 2007
Hometown: Oil City, PA
Now living in: Pittsburgh, PA
What inspired you to study sport, arts and entertainment management?
Growing up, I participated in various athletic programs so the idea that I could turn my interest in sports and entertainment into a career was what led me to find out more about the SAEM program. I was not fully aware that there were job opportunities within these industries until I visited Point Park.
How did you land your current job at the Pittsburgh Pirates?
I took an event management course during my freshman year, which was taught by an adjunct professor who worked in the marketing department for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He approached me with a volunteer opportunity that placed me at PNC Park selling charity raffle tickets alongside current Pirates employees during a Rolling Stones concert. The conversations I had with influential industry people that night landed me an internship the following semester. From there, I worked my way up holding various positions in a number of different departments within the organization. I obtained other positions with different organizations, but never let my contacts at the Pirates forget me. A month before graduating from Point Park, I was recommended for the full time position that I currently hold today!
As community relations coordinator for the Pirates, what are some of your key responsibilities?
I work with the team's uniformed personnel-current players and coaches-as well as their wives, fiancÃƒÂ©es and girlfriends on the ballclub and Major League Baseball's community initiatives. I assist in the planning and implementation of all player appearances such as hospital visits, player hosted charity fundraisers, spring training meet and greets, PirateFest and Winter Caravans. I also oversee the Pirates donation program and assist in all of the Pirates Charities fundraising efforts.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
There isn't a whole lot about my job that I don't love. On a daily basis, I get to play a role in a player having a positive impact on an individual or group of people in the Pittsburgh community. It doesn't get much better than that. I'm fortunate because the Pirates place such importance on giving back and the players and coaches all have sincere interest in using their status in the community to benefit others, especially children. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing one of the players walk into a hospital room and visit bedside with a child who is going through a tough time, and knowing that you played a small role in making that kid's day!
Please tell us about your internship experiences with MTV Networks and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
I spent a summer in NYC working for Viacom, MTV Networks as an advertising sales/special events intern. Fortunately for me, the network was on a hiring freeze that summer so I was able to take on additional responsibilities including sitting in as the executive assistant to the vice president of ad sales. This was an unbelievable opportunity for me as it was my first big business experience. I was able to help organize the MTV Movie Awards' guests lists and travel arrangements while learning all about television advertising. This particular internship took me out of my comfort zone, to a new city and really forced me to grow, both personally and professionally.
A day after my return flight from NYC landed, I began a marketing internship with the Pittsburgh Steelers. During my time with the Steelers I was able to assist with events including a kick-off luncheon, fashion show, Monday Nights at the South Side and various player appearances.
Why did you choose Point Park University?
Point Park was a perfect fit for me. The SAEM program, student/professor ratio and the urban campus made the decision for me.
What were some of your favorite experiences at Point Park?
My funded internship in New York City was my favorite experience that Point Park offered me. It was the best summer of my life! The diverse student population and city campus made for a memorable college experience too. I enjoy meeting new people and being in a fast-paced environment and Point Park provided me with all of that!
How would you describe the SAEM professors at Point Park?
The SAEM professors bring their own practical experience to the curriculum. This proves to be most beneficial for students because there are just some things that cannot be taught via textbook and online. They push their students and stress the importance of internships and networking. The adjunct professors are also what makes the program unique, giving SAEM students an advantage that few other colleges and universities can offer.
What are some of your future career goals?
I would like to see my current position with the Pirates grow. Long term, I plan to keep my options open in the sports and entertainment industry. I'm still young and never opposed to taking risks and trying new things, if they are right for me. I'll continue to keep in touch with the people who have influenced me along the way and see what opportunities arise. Right now I'm just enjoying my role with the Pirates and seeing where this season takes us!
What advice do you have for individuals looking to pursue the sport, arts and entertainment management fields?
Be prepared to work long hours for little pay when you start out. Go in with the realization that you may not be doing exactly what you want to do at first. You have to work your way up in this industry. Aim to be recognized for the right reasons. Be professional and dress for the job you want. Take any internship that gets your foot in the door and network while you are there! Jobs are few and far between, so you have to earn them!