Sports, Arts and Entertainment Graduate is the Promotions Coordinator for Stage AE Monday, December 22, 2014
Meet Bret Kunash
Job title: Promotions Coordinator
Employer: PromoWest North Shore - Stage AE
Degree earned: B.S. in Sports, Arts, and Entertainment Management
Graduated: May 2011
Hometown and current living in: Pittsburgh, Pa.
High School: Keystone Oaks High School
Hobbies/interests: Going to shows, collecting records, performing and writing music with friends
Twitter handle: @Bret_X
LinkedIn: Bret Kunash
How has your SAEM degree helped you reach where you are today?
My time at Point Park was crucial to getting where I am today. I really tried to do exactly what my professors told me. With the guidance and advice from professors like Ed Traversari and Steve Tanzilli and Center for Student Success Coordinator Amy Kier, I was able to learn what it takes to be successful in this industry.
I feel like I had a real advantage stepping into the job market and I owe it all to these individuals. Because of this, I always felt confident in everything, whether it was knowledge on industry standards or how to approach interviews. Above anything else, they stressed how important real-life experience was and I really embraced that.
What were some of your favorite experiences at Point Park?
I loved going to class every day surrounded by the city of Pittsburgh. I wandered around Downtown in between classes to seek out the hidden gems the city has to offer. I also really enjoyed learning from industry professionals I got to call my professors. I was always eager to engage with them during and after class and I really loved taking part in the many workshops they offered.
What type of event management work have you done?
My first experience with event management was when I started at Stage AE doing guest services. I made myself available to the special events director and was able to help with corporate events and private parties. About two years after starting at Stage AE, I was hired to work at Heinz Field as their club supervisor for Aramark. I set up, managed day-of-event/game activities and reconciled everything that had to do with club concessions and bars.
Heinz Field led to an opportunity at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, where I was hired as the steward and runner supervisor. I gained valuable management experience and really learned the ins and outs of premium event management and large consumer conventions. I worked directly under the general manager, executive chef and executive steward.
I spent four years splitting my time between these three buildings. Not only was I mentored by some of the top professionals in the city but also I learned how to manage my time and really developed a great work ethic. There were days when I would start at the DLLCC at 4 a.m., then get to Heinz Field by lunch and end the night with a concert at Stage AE. I'm glad those days are coming to an end but I wouldn't have gotten where I am today without them.
Describe your role as promotions coordinator for Stage AE.
I manage and coordinate projects for the marketing intern staff as well at the street team. I also coordinate all outside promotions and co-promotions at events around the city. In addition, I assist our marketing director and the sponsorship department and coordinate show and non-show marketing projects.
Tell us about the internship and career-related experiences you had throughout college.
My first job in college was with Sony Music as the Pittsburgh college marketing representative. I handled developing artists' college marketing and promotions for the entire city of Pittsburgh. This took me all around the city to music venues, independent and big box retail stores, college campuses, radio stations and everything in between. I also had the chance to participate in marketing meetings in New York City with artists, labels, management and booking agents.
While in college and working for Sony Music, I also started interning with A-F Records (an independent punk rock record label in Pittsburgh) and assisted with the management of the internationally-known rock band, Anti-Flag. Anti-Flag really took me under their wing and taught me everything I wanted to know about their business. I learned about tour management, label management and merchandise from these guys and really owe them a lot.
Additionally, I interned with the digital marketing department for Epic Records in New York City between my junior and senior years. Point Park granted me a funded internship, which gave me the opportunity to live and work in the city for an entire summer.
What are your career goals?
I hope to grow professionally with PromoWest and continue to learn more about the live entertainment/music industries.