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Living-Learning Community students build professional development skills

College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences sport management students headed north in November 2021 to expand their networking opportunities while enjoying a Pittsburgh Penguins NHL hockey game. Read more below from sport management student Jenna Livers who shared the group’s road trip experience in a first-hand report.

On November 11, 2021, a group of CPASS sports management students got the opportunity to take an educational and professional trip to network with Pittsburgh Penguins staff and attend a game at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. We want to thank Lindsay Augustine, assistant dean for student and enrollment services, Office of Student Success, and Drs. Patrick Hairston and Justin Wartella, sport management teaching assistant professors, for their coordination and efforts to make this happen.

During the car ride to the arena we connected with fellow students. We were able to learn more about each other and form new and expand ongoing friendships. Once we got into the arena, we found our seats for the game and soaked in the fan experience. Not long after the first puck dropped, we saw the Penguins score a goal which helped us get more into the game and excitement that one would expect.

They gave us a brief overview of how they got to where they are today and what they do for the team. They then opened it up to questions. We were eager to pick their brains and get some inspiration for our future careers.

After all the questions were answered we had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with them and get their business cards and LinkedIn information. Since they stressed the importance of networking and taking advantage of opportunities, we wanted to learn more about them and how to stay in contact. This interaction helped us with career development because we had the ability to learn from people who are currently working in the sports industry.

The experience gave us insight on how to relax when talking to people in the industry. The interactive activity helped us learn first-hand what game day is like in the sports industry and what goes into related jobs in careers that we hope to have some day. Seeing it first-hand gave us a tighter grasp on what goes into securing positions like the roles that the professionals we met have. Overall, it was great to connect with people within our major who we have classes with and specialists who are where we want to be once we graduate.

Submitted by: Jenna Livers, sport management junior
Hometown: Chapel Hill, N.C.