Name: Melissa Gohde
1. Current Company and Position: Premium Seating Account Executive for the United Center
2. What was your major: Sport Communication; minored in Sport Marketing/Management, Spanish, & Telecommunications
3. Year you graduated: May, 2013
4. How did you get into this field? Right after graduation, I started as a Ticket Sales representative with the Chicago Bulls. This program was highly renowned throughout the NBA and sports industry, and the sales training we received throughout the program will help anyone in any industry. Although it was highly competitive, a few of us were offered an opportunity to be hired on full-time in the Premium Seating Department at the United Center. I accepted the offer and have now started to work full-time as a Premium Seating Account Executive.
5. What’s the best part of your current job? The best part definitely is working the game and events. Being such a huge basketball fan, it is always exciting to go to Chicago Bulls games, as well as concerts and Blackhawks games at the United Center. It does not even fee like work to me!
6. What’s the most challenging part of your current position or the industry in general? The most challenging part is just getting your foot in the door. Once you have that sports industry entry level position/internship, you will have endless opportunities to demonstrate your work ethic and dedication to the industry.7. What skills and characteristics are most important for success in this field/position? For a sales/customer service position, confidence is one of the most important characteristics to possess. Strong interpersonal skills, patience, voice clarity, and enthusiasm are also keys to excel in the sports sales/customer service industry.
8. What does a typical day or week look like for you in this position? Honestly, there is not a typical day or week in this field. With Chicago Bulls, Blackhawks, and United Center events scheduled throughout the week, it just depends on which games/events I am scheduled for. During the day, I am servicing our suite holders who lease suites. Also, I maintain/update databases with suite holder information, as well as create marketing lists and email campaigns about upcoming events at the United Center. During the games, I am in charge of walking around the suite level concourses to solve any issues that come up before or during the game.
9. What do you wish you knew when you were a student at IU that you know now?
Maintain ALL of your connections, no matter how small or large they are. You never know when you need to call on a friend/past co-worker/past supervisor for help to get your dream job!
10. Any other advice you would give to a student wanting to break into this industry? The best place to start in the sports industry is usually in ticket sales. Although it may not always be the most glamorous job, it will get your foot in the door to endless opportunities within the industry. Most ticket sales programs will allow for shadowing in other departments, which is a great way to get experience and learn exactly what career path in sports that would interest you most.
11. What do they miss the most about IU/Bloomington? I really miss walking on IU’s beautiful campus to classes, basketball games, and having so many friends within a five mile radius of me at all times.
12. Are you open to having students reach out to you via e-mail to learn more about your career
path? If so, please include the e-mail you would like us to list: email@example.com
Categories: Employer Spotlight
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