Michael Gerard Lietz ‘09 (Tampa, Fla.) cannot stress the importance of networking enough; it landed him his dream job with the National Football League’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“You never know who you will meet and what they can do for you,” he said. “As large as the sporting industry may seem, it really is a small, tight niche of people.”
Michael began working for the Buccaneers as an account executive and worked his way up to marketing coordinator, organizing high-level events for the teams’ sponsors. He also has taken on the role of chamber relations person, working directly with the community to expand the team’s brand.
“Being able to come into a new organization and earn promotions in such as short time, really sets the tone for the rest of my career,” he said.
Michael credits his quick success to the internship experiences he completed with the Washington Redskins and the Washington Nationals while majoring in sport management at York College.
“An interesting fact about the Redskins internship is that I secured it while doing an event with the Nationals,” he said. “I was networking with my future boss.”
According to Michael, sport management professor Timothy Newman, Ph.D., played a key role in where he is today. He remembers Newman repeating, “network, network, network,” everyday in class.
“It sounded cliché at the time, but it makes so much sense now!” he said. “I also can relate current experiences to projects and lessons from his classes. When speaking with co-workers about their classes and activities, their experiences don’t come close to the real-world learning I had in YCP’s program.”
He reminds current students to dive into the sporting industry with an open mind, ready to absorb everything.
“There will be times when you’re asked to do something that might have no relation to your job, but do it anyway,” he said. “This industry is very rewarding, but you have to give a lot to get something in return. At times it might seem like your working harder than you thought you would, but in the end, it all pays off.”
By Megan Black '12, Office of Communications intern
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