On Monday Feb. 10, a group of Goshen College students boarded a minivan at 7 a.m. driven by Jason Saumel, general manager of Globe Radio and assistant professor of communications. The group of twelve headed to Indianapolis for the 20th Annual Pacers Sports and Entertainment Career Fair.
The day began with “Inside the Front Office” sessions, starting with a marketing presentation from Greg Rapaport, the digital marketing manager for the Indiana Pacers, and Shayna Sangster, director of marketing for Indiana Fever.
Following the marketing presentation, the students were then able to choose from one of three breakout sessions. They could either attend a presentation from the Pacers director of corporate communications, a presentation about facilities and event management, or one about tickets sales and analytics.
Attendees were then able to pick between player relations and basketball operations or game operations and promotions for the final session of the day.
A career fair began at noon where students met with sports organisations from Indianapolis to learn about potential internships and job openings. Those in attendance included: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, USA Football, University of Indianapolis, NCAA, IMG Learfield, Indy Eleven, The Basketball Academy, Indianapolis Colts, Sports Management Worldwide, CSM Sports & Entertainment, Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Pacers and Sports Entertainment, Indy Parks & Rec, YMCA, Indy Fuel Hockey, Children’s Museum and Indiana Sports Corp.
“I really liked the event,” said Tanner Camp, a senior broadcasting major. “It’s a great opportunity to go down to a big city like Indianapolis and make a name for yourself. It’s a great way to see different companies and get knowledge on how to get a job.”
The day’s events concluded with the students being able to watch the Pacer vs Brooklyn Nets. Although the Pacers lost the game in the dying seconds 105-106, the GC students regarded the day as a success.
The group met Nets head coach, Kenny Atkinson, and Nets player Rodions Kurucs, briefly as the pair left their hotel to board a bus; they had their seats upgraded thanks to Luisa Souza, a junior, for volunteering during one of the sessions; and Alyson Prigge, a senior, and Willaim Troyer, a junior, made it onto the jumbotron in the background of a shot of fans.
I was pretty surprised that they upgraded our tickets to the lower seats just because I volunteered in one of the sessions,” Souza said. “All you need to do is try and put yourself out there to get a chance and that’s how they reward the whole group for that single action. I think that is amazing!”
But for many, the highlight of the night was seeing Zachariah Begly, a junior, and Camp battle it out on the court of the Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The pair took part in the hamster ball race during the end of the first quarter.
“It was an amazing feeling,” Camp said. “The Pacers are my favorite basketball team and being able to race against one of my closest friends, Zack Begly, and be on that court was a real dream come true!”
Camp dominated the race but Begley remained resilient and started to show signs of a comeback. But Camp’s lead was too far for Begly to catch up too. He crossed the finish line in front of the cheering crowd and returned to the stands with his trophy – a Pacers backpack that can transform into a cooler.