ASU Night at the D-backs showcases paths to careers in sports

How can Sun Devils make a career in the sports and entertainment industry? That's the question that drew 150 ASU alumni and students to Chase Field for a Career and Professional Development Services panel.

The event, sponsored by the W. P. Carey School and ASU Alumni Association, featured a diverse set of experiences in the field, including everything from business and legal work to nonprofit and athletic careers. Panelists included Graham Rossini, vice president of special projects and fan experience for the Diamondbacks; Nona Lee, executive vice president and chief legal officer for the Diamondbacks; Joe Bertoletti, senior associate director of sports and tourism for the city of Surprise; Willie Bloomquist, special assistant to the Diamondbacks president and CEO; Elana Kutz, the director of the sports business program at W. P. Carey; and Debbie Castaldo, vice president of corporate and community impact for the Diamondbacks and the executive director of the Diamondbacks Foundation.

Alumnus Aaron Myers, who graduated in 2004 after earning his degree in finance, attended because he is a big supporter of ASU and he loves sports.

“It’s great to hear the panelists and their journey and how they got to where they are at,” Myers says. “I was really interested to hear how people got their start in a sports career and what has made them successful so far.”

Myers is currently in banking, but he knows what it’s like to transition to new fields. He grew up mostly overseas in a military family, and he served in the U.S. Air Force as a medical lab technologist. Before shifting to finance, he wanted to pursue medicine but realized that he didn’t enjoy working in trauma.

Myers, who also played football in high school and for Mesa Community College before his time at ASU, says it’s a family tradition to be a sports fan, and he’s always interested in hearing about career opportunities in the field. He says that the ASU event at the Diamondbacks game showcased how many avenues and journeys can lead to a career in sports.

“It was great to see the diversity of each panelist and to see where they came from, what that success looks like,” Myers says. “It really reinforced that there’s not just one path to getting into a career in the sports-entertainment industry. There’s no one path. It’s all about passion, and that’s the common thread.”

No matter what you want to do — or what skills and knowledge you need to get there — the W. P. Carey will help you every step of the way. Here are a number of opportunities for personal and professional growth, designed to sponsor success throughout your career.

There’s another opportunity coming up. Check out the Nov. 13 event at Gadzooks Enchiladas and Soup in Tempe. Hear from the owner and fellow alum Aaron Pool (BS Management ’09).

Need career services but you’re not sure where to start? Our rich library of on-demand content can help you refresh your professional skills, evaluate a career change, move up the ladder, and more. Get in touch with our career advisors to explore the full breadth of resources available to W. P. Carey alumni.

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