Success Stories


Internship with Keystone Ice Miners Becomes Full-Time Job

“Starting as a sports management student I was really excited,” says recent graduate Jessica Lee. “I finally had found what I wanted to do in life but I really had no idea how to get started.”  

After her first semester at Seton Hill, Jessica landed an internship with the Johnstown Tomahawks of the North American Hockey League (NAHL). She interned with the Tomahawks for a year, and “learned so much about the business side of hockey.”

This on-the-job experience added a unique dimension to Jessica’s academic experience. “All the courses I took at Seton Hill really helped me by giving me the opportunity to develop my writing, organization, communication skills and professionalism,” she says. “Even the classes from the liberal arts core helped broaden my horizon, I feel I am more well-rounded now.”

Early in 2014, another NAHL team moved to Connellsville, Pa. from Port Huron, Mich. Jessica applied for an internship with the Keystone Ice Miners, and within a month had been offered a sales position. After her graduation from Seton Hill in December 2014, Jessica went to work full-time for the Ice Miners (who made it to the playoffs for the first time this year).

“I organize and manage incoming and outgoing money, ticket sales, group sales and game day operations; create promotions and themes; design flyers and forms to promote sales; and calculate attendance and profits,” Jessica says. “I am very lucky to have gotten my foot in the door in my industry before I even graduated college. I really have Seton Hill and Dr. Zullo to thank for that, without the courses, motivation, and advice I wouldn’t have had the opportunities I have.”

“Jess has been such a tremendous student since transferring to Seton Hill,” says Associate Professor of Business – Sports Management Robert Zullo, Ph.D. “Her promotion comes as no surprise as she leads by example. We are excited to see her career in hockey flourish for years to come.”

Katie Bloomgren Joins Pittsburgh Pirates 

Katie Bloomgren graduated from Seton Hill in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in sports management and a minor in business. In June 2014 she began a new job with the Pittsburgh Pirates as an inside sales representative.

Katie was a captain on her volleyball team and a Griffin Guide. She frequently attended professional conferences to broaden her networks early during her time at Seton Hill University. According to Dr. Zullo, a Seton Hill sports management faculty member, "Katie personifies what we want from our students. She possesses a willingness to expand her comfort zone and her success stems from her willingness to grow beyond just the classroom." 

Bryan Woodfork Lands with NFL's Seattle Seahawks

(And goes to the Super Bowl!) 

Bryan Woodfork (SHU '13), left behind a great legacy at Seton Hill when he graduated and began his first opportunity with the Seattle Seahawks. Bryan works in fan development and community relations for the NFL franchise, and was with the Seahawks through their successful Super Bowl run in 2014. Bryan has also worked with ESPN's College Gameday (Bryan is third from left in photo.)

"Being at a smaller university where everything and everyone is so close really helped me develop into who I am today," Bryan says. "Sports management being brand new during my time was definitely a blessing in disguise. Being one of the establishing classes really set me up to work in a lot of different aspects related to sports, and that really helped when it came to finding internships and other opportunities."

During his time at Seton Hill, Bryan initiated an annual March basketball tournament to support the local United Way. He also worked with the Pittsburgh Power arena football team and helped IMG College at home Pitt football games.

Sports Management Students are Civic-Minded Entrepreneurs

Throughout their undergraduate sports management classes, students work on the planning and implementing of campaigns that benefit such local entities as American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, Big Brother Big Sister, Blackburn Center, Make A Wish and United Way. The projects aid the students in developing necessary skills in fiscal matters, management, publicity and sales. These efforts are part of the sports management program's emphasis on community service learning. Below is a look at the students' contributions in the initial years of the undergraduate program.

      • 2013 - 2014 $3,814.79
      • 2012 - 2013 $1,353.40
      • 2011 - 2012 $475
      • 2010 - 2011 $481.19

"The sports management program has prepared me for graduate school at Penn State in several ways. The program layout enhanced three important and intertwined aspects of my future graduate program: teamwork, communication skills, and interpersonal relations. Our projects, mainly the ones concerning group promotions and community service, stimulated thinking related to these three abilities. The constant exposure to fellow students and contrasting viewpoints greatly promotes a constructive learning environment."

- Samantha Ritter (SHU '13), sports management student

Freshmen and Sophomores Get in the Game Early

Select undergraduate students start their professional experience at an early age by working at community entities in sports management. Site locations for freshmen and sophomores include: American Adventure Sports store, area high schools, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Golf for Her retail store, Nevin Hockey Arena, Pittsburgh Power arena football, Pittsburgh Riverhounds minor league soccer, IMG College with University of Pitt Athletics, Johnstown Tomahawks minor league hockey, area parks & recreation organizations, United Way and the Westmoreland Sports Network. These students gain industry experience prior to their competitors at other schools, thus enhancing their professional growth and development.