2021 S.P.M. Week – Students and Professionals Meet Week

Unlike in years past where students job shadowed alumni in their geographical location for a day, the 2021 event turned virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of hosting students on site, our alumni hosted topic-based online workshops. Alumni provided the parameters for their workshops. Students were then tasked with conducting research relative to the workshop, and then came prepared with their case study findings to the workshops.

“I really enjoyed the virtual job-shadowing event because I got to be creative and see what I could find out about the company with the data that was provided,” said SPM major Jenna Tivnan ’22.

The five workshop topics were:

  • Events and Operations: co-hosted by Anna Zorn (SVEM ’18 at Soldier Field) and Drew Altavilla (SPM ’13 at Louisiana State Athletics).
  • Marketing and Agency: co-hosted by Meghan Grassadonia (SPM ’17 at Excel Sports), Leah Riccolo (SPM ’20 at Rubicon Talent) and Brett Polinsky (Whitman ’17 at Rubicon Talent).
  • Sales and New Business: co-hosted by Ben Norowski (SPM ’12 at New York Red Bulls) and Ian McFate (SPM ’08 at Aramark).
  • Sports Betting and Marketing Partnerships: co-hosted by Brett Woltz (SPM ’11 at BetMGM) and Ayal Pessar (SPM ’19 at BetMGM).
  • Analytics and Player Operations: hosted by Drina Domic (SPM ’19 at NBA).

“The case study discussion was definitely worthwhile,” Grassadonia said. “The best kind of brainstorming and collaboration is involving many different thoughts and ideas from various people.”

Thirty-four sport management, sport analytics and sport venue and event management students took part in the week-long series of online workshops.

“Not only was this a great opportunity to provide students with valuable content-based workshops over their long winter break, but it opened doors for them to expand their professional networks as they look for internship opportunities in the future,” said SPM Internship Coordinator Lisa Liparulo, who coordinated the event.

Domic was impressed by the students’ energy and focus during the workshops. “The students were eager to present and participate,” she said. “Some students even took the initiative to follow up after the workshop on my constructive feedback.”

“I was shocked with how attentive the students were, especially for a voluntary workshop,” Norowski said. “The engagement was a huge part of why our workshop was successful and I loved being able to answer questions and pass my experiences on to the students.”

The Department of Sport Management would like to thank the alumni who participated in S.P.M. Week 2021. If you are interested in participating in S.P.M. Week 2022, please email Liparulo at lmliparu@syr.edu.

Notes from the 2020 program

The second annual Sport Management Students and Professionals Meet Week, or S.P.M. Week, was held January 6-10, 2020, giving current students the opportunity to learn more about careers in sport with the help of alumni who hosted them at their workplaces. Seventeen alumni and 18 students participated in the job-shadowing experience.

Sport Analytics senior Gareth Jobling ’20 spent three days job-shadowing at Teamwork Online in Cleveland, Ohio, and one day with the Cleveland Indians.

“I learned much more than I hoped for in both experiences and was able to demonstrate how analytics could be helpful to both organizations,” Jobling said. “TeamWork Online offered me a part-time remote internship for the spring that I was eager to accept.”

Alumni hosts introduced the students to their industry and organization, providing an opportunity for the students to observe their daily responsibilities and ask questions. S.P.M. Week is designed to be flexible, so each shadowing experience fits the interests of the student and their alumni host.
“I had the incredible opportunity to shadow Christina Myers at Lehigh University Athletics,” said Devan Dachisen ’22. “I really enjoyed seeing the day-to-day operations of their marketing department and working with her at a women’s basketball game.”


Questions may be directed to SPM Internship Placement Coordinator Lisa Liparulo at lmliparu@syr.edu or 315.443.0450.