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Select Leaders Sophomores Learn the Importance of Networking

Monday, April 1 2019 01:30pm

Select Leaders is a three-year professional development program led by Tammy Reynolds, one of our executives-in-residence, and Tim Reynolds, executive director of the Walter Center and another executive-in-residence.

Each year of the program, students travel to a different city for a networking trip. This is an especially exciting opportunity for sophomores, most of whom are new to the concept of networking and have never been on a trip like this before.This year the destination of the sophomore trip was Pittsburgh, where the students visited PNC, the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and the Pittsburgh Penguins. The new experience of travelling out of state to engage with business executives can be intimidating, but the students are prepped in advance to ensure they are well-equipped for the meetings.

The group first met with Scott Colcombe, senior vice president of PNC, who gave them a tour and discussed the organization’s plans for growth. Later that day, they went to Heinz Field for a visit with A.J. Poole, director of partnership sales for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Topics of Poole’s presentation included the importance of revenue sharing, ticket sales, and sponsorships.

The second day of the trip included a tour of Dick’s Sporting Goods' headquarters with university relations team member Carrie Whisel. She discussed operations and innovation in the organization, including the company’s transition to e-commerce. Finally, the group was welcomed by two sales executives for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Ashley McDonough, group sales manager, and Brett Baur, senior manager of partnership sales, described their roles in the organization and career options in the sports industry.

In addition to these company visits, the students attended an alumni event at The Local Brewhouse in Pittsburgh. The students practiced their networking skills with more than 15 OHIO graduates, making valuable connections and learning more about their respective career paths. This group of sophomores will spend two more years together as Select Leaders, and their first networking trip provided opportunities to not only build relationships with business professionals, but to deepen their relationships with each other.