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School of Business hosts two speakers

Written By Kayla Snyder, Copy Editor

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The School of Business began a series of speakers Oct. 20 with a presentation entitled “Selling the Steelers” and will continue with an entrepreneur presenting Oct. 26.

“Selling the Steelers” was a presentation by Kathy Wallace, corporate sales and marketing manager for the Pittsburgh Steelers, to talk to students about topics such as creating revenue and sponsorships.

The first three decades of Wallace’s career were spent in radio and television. At one point, while working at WTAE, Wallace was exposed to sports marketing and managing and developed her love for sports.

Wallace‘s job with the Steelers is to create revenue for the team through mechanisms including radio, television, sponsorships, digital signage and other platforms.

A private, invite-only luncheon was held prior to the event for individuals to meet with and speak to to Wallace. Ashley Corradene, a senior broadcast reporting major, said that talking to Wallace was beneficial to her because she has been looking into the sports side of the industry recently.

“I’ve noticed that I wanted to get into sports sponsorships and sales so her job is what I want to do,” Corradene said. “Talking to her and hearing her side of all of it, the industry and the job description, really helped me.”

Wallace’s advice applies to prospective students in any career path: maintain a good network.

“It’s important to have role models and mentors,” Wallace said. “None of us got where we are because we did it in a vacuum, there were people that helped us along the way or people that inspired us. I think it’s helpful always to talk to someone who has experience in the field that you’re looking to get into.”

The second event the School of Business has planned is set for Oct. 26, featuring Lillian Rafson, the founder and CEO of Pack Up + Go.

According to graduate assistant for the School of Business, Caitlin Hull, Pack Up + Go is a company in which customers can pick their budget, submit it to the Pack Up + Go website and Rafson will plan a three-day weekend for them.

Rafson left her job at a startup in New York without any plans, and after extensive traveling on her own, she started Pack Up + Go.

“You have no idea what it is or where you’re going until you get to the airport,” Hull said.

Rafson is known for being free-spirited and adventurous, which is something that Hull thinks students can learn a lot about by  just listening to her speak.

“I think [being a go-getter is] a quality that any student or any person can really benefit from; having to chase after something or the risks you have to take to benefit and get ahead of the game,” Hull said.

According to the press release, Rafson is expected to talk about the challenges of being a woman in a predominantly male industry as part of the “Women in Industry” series, a speaker series that features prominent women business leaders sharing their life experiences.

Paige Beal, associate professor of sports, arts and entertainment management said students can gain insight and inspiration listening to Rafson speak about entrepreneurship because Rafson was so young starting her own business.

“Entrepreneurism is a strong attribute as well as a great professional career, particularly for millennials,” Beal said. “I think there are more opportunities for starting your own business than there ever have been.”

Rafson is scheduled to speak Wednesday, Oct. 26 starting with a networking reception at 5:30 p.m. and the talk starting at 6 p.m., followed by a Q&A until 7 p.m. on the eighth floor lounge in West Penn hall.

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