Christa Dellebovi is still a semester away from completing her MBA, but is already reaping the benefits of her Business School experience. After completing two successful semesters as an intern with the Colorado Rapids, Dellebovi will head into the fall in a full-time position with the team as the Ticket Sales and Service Coordinator. The key she credits to her success? The industry-specific curriculum of the school’s signature Sports and Entertainment Management specialization (SEM).
Preparation for Success
“The courses I’ve taken have been very relevant to the internships,” Dellebovi said. “Having that background allowed me to differentiate myself from other applicants.”
The Rapids, Colorado’s Major League Soccer team and one of the league’s original 10 franchises, plays March through October with a full schedule of promotions aimed at local soccer fans. Dellebovi’s role will be planning promotions and events for group ticket sales as well as season ticket holders. She will represent the Rapids, not just as a team, but as a brand.
Kroenke Sports Enterprises, owner of the Rapids, states that its mission is to provide world-class sports and entertainment for both live and broadcast audiences; welcome fans as family, providing respect and care from the purchase of a ticket to the drive home; and celebrate the best in sport and entertainment by recognizing the diversity and human spirit around us, and by working within our community to improve the lives of all those within the community.
Even with such high standards, Dellebovi is confident that she has the knowledge and skills to take on the challenge.
“The SEM program helped prepare me for various aspects of the position,” she said. “Everything from legal issues related to the sports industry and aligning event goals with the overall marketing and branding strategies of the organization.”
While all the Business School programs value education outside the classroom in the form of internships or travel study, due to the highly competitive nature of the industries the SEM program strongly recommends that students participate in one experience, or even both. To give students access to opportunities, the program offers the London Calling: Global Sports and Entertainment Management travel study program and offers assistance in obtaining a semester-long internship. In fact, the faculty prides itself on being proactive in seeking out opportunities and providing access to them for students.
While Dellebovi was not always sure that the sports and entertainment industry was right for her, she credits faculty members with helping her find her way.
“The faculty is amazing,” she said of the SEM program, “Wendy Guild was great, and she was very helpful with brainstorming possible internships and narrowing down the area which would be most beneficial to me. Ira Selkowitz was my faculty sponsor with the Rapids for two semesters and was very dedicated to ensuring that I got the most that I could out of both internships.”
Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Leaders
With a front office position with a major league team before even graduating, Dellebovi has a tremendous platform from which to launch a life-long career in the sports industry. She plans on staying in the industry and recognizes the valuable impact her internships and education have had on her ability to achieve this goal. When asked if she plans on staying involved with the program after graduation she replied, “Definitely! I plan on staying in touch with the SEM faculty to let them know about networking opportunities for students, internship openings and sporting events.”
Dellebovi’s experience with the SEM program and the Business School has given her the tools to be successful in a highly competitive industry. And while she may still be a student, her success in sports management will one day allow her to do the hiring, possibly even from the deep talent pool of Business School students. This makes her a strong asset to the school, and a shining example of the ability of the school to create future leaders.