Student Spotlight: Scotty Gruszka

HeadshotMajor: Sport Marketing

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois 

Graduation: May 2017


Q: You started a website a few years back. How has something like that benefited you? What was the purpose of that?

A:  I started it simply as an attempt to try out sports writing. I was able to have some different people contribute and it was fun but not something I ultimately wanted to keep up with. It didn’t benefit me much from a sports standpoint, mainly on small business items. I learned how to get a website off the ground, start social media accounts and do some digital marketing, and establish a reader base (albeit pretty small).

Q: You’ve held a number of different internships in the athletics department at Xavier. What were those? Which one have you most enjoyed and why?

A:  I started out as a sophomore in the BarrackX, then junior year I moved to game day marketing while continuing to help out with the BarrackX, and then this year I moved over to Xavier Sports Properties (XSP) as their Property Assistant. I’ve most enjoyed working with Xavier Sports Properties. I enjoyed working in the other departments but I kept wanting more at the end of the year. In working for XSP and Learfield I’ve found a career path that I truly enjoy doing.

Q: What was the transition like from Marketing and the BarrackX as a Junior to working with sponsorships with Xavier Sport Properties as a Senior?

A:  It was a surprisingly smooth transition. XSP and the Athletic Department work hand in hand together and there is a lot of overlapping. With my experience in social media/digital and marketing for the Athletic Department, there were very few things that I was playing catch up on with XSP. I’ve loved the creative challenges that come with trying to sell corporate sponsorships and working with clients to help them achieve the recognition they desire for their brand.

Q:  What is something you wish you had experience in or knew how to do before going into these internship positions?  

A: Honestly, there wasn’t much. Had I stuck with one internship in my time then there would have been a lot of things that I wish I knew or had experience in. But because I was able to try out so much in 4 years, I’ve been lucky enough to have my hand in a lot of different departments that help Xavier Athletics operate.

Q: Do you have any advice for anyone trying to break into the sport industry?

A:  If you’re having trouble figuring out what you want to do, then work on figuring out what you don’t want to do. I was clueless freshman year what I wanted to do within the sports industry and that is when I started my website and began looking at opportunities within the Athletic Department. From then on I kept trying different tasks and crossing them off my checklist of things that I might want to do until I was able to whittle it down and land at Xavier Sports Properties.

Also, once you land an internship or job, make yourself available. When your boss says that he/she needs help with something or they need someone to take on a task that may be outside of your requirements, offer yourself up. It gives you necessary experience and lets your boss know that you’re willing to work hard and make an impact.

Q: What are you doing next after graduation?

A:   I don’t have a job yet, but I am working with Learfield’s two hiring recruiters to be placed within the company after graduation.



Student Spotlight: Marie Strickland

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 4.36.33 PMCurrent Roles: 

-Clinical Faculty within the Sport Leadership and Management program (Miami OH)

-Internship Director for the Sport Leadership and Management program (Miami OH)

-Academic Advisor to Sport Leadership and Management students (Miami OH)

-Formerly a Xavier Sport Management Professor, currently pursuing an MBA for Xavier’s Smith College of Business

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio


Q:Where did you graduate from, what did you study and when?

A: University of Cincinnati (Bachelor of Sports Administration) and Ohio University (Master of Sports Administration)

Q: What drew you to Xavier’s Grad program?

A: I already have a master’s degree from Ohio University. However, I want the career flexibility that comes with having an MBA. Likewise, I wanted to study within a school of business that is accredited at the highest level, (AACSB accreditation), and pursuing my MBA through Xavier’s Williams College of Business allows me to do just that. Moreover, it was important for me to be able to remain close to my family and friends during my studies, and Xavier’s Cincinnati location accomplishes that.

Q: How did you get into teaching? What did you enjoy about teaching at Xavier?

A: While taking my very first sports administration course at UC, I was tasked with completing a career planning paper. While this was merely a final class assignment for many of my peers, as a non-traditional student, I took the paper seriously and thought long and hard about my personal skill sets, strengths, and interests, and quickly realized I would like to teach one day. Keeping this in mind, before even deciding to pursue my first master’s degree, I reached out to Dr. Doug Olberding, who is the chair of the Department of Sport Studies at Xavier, to inquire about graduate teaching opportunities.

Although there were no graduate teaching assistantships offered by the department and I would eventually decide to purse a master of sports administration from Ohio University before coming to Xavier to pursue my MBA, I made it a point to keep in touch with Dr. Olberding. As such, a few months starting my MBA, I reached out to Dr. Olberding again to inquire about teaching opportunities as I felt a graduate position would allow me to gain teaching experience. Much as had been the case on the previous occasions, there were no openings available at that time. However, Dr. Olberding encouraged me to keep in touch and check back in the future. So, I did just that and was there just so happened to be an opening and the rest is history.

Q: How can students become more involved while still in school? Do you know of any good resources? Continue reading “Student Spotlight: Marie Strickland”

Student Spotlight: Kirby Boehm


kirbyCurrent Role: Graduate Student & Intern with Xavier SAASS

Expected Graduation: Spring 2017

Hometown: Worthington, Ohio


Q: Where did you earn your undergraduate degree and what did you major in?

A: I earned my undergraduate degree from Capital University and majored in Business Management.

Q: What attracted you to Xavier’s grad program?

A: Xavier’s grad program was enticing because it allowed me to gain a contrasting viewpoint to my previous experiences at Capital.  Coming from a small liberal arts school, Xavier gave me the opportunity to learn from a Division I athletic department as I pursued my Master’s degree in Sport Administration.

Q: Tell us briefly about your experience with the Xavier SAASS. Also, what does that stand for?

A: SAASS stands for Student Athlete Academic Support Services.  I work with Xavier student-athletes and help them with everything outside the field of competition.  Whether that be monitoring study tables or helping students schedule for the next semester, I do whatever I can to help support the full time advisors and student-athletes at Xavier.

Continue reading “Student Spotlight: Kirby Boehm”

Student Spotlight: Kyle Tooley

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 10.56.31 PM

Major: Sport Management & Public Relations

Hometown: Sacramento, California

Expected Graduation: May 2017


Q: What are your plans upon graduation?

A:  I will be doing a postgraduate internship with Cincinnati Bengals in their media relations department.

Q: This past summer you had a PR Internship with the Madison Mallards minor league baseball team. What were your responsibilities for this internship?

A:   When you work for a collegiate summer league team, a better question is what did you not do for the team. I logged over 800 hours that summer, being in charge of the daily program, the website, all press releases, managing the roster, statistics, baseball operations and more. It was a grueling internship, but I grew so much from it. I highly recommend an internship of that extent to anyone who wants to work in sports. You get very little sleep, but a bevy of experience and knowledge.

Q: Were there any classes at Xavier that best prepared you for this internship in PR?

A:  Most of the notable classes that prepared me for this position were all in the communications department. Everything from Writing for the Media and Public Relations Writing to Media Ethics gave me valuable tools to move forward in athletic communications. The biggest thing that I’ll take from Xavier, though, was my time with the Xavier Newswire. Producing content on a weekly basis and working with other people to make a product that you are proud of was extremely valuable experience.

Q: What is one skillset that you think is most important in a PR job?

A:  Organization is a huge one. You have to be able to stay on a schedule with all the different tasks that are involved. If you lose track of those, you can fall behind in the blink of an eye. Another valuable skillset would be the ability to work well and communicate with others. With my role in media relations, I am constantly communicating with people that outrank me in a major way and that I don’t know. It’s important to act professional and communicate in a positive way.

Q:  You have an extensive background in sports, where did you look to find these internships/jobs?

A:  Every position I’ve ever received was from Teamwork Online or from connections in some way, shape or form. Sometimes both. My internship with the Bengals is one that I applied for on Teamwork Online and asked some contacts to reach out to them on my behalf. Sports is so much of “who you know,” so building a strong network is important. That is why all members of this club should attend as many of speaker events as possible. You never know where it will take you!

Q:  Any advice you wish you were given?

A:  If you have an idea of what field of sport you want to work in (sales, marketing, communications, etc.), get internships in those fields! I’ve done marketing, ticketing and corporate sales internships that make no difference in my job candidacy in communications. The fact of the matter is you can’t get an entry-level job in a major league without AT LEAST two to three internships with relevant experience. No internship should be too small, so rack up the knowledge.

Social media:

Twitter: @k_tools

Instagram: @k_tools

LinkedIn / Facebook: Kyle Tooley

Student Spotlight: Tiffany Webster


Current Role: Graduate Student & Program Assistant for Xavier Women’s Basketball

Expected Graduation: Spring 2017

Hometown: Washington, DC


Q: Where did you earn your undergraduate degree and what did you major in?

A: I earned my undergraduate degree at Quinnipiac University in Public Relations. Quinnipiac is a small, liberal arts school in Hamden, Connecticut. Quinnipiac does not offer Sports Management, so I decided to major in Public Relations.

Q: When will you graduate from Xavier’s grad program?

A: I will graduate this Spring and I can’t believe this academic year is coming to an end soon!

Continue reading “Student Spotlight: Tiffany Webster”

Student Spotlight: Joe Metz


Future Job: Sales Associate, Milwaukee Bucks

Hometown: Wauwatosa, Wisconsin (10 minutes west of downtown Milwaukee)

Expected Graduation: May 2017


Q: What are some of the past internships and jobs you’ve had?

A: I served as a Gameday Marketing Intern for Xavier Athletics throughout my sophomore year (2014-15), strictly working men’s and women’s basketball games. Coming into my junior year, I got bumped up to a Lead Marketing Intern position which I remained in for both my junior and senior years. I worked in the marketing office 3-4 times per week with Patrick Dillon, Xavier’s Director for Marketing, working on managing the auctions, fulfilling fan-mail requests, working on annual reports, etc. while also working men’s and women’s basketball games and operating as the lead on men’s soccer.

I also work as a student caller for Phonathon. While it’s not a sports internship, it’s a sales position that really helped prepare me for my upcoming job.

Q: You recently got a job with the Milwaukee Bucks, tell us about that.

A: I got hired for the position of a Milwaukee Bucks Sales Associate. Luckily I was able to land a job with my dream organization straight out of college and will be working in the Bucks’ front office selling single-game, mini-package, and season-ticket packages, surveying fans, and maintaining client relationships while also working all 41 Milwaukee Bucks home games plus potential playoff games. Overall, my job is to sell the Bucks, talk the team up, boost revenue and ticket generation and help optimize the fan experience. Some day-to-day responsibilities will include cold calling individuals who are on record with purchasing tickets in the past and surveying them and gauging their current interest in the team and what not, setting up in-person meetings with clients (in order to sell tickets to businesses and corporations interest in group packages, work outings, etc.), and maintaining relationships with current clients (checking in on them at games, taking them on tours of the new arena to keep them interested, attend community events with the team). Obviously, there are going to be a lot more here and there, but these are the general responsibilities and more will stem from them.

Continue reading “Student Spotlight: Joe Metz”