By KATELYN MASSARELLI
Sports management students at UT are given a wide variety of opportunities to thrive in the Tampa sports community. With multiple successful professional sports teams, students are able to network and gain experience in the sports management field before graduating with their degree. Senior communication major and sports management minor Isabelle Lasa is just one of many sports management students who have taken advantage of many opportunities to make a name for herself in the industry.
Lasa’s constant work in the sports industry landed her an internship with the Tampa Bay Lightning this semester where she works alongside the main sales staff and answers questions for fans and season ticket members.
“It’s nice working at a team you’re really interested in,” Lasa said. “It’s a good community feeling and nice to be able to get that experience [with the Lightning].”
Lasa transferred her junior year from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y. to UT and studies communication. She found a passion in sports management as she took classes and began to get involved in the sports industry. She made sports management her minor officially this semester before she graduates in December.
According to department of sports management professor, Dr. Barbra Nalani Butler, Lasa’s long list of volunteering and interning has allowed her to connect with professionals in the sports industry in Tampa and other communities she has worked in.
“Networking is an integral part to being in the sports industry,” Butler said. “ We always say … ‘it’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.’”
She had her first internship in MiLB with the Asheville Tourists in North Carolina. There, Lasa managed many things such birthday parties for children and helped out in food stands. Her resume doesn’t end there. She has also interned for Jesuit high school, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and has attended the Baseball Winter Meetings, a conference where MLB and MiLB come together, with fellow UT sports management students.
At the Winter Meetings, UT students were able to experience a professional sports setting where they had to network. Lasa attended the event with junior sports management major Matt Borkan.
According to Borkan, Lasa has shown she is a hard worker and markets herself well to potential employers in sports.
“[Lasa] knows people throughout the sports industry from previous jobs and is very approachable and makes everyone feel like a friend to her,” Borkan said. “She is very social and will always reach her goal no matter how difficult the road might be.”
During her internships, Lasa was involved in community engagement, working in client services, and communications. According to Lasa, she particularly enjoys being involved in the community and wants to be involved in community relations moving forward after graduation.
“I like feeling a part of something and having people recognize me for the good work I did,” Lasa said.
Lasa is currently applying for jobs for after she graduates with sports teams, mainly in baseball. She is hoping to continue working to involve teams with their community and working to engage fans within the public.
Lasa’s insight from classes and experiences from her internships will all help her reach her career goals, according to Butler.
“[Lasa] is a model student,” Butler said. “She balances work and being a full-time student efficiently, while working towards her career goals. With that being said, I look forward to seeing what she ends up doing after graduation.”
Katelyn Massarelli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org