WWE Visits SHU for Career-Day Workshop
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) conducted a Career Action Day at Sacred Heart University recently. The program educated students about the varied professional opportunities enveloped in global corporations, and gave them chance to speak with department executives from the Stamford, Conn., based company.
“I remember what it was like to be a student, and come junior or senior year, you want guidance,” said WWE’s Executive Vice President of Consumer Products Donna Goldsmith, who led the program. “Presenting like this, the possibilities are much more real to the students, it’s much more exciting. This is a terrific way to reach out to our future executives.”
Career Action Day kicked off with a pair of successive video presentations in the Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts, attended by approximately 500 students. Goldsmith succeeded the video, stepping to the podium to talk about the different aspects of the sports entertainment business, including live television, e-commerce, merchandise sales, pay-per-view broadcasting and feature-film production.
The presentations in the Edgerton were followed by break-out sessions in University Commons and the Faculty Lounge. Each session focused on one of four specific branches of the sports entertainment business: interactive media/technology, creative services, consumer products and corporate communications.
“The purpose was not to recruit, but to create a presence on campus, to be a vehicle to network with the faculty and the student body,” said Jennifer Spear, WWE’s director of Human Resources. “We wanted to show them the different career paths we have. Our executives came to talk to students about what they do and how it impacts the overall business, and how that’s related to what students are studying in school.”
This is the first time the WWE has reached out to a university in this manner, but Goldsmith says the company may use the experience at SHU as a blueprint for working with other schools. “Sacred Heart’s curriculum is nicely matched for what we do—media studies, business, IT,” Spear said. “From that perspective, doing this at Sacred Heart was a no-brainer.”
According to SHU Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Claire J. Paolini, who worked with WWE to organize the program, the original intent of Career Action Day was to target only students with specific academic aspirations. “But it very quickly became an opportunity for students of all majors, from all our colleges, to learn about working with a company like WWE,” Paolini said. “There are students from all kinds of backgrounds who would be attracted to working with this type of company. Students don’t always understand how many different employment opportunities are available in big corporations—it’s a mini cosmos. In an organization like this, for every star there are 50 to 100 people behind the scenes doing all the things needed to make it work.”
SHU senior Katrina Brown said she attended the sessions only because her marketing professor made it a class requirement, but what she heard opened her mind to the diverse employment opportunities a large company can provide. “I didn’t realize how involved WWE is with different aspects of media,” Brown said. “They do so much marketing and public relations, which are the things I’m interested in. I just came here to check out what was going on, but this got me really excited.”
After the breakout sessions, students were able to meet with WWE recruiters and submit résumés.