Students to Gain Hands-On Experience Running Sports Complex
Utica University, Nexus Center to Provide Unique Opportunity for Sports Management Students
Utica University President Laura Casamento and Mohawk Valley Gardens CEO Rob Esche today announced that the university will partner with the Nexus Center, providing a highly innovative, first-of-its kind opportunity for students in the sports management program to gain real, professional experience.
The Nexus Center will allow students to have a hands-on, interactive learning experience to help put their foot in the door when searching for employment upon graduation.
“The ability to have experience on their resumé, genuine experience like facility management, corporate sales, ticket sales, running a tournament, and the financial end of an organization - I think that is where the real pipeline lies,” said Esche, who is also president of the Utica Comets.
President Casamento emphasized how impactful this project is for Utica and the entire region.
“We love when local students can find an opportunity to be educated and find meaningful careers here, raise their families here - that's what it's all about. It’s about growing our region. We need young people to stay here; that has been a part of the resurgence of Utica,” said Casamento.
Joshua Ward '24 says this partnership will help students build a resume and stand out to potential employers upon graduation.
"A lot of places require two to three years of experience before you even get the job, so it is better to learn the ins and outs of how the business works while you're still in college," Ward said. "You'll have some experience to take with you to those first interviews."
Tanner Deveans '24 says, "This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity. Not many people get to have this type of work experience before graduating and we are fortunate to have a building dedicated to our success. I am super eager to get into the Nexus Center and cannot wait to see the opportunities that await."
Construction continues on the Nexus Center; it should be fully enclosed by July and operational by the beginning of November. Already fully booked from November 2022 until May 2023, Casamento wants students to be there “as soon as the doors open” to start their learning experience.
In the last decade, the sports industry skyrocketed from 23rd to the 6th largest industry across the country. Utica University has roughly 40 students currently in the sports management program. The sports industry offers a multitude of career opportunities including communications, public relations, facility management, marketing, budgeting and legal aspects.