Top Advice for Young Professionals Pursuing Careers in Sports

By Katalina Mendoza
July 21, 2020

My name is Katalina Mendoza and I am a rising Junior in college. I am an Enterprise for Youth alumna and this summer I served as a teacher’s assistant in our virtual internship program. The interns in the program and I enjoyed an amazing array of professional visits, giving us insight into different careers, educational paths, and the working world. 

What I love about this summer’s internship is opening doors for us to build our network with thriving professionals that are (or will be) partners with Enterprise who provide internships to youth in the program! 

As an Enterprise alum and now staff member, I always reflect back on my first couple of internships through Enterprise remembering how lucky I was as a high school student working with adults—adults!—which made a huge impact on my professional and personal development. 

Despite many of our youth not having external internships this summer due to COVID-19, Enterprise youth are grateful to the speakers for taking time out of their schedules to share their stories, inspiring youth to continue working hard towards their professional goals and future careers. 

Week three of the internship consisted of a panel of professionals in the industry of sports working for teams such as the San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriors, the Director of Athletics at Sacred Heart Cathedral, and a leader at the local nonprofit organization called JUMA.

The three professionals I had the pleasure of hearing from were Tess Oliphant, Michael Rivera, and Katy Batchelder. All three of them work directly for the SF Giants which was something they all thought could not be possible—their love for sports being the center of their careers; a career path they never imagined in high school. 

Tess, the Manager of Community Relations for the Giants, highlighted one of her special moments with the team, which was creating the Strikeout Violence Day to raise awareness about violence that occurs in homes and in the community. What she loves most about her job is the close-knit Giants community she has with her colleagues as well as how the Giant’s help organizations thrive. 

Tess top advice: “Try everything! And then figure out what you like and do not like. Also, be patient with yourself. I had no idea that I could do sports management and here I am doing it.”

Michael works as the Enterprise Manager for JUMA, a nonprofit organization, which helps youth obtain employment opportunities in the SF Giants stadium. The core of his job is to mentor and train youth to be fully equipped to work at the stadium. He talked about how if it was not for an informational interview, he would have never learned he could work with young people like his younger self growing up and provide them workforce development readiness in sports-related professions. He hopes in the future that sports will expand such as seeing more interaction on all levels of sports organizations such as players and owners working more in youth development. 

Michael’s top advice: “Be comfortable being uncomfortable. Network. Work hard. Most importantly, have fun.” 

Katy is a senior producer and brand content for the SF Giants. Her major at Dominican University was communications and media studies, which would ultimately lead her in the direction of her dream job now, though the road to get there was a challenge. She remembers not being able to get the internship with the Giants the first go around, but eventually got it while working at Johnny’s Donuts, which built her foundational skill set in her career as a producer and media content creator. 

Katy’s top advice: “With hard work, dedication, and perseverance, you can get your dream job.”