Katie Palmer was one of Eastern Kentucky University’s first graduates from the fully online sport management bachelor’s degree program. Her life has been a whirlwind of job opportunities and experience since she graduated in December 2019. Ultimately, she landed in a position with the sports organization of her dreams, the Chicago Blackhawks.
Slow Start After Graduation
Shortly after graduation Katie was living in New Orleans when everything shut down due to the COVID 19 pandemic. She found employment in some unconventional roles – as a foster animal care coordinator and a civilian working for the military recreation department.
In May of 2021 Katie moved back to her hometown near Chicago and in the fall got her first job with the Chicago Blackhawks, a national hockey league (NHL) team. Even though the position was only part time she understood the importance of getting her foot in the door and gaining experience in operations and working with the players. She also worked in sales for the development team affiliated with the Blackhawks.
Next Up, the Yankees
At the end of the hockey season, she applied for a full-time sales position with the New York Yankees. Six days after applying she was hired and 3 weeks later, she moved to New York. Katie was a little surprised she was hired for the position considering she had little sales experience.
She credits her confidence and tenacity for helping her get the job. “They really liked my energy and confidence. There was a full-time and a part-time position available. They were trying to push me towards the part-time junior sales position. I told them that I could handle the job and I wasn’t going to pick up my whole life and move it to New York for anything less than a full-time job.”
After a season in ticket sales for the Yankees, she was ready for the next chapter of her career and reached out to the Chicago Blackhawks. They hired her as an account executive of membership sales and paid her to move back.
Back to Chicago
Katie has a number of responsibilities in her current role in addition to membership ticket sales. She works every game day meeting her clients and engaging potential new clients. She also assists with the membership hub answering fan questions.
One of the things she enjoys most about working for the Blackhawks is the opportunity to be exposed to and learn about all facets of sport operations. “From the general manager at the very top all the way to the bottom, we’re all within the same office space. It’s an open-office concept so we actually get to interact with all different parts of the organization.”
Katie is thankful for the foundation EKU and the sport management program gave her to meet her professional goals. “I love what I do. When I graduated from Eastern Kentucky University, my goal was to work for the MLB or the NHL. And here I am doing it.”
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