SAEM Alumna and Project Manager Shayna Balog Discusses Her Career in Event Management
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Photo by Tracy Harden
Meet Shayna Balog
Hometown: Johnstown, Pa.
Now living in: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Job title: Project Manager
Employer: Retailcomm (headquarters based in Dallas, Texas)
Degree earned: B.S. in Sports, Arts and Entertainment Management
Minors: Advertising and Public Relations
Graduated: December 2009
Interests: Running, the outdoors, skiing, live music, traveling, events and event marketing and photography
LinkedIn: Shayna Balog
Shayna is now the Northwest Account Manager for Southern Wine and Spirits of Alaska.
Why was a major in SAEM a good fit for you?
After considering multiple career paths in media and marketing, I realized that I wanted to work specifically in sports and entertainment. The SAEM program at Point Park builds on a solid foundation in business, marketing, and management principles while weaving in the specialized focus in sports and entertainment.
What factors made you choose Point Park University?
The campus setting was inspiring to me because of its Downtown Pittsburgh location and proximity to the Cultural District, stadiums on the North Shore, large and small music venues, restaurants and other things to do and see. I liked that by being Downtown, I could blend in with those who were already working professional jobs right next door, in addition to having access to many nearby internship opportunities.
What are your key responsibilities as a project manager for Retailcomm?
As a project manager on our events team, I help organize, plan, coordinate, and execute experiential events for our client, Dick’s Sporting Goods. Over the past three years I have worked on events such as the Pittsburgh Marathon, ESPN the Weekend, the Bassmaster Classic Expo, the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open, LSU/Oregon at Cowboys Stadium, and the Red River Rivalry. I have also been involved in planning, coordinating, and executing more than 50 new store grand openings which are multi-day events involving giveaways, on-site vendor participation, and high profile athlete appearances and autograph signings.
How have your SAEM classes helped you with the work you do?
Through classes like Event Management, Sales and Sponsorship Development, Facilities and Venue Design and Administration, and Marketing for the Internet, I was able to get a comprehensive look into areas such as the inner workings of a convention center or music venue, the legal side of sponsorship deals and endorsements, and how to leverage social media to promote a brand or an event.
What were some of your favorite experiences at Point Park?
I had many great experiences at Point Park, but one of my favorites was hearing first-hand accounts of what it is like working in the industry from my professors who have been in the media, sports management, and entertainment industries for years. Their advice and insight was so valuable and encouraging to me, especially since most of them worked right here in the Pittsburgh area. They conveyed enthusiasm and expertise that really made me excited to get out there and start networking, pursuing internships, and jumping into my own experiences.
What advice do you have for SAEM majors?
One of my favorite quotes is from Orison Swett Marden who said, “Find your purpose and fling your life out to it. Find a way or make one. Try with all your might. Self-made or never made." My advice to SAEM majors is to get involved early in internships, don’t be afraid to ask questions, ask for feedback, and make connections with everyone you meet. You will be surprised by the people who are willing to help you succeed if you express interest and show enthusiasm. Create a LinkedIn profile, and clean up your Facebook page – prospective employers are going to look at it. Overall, stay humble and be yourself, and don’t be afraid to fail!